Coffee is the most popular drink in America. According to Euromonitor, in 2016 Americans drank 88.8 gallons per person. Bottled water came in at 33.5 gallons.
You may have read about the idea of prospecting by going out drinking.
(Related: The Drinker’s Guide to Prospecting)
Maybe alcohol isn’t your thing.
If you’re a coffee fan, there’s a strategy for you.
Wine and spirits have drawbacks. You can’t drink them in the morning without getting funny looks from people nearby. Your prospect might have joined Alcoholics Anonymous, something they might not broadcast to the world. Coffee has wide acceptance. Here are some ways it can supplement your prospecting efforts.
1. Let’s meet for coffee.
Recruiters do it all the time. As an agent or advisor, when your social prospecting involves expanding a friendship into a business relationship too, meeting for coffee is a low-key way to meet on neutral territory. You aren’t meeting in your office, which could be intimidating. You aren’t meeting at theirs, where distractions and interruptions can break your flow.
2. I’ll bring coffee.
What do you like? You are meeting a client or prospect in their office. Most people drink coffee. It’s done at all times of the day. Offering to bring coffee is a sign of hospitality. Your firm may have even built this into its office culture. When someone arrives at your office, does the receptionist ask if they would like a coffee?
3. Where can you get a good coffee around here?
Wine can be intimidating. Coffee is easy to understand. You visit a prospect or client. The neighborhood is new to you. It’s their home territory. You ask the question. They not only have an opinion; they might suggest you walk over together.
4. Find a coffee shop.
Stop before work. You aren’t going to get many new clients drinking coffee at your desk. Find a traditional coffee shop with a counter in an area with a small business concentration. Ideally, it’s on your route to work. Order your coffee. Sit at the counter. Talk to the people around you. Become a regular. They will ask “What do you do?”
5. Let’s try that new place.
You are socializing with friends/prospects/clients. What are we going to do? Where should we go? There are always new specialty coffee shops opening. They get written up in magazines. Suggest everyone meets there. See what makes them special.
6. Coffee makes a great gift.
You are thinking about holiday gifts for clients. Maybe you need a hostess gift when you arrive at a holiday party. As a coffee lover, you can pick an interesting blend or bean. It’s something that gets used.