Coffee is a powerful drink. Even people who don’t drink coffee will go for a coffee if you ask them. The power of coffee isn’t even in the drink itself…it’s in the power that coffee has to bring people together in a safe, relaxing way, that enables them to connect to others, and to share knowledge and experiences. We call this coffee networking.
Each coffee experience is unique and if you’re willing, can teach you a lot. Your first coffee may have even been a subconscious coffee…you didn’t know what was about to occur, but you learned something, made a new friend, got a new referral, or helped someone in need.
Here’s some of our favourite lessons for powerful coffee networking:
Define your purpose
If you’re asking someone to coffee, be clear in the invitation what it is you want to talk about. Being clear and concise in your purpose and intention will not only save you time, but it also will ensure that each party has a clear understanding of the goal(s) of the coffee chat and this will improve your chances of achieving what you set out to do.
Say OUT LOUD what you DO and what you WANT
Because of who you are, what is it that only you can do? Everyone has a superpower. Something that only they can do. Maybe you’re a kick ass sales person, or an epic digital marketer. Perhaps you’re a LinkedIn expert, or your Instagram Stories are hilarious. People want to know what you bring to the table, so don’t listen to that little voice in your head; Say out loud, unashamed, what your superpower IS and what you WANT as a result of that niche.
It’s ok to say “No”
Sometimes coffee teaches you what you don’t want to do, or that you don’t have a common goal with your coffee guest. Learning to say no, and to define your boundaries are essential. Whether you are looking to sell your product or services, or to volunteer your time on a committee or board, compromising on your values, or undervaluing the cost of your services is never your best interest. Learning to say no will prevent you from burn out, and from devaluing your offering. Life ain’t free, and your superpower should be priced accordingly.
Coffee Networking with people who inform your perspective.
Want to really unleash the power of coffee? Have coffee with people you don’t know well and that might be from different circles than you are. Coffee is an easy and relaxed way to have a conversation which makes it a safe way to add to your experience and inform your perspective without putting anything on the line. This might not be your first coffee, but ask your most recent coffee friend to connect you with two people from their network that you don’t know. Even better…seek out the people who will make you level up and request an introduction, or even make one yourself. Social Media is a great tool to start this and as long as you’re not trying to cold call and sell something off the bat….see #1 Defining Your Purpose.
Pay it Forward.
Sometimes a coffee is not about YOUR journey, it is about the journey of who you’re having coffee with. Say yes to coffee. Coffee is a powerful way to try new things and to inform your thinking.