11/02/2014 - 14:53

Coffee catch-up builds bridges

11/02/2014 - 14:53

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How is a cup of coffee like a sale? When it’s with a customer.

Coffee catch-up builds bridges

How is a cup of coffee like a sale? When it’s with a customer.

I like coffee. Dark, black coffee. Espresso. No cream. No sugar. Just dark, black coffee. You?

But maybe I look at coffee differently than you do. I don’t wake up and drink it. I venture out to a coffee shop and an early morning meeting, for a coffee.

My goal each day is to have an early morning cup of coffee with someone who can help me enhance relationships, make connections, build value, and make sales. As I’m on the road a lot I can’t do this every day, but I try my best to do it as often as I am able.

A meeting is a brand new way to look at the value of a cup of coffee. You may look at coffee as a cost or an expense. To me, coffee is an investment of time; it’s not ‘how I drink it’ but rather who I drink it with.

Key point: Whenever I meet someone for coffee in the morning, I find the meeting is relaxed and fun. It’s a genuine exchange of information – always informal and humorous. And it’s usually with someone I do business with or could do business with.

I try to have these meetings early, very early – between 7am and 8am. Sometimes I have two breakfasts – one at seven and one and eight.

Often my appointments meet each other, so it becomes an additional networking opportunity. Many of my customers, prospects, and connections have done business with my other customers, prospects, and connections.

Personal note: When I’m done with my coffee and my meeting is over, I get back home as fast as I can so I can take our young daughter to school by nine. And no, I can’t do it every day, but that is the goal every day.

Think about the impact of that – a sales call before the day starts.

Here’s how that idea applies to you

One cup of coffee a day with a customer or prospect is equal to 250 sales calls this year that will be relaxed, build relationships, make sales, gain referrals, and create business opportunities. Coffee and sales – not just coffee.

What could you do with an additional 250 meetings, appointments, or actual sales calls? How much extra income would that convert to? How much quicker could you advance your sales cycle? My wallet is pulsating just thinking about it.

So, what do you plan to talk about?

I’d suggest anything but business at the start of the meeting.

Talk family; talk kids; talk hobbies; talk sports; talk vacation; talk travel; talk fashion; talk books; talk movies; talk culture; talk passion; talk ideas; and talk social media.

Ask questions that allow you to ask more questions. No news, no weather, no politics, no religion or anything negative about people or things.

So, now you’ve got your talking tips, make sure your ‘delivery’ is appropriate. Talk positive; talk truth; talk relaxed; talk about things in common; and talk humour

Sales tools to take with you

• Bring a referral.

• Bring a book.

• Bring an idea.

• Bring an influential friend.

• Bring your Instagram on an iPad.

Other tips

• Take notes.

• Take a photo.

• Ask for his or her favourite quote, book, movie, team, or player.

• Make another appointment at the end of the meeting.

• It doesn’t interfere with your workday, so do it.

Finally, the only time you should talk business at a morning coffee catch up is when your customer starts talking business.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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