In the last three weeks our company has secured three major new clients.
What’s unique is that each of these clients was referred to our company by a past or current client and our cost to land each one was just a cup of coffee.
How networking skills and a Coffee Card can be the secret weapons of business development and sales success.
Meeting for a coffee is a simple method of establishing a friendly meeting place and controlling costs.
Here is what you should be doing:
- Go out of your way to meet people, network purposefully and ask them what they do;
- If what they do is connected to what you (or anyone you know) might need, swap business cards and tell them to expect a coffee invitation;
- Go for coffee (somewhere convenient to them in terms of both time and place), pay with your coffee card and start asking purposeful questions that take time and detail to answer. Speak very little and listen a whole lot;
- During your meeting ask the question, “what is your perfect customer and how would you best like to deliver your product or service“;
- Use your speaking time to describe what your perfect customer is and how best you deliver your product or service to them;
- After 20 – 30 minutes have passed, coffee is over, and back to work you go. Your total time including driving was no more than 45 minutes and out-of-pocket costs are only about $5 – $7.
Now keep doing this, once a day with intent. Two times a day if you can. You’ll soon build up a network, not just of business cards but a working knowledge of what each and every contact does; and likewise they will know what you do.
Now Here Comes the Magic
When what someone does lines up with the needs of your network, you set up a coffee meeting with you and both parties. Again you buy coffee, you make introductions, confirm the connection, and give them both your best regards before leaving.
You have now provided unprecedented value. You have taken the risk of validating the supplier, and you have introduced a qualified buyer to the supplier.
In this process, aside from gaining a reputation as the value provider, it’s just a matter of time until you become the recommended supplier and land a job; this is when things get really interesting.
Over time your networking along with delivering great value to your customers will evolve into fans making raving recommendations about what you do. Now repeat, repeat, repeat. Build a network in which you deliver value first by connecting needs and your networking efforts will soon be landing you new business all for a bit of time and on a coffee card budget.
Thank you for reading
Gerry L. Wiebe, Founder | President