Getting the Most Out of a “Pick Your Brain” Coffee Meeting
We’ve all had coffee meetings where we sit down with someone just to “pick your brain”. Today, we’re talking about why those meetings are actually super important, and how you can maximize your ROI from a simple get-together.
We’ll dive into some strategies to help you make sure your meetings have a purpose, and both parties get value. While these meetings are important, you want to make sure that no one leaves feeling like it was a waste of time or that it was all give and no take. These meetings should be mutually beneficial. It is totally possible to make these kinds of meetings mutually beneficial and valuable for your business.
“Prepare ahead of time and go into this meeting with a list of questions and ideas that you want to discuss and talk about. You should be going into that meeting knowing exactly what to say and how to say it confidently.”
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1. Know your purpose
Why are you asking this person to meet? You need to know exactly what you want to walk away with, and it’s important to begin with the end in mind because you don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Go into this meeting with a list of questions and ideas that you want to discuss and talk about. Don’t get caught saying, “um”, and “uh”, when you’re in front of someone that you’re asking for advice. You should be going into the meeting knowing exactly what to say and how to say it confidently.
3. Lead the meeting
You called the meeting, you lead the meeting. This will come naturally if you prepare ahead of time, but don’t make it feel like the person you’re asking advice from needs to keep the conversation going. Lead the meeting confidently so you get what you want out of it.
4. Ask intelligent questions
If you’re prepared, go back over your questions and make sure that they’re intelligent. These questions need to be crafted so that you can extract as much information in as little time as necessary. No one likes to sit around and talk about the weather.
5. Be mindful of the time
This person took time out of their busy schedule to talk to you for a set amount of time. Don’t make them feel like they are the ones that need to wrap up the meeting because you’re talking so much. Have a plan to end the meeting so they don’t feel like they have to.
6. Say thank you
A “thank you” goes a long way. I recommend thanking them on the spot, and then sending a follow-up email thanking them for taking time to meet with you. They’re giving you the gift of information, and that’s worth saying thanks for. This will give you the bonus of being remembered by that person in the future.