Networking “Deposits” That Make You “Coffee-Worthy”

Networking “Deposits” That Make You “Coffee-Worthy”

Networking “Deposits” That Make You “Coffee-Worthy” by Cynthia Greenawalt

In my last article, “Are You Coffee-Worthy?” we explored how you can become a high-priority contact who can request “coffee time” with someone you’ve recently met. When you’re new to them, you’re sort of at the bottom of the line in their priorities! This puts the burden on you to find ways to move up on their pole ranking. Here are some networking courtship deposits that can help you do so:

  • Invite them to other networking events: Invite them to an event that attracts the kind of people they’re looking to meet or features a topic that they care about. Do some research: pay attention when you meet them or go to their LinkedIn profile to determine their interests. 
  • Send them an article related to their interests:
    • from an author you know they love;
    • about an area of interest that’s important to them; and 
    • covering a philosophy that’s in line with their worldview.

This tells the person, “I’m listening to you,” like the line from the movie Avatar, “I see you.” When we send information to people that resonates with what’s important to them, they have the experience of being seen by us. This increases their attraction to us and moves us up the pole ranking, closer to being “coffee-worthy.” 

  • Create a strategic alliance introduction: One of the first questions I ask when I meet someone is, “What are one or two professions who serve as highly strategic referral partners for you?” In other words, “Which professions are the best source of referrals for you?” (I even recommend that you ask this in both ways to get their brain focused.) Setting up an introduction to meet someone whose business is synergistic with theirs is another way to warm up a relationship and remind them of your value! 

TIPS for effective e-introductions: 

If you know that a commercial real estate broker is a key alliance for the contact you’re courting, you can keep an eye out as you go about your networking activities. When you encounter a commercial real estate broker, you can make that introduction via email. At the most basic level, make sure the email (aka, the “e-intro”) contains the name, contact information, and website of the person you’re referring, as well as the contact information and website of the person you’re courting.

You can go a step further and put in a few words from the bio on each person. This would be considered a very high-level e-introduction. Low-level e-introductions—those which omit the website, mini bio, and additional contact info—are not as strong and make it more challenging for the connection to take place.

When I initiate a high-level e-introduction, I end with the intention that I have in mind for them: “You’re both extremely busy. I wouldn’t recommend you meeting each other if I didn’t see huge potential for a strategic alliance. So please reach out to each other to schedule a coffee as soon as possible so you can explore the possibilities.” When I end the email with what it is I want them to do, they’re more likely to take action. 

Who are your high-level contacts you’d like to develop into “Power Partners” and with whom you’d like face-to-face time? Make a list of at least 5 of these “VIP’s.”  Determine which of the above deposits could be a fit, and start implementing these activities so that your invitation to coffee is met with a resounding “yes.”

On the flip side, you may be getting invitations to coffee that you may not have the time for. Explore ways to honor your time while preserving the relationship here in my previous article,You’re Having Coffee With the Wrong People (Breakthroughs Live in the Blind Spot).

Cynthia Greenawalt
Cynthia Greenawalt

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