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Established Member

Wanting to get coffee

If someone wants to grab coffee to learn about your business, do you usually take the offer even if you're not interested in the product they're offering? If no, what would be a polite thing to say?

 

A guy I met at the local Chamber told me that he wanted to learn more about my business and see how his "product" can help me. I'm not really interested in his product but I think my services can help him as his website is ancient (I develop and update WordPress websites). Do you think that meeting up with him would be a good idea? If I do meet up with him, what can I expect?

7 Comments
Super Contributor

Re: Wanting to get coffee

Sure have a cup together, listen to him

 

Insure you know his site well enough to say  something like, I didn't realize that, that it is not on your site at all (hopefully you will have that opportunity) and steer the conversation to what you can do for him.

 

I'll get back to you, I never make on the spot decisions - works for me.

Contributor

Re: Wanting to get coffee

Good point, @Rustler

@aafable if you are ooking at this as possible business dealings do your research, know going in what you you csn do for him.

 

But also be prepared for an unsilicited sales pitch. He may be selling discounted utilities or phone service (such as the former Excel) or other MLM (multi-level marketing pyramid schemes) SOP (standard operating procedure) is a free lunch or coffee and the "offer" of how what you buy every day can be a business model.

 

Or...he may just be interested in you.  It happens. Enjoy the coffee. Watch out for quicksand

Senior Member

Re: Wanting to get coffee

This is such a great question @aafableIdeally we'd always say 'yes' to these invitations because you really never know whether or how you might work together until you have a conversation. On the other hand, we're all pretty busy. This coffee date could be worth your time or a waste of it, and you won't find out until you're sitting there java in hand. 

 

Totally agree with @Rustler on the "I'll get back to you," and @john-pero makes a great case for sussing out what to expect. You might try following up via email with "It was a pleasure to meet you at the Chamber. Can you tell me a bit more about your product? I'd love to learn more about your business as well." That way if you do decide to meet up it's clear that the coffee is more of networking opportunity, not a sales pitch.

Community Leader

Re: Wanting to get coffee

@aafable,

 

Take it as a learning opportunity. You can always learn something from every conversation, no matter what it's perceived value may (or may not) be. 

Senior Member

Re: Wanting to get coffee

@aafable I'm curious! Did you decide to meet up with him?

Established Member

Re: Wanting to get coffee

No. I felt a weird feeling because I feel like he was going to give a sales pitch on me. I would go just to experience the whole thing, but I really don't have the time. 

Senior Member

Re: Wanting to get coffee

Sounds like you feel good about the decision, so I'm glad :-)

 

I just joined my local Chamber last year and it's been a really valuable learning experience. I particularly enjoy the mixers because their sole function is business networking, everyone knows why you're there, and you aren't committed to spending more than a few minutes with any one contact. As @JamesOng points out, you CAN learn something from everyone - it's just a matter of deciding which format works best for you.

 

Good luck!