Jeff Garrison of Sales Habitudes (@jcgarrison on Twitter) tweeted not too long ago to “stop the sales pitch. Start a conversation.” Recently in the social media world, there has been conversations about having “conversations.” Online newspapers struggling to get readers to “discuss” a news story, not post juvenile comments. All over the internet world, there has been debate about how to have “conversations.”
Then why not make “coffee meetings” be more of conversation than a “sales pitch?” Some of you have had “coffee” with someone before as a way to network. In several cases, what should constitute as a talk over coffee end up becoming a sales pitch that you did not expect. That kills the mood real fast, doesn’t it?
I hate that type of “coffee talk,” which is a reason why I’m hesitant to go to, or initiate, one. I do have rules that I invoke if I do “meet” anyone for coffee:
–I’m not a salesman. I’m a guy who likes to know more about what you do, how you do it, and do we have something in common to which we can help each other and our business or projects.
–I’m not a talker. Do not expect me to brag about my accomplishments and job, or hand out advice about something I have no experience about. Nor do I want you to “pitch” something to me either. I come to learn new things and how it applies to everything around us. It’s not that I’m not a boring person. I don’t like talking a lot.
–Appearance. Please do not show up dressed like Gordon Gekko, flicking out business cards like money, and talking like a conniving snake-oil used car salesman.
I hate that guy more than anyone. He’s only meeting you to pump himself up and make you feel bad about yourself.
I only have enough money for a plain cup of black coffee, not to buy something you’re hawking.
And I hate coffee. I’m an iced tea guy.