For Your Next Networking Meeting, Don’t Default to “Let’s Meet for Coffee”

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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“Meeting for coffee” has become our professional default when it comes to networking, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

o Next time you’re setting up time to get to know someone, whether you were introduced or met briefly at an event, consider one of these options instead: doing a 30-minute phone call, a 60-minute phone call, a small group gathering (like a lunch or dinner), a large group event (like a cocktail reception), or a meal with just the two of you.

o The best option will depend on how much time and energy you want to put into the relationship. If you’re doing a favor for a friend, spending several hours dining one-on-one with your contact is going above and beyond — a phone call would likely suffice.

o Alternatively, if you think the person could become a personal friend, you may want to invite them to a more relaxed event, where you can get to know them better.

Adapted from “When You Agree to a Networking Meeting But Don’t Know What You’re Going to Talk About,” by Dorie Clark

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