Professionals around the world spend thousands of dollars on new software, reports, marketing materials and events. While some of these investments can lead to significant returns, many businesses are coughing up thousands of dollars with little understanding of why.
One of the best investments that a business or a professional can make is one that you won’t find heavily discussed on TechCrunch or Forbes magazine. It’s an investment you won’t hear about in Popular Science and it’s definitely not one that will be raising venture capital anytime soon. It’s the simple cost of buying someone a coffee.
Sure, this advice isn’t rocket science but it needs to be said. In a world where we’re busier than ever, we need to be reminded of the importance of connecting and meeting new people. In business, this five-dollar investment is a key asset for a few reasons:
- Future Business Opportunities
Your coffee meeting could be with anyone from a student to a former employer. No matter who that person is at that time, every connection you develop could lead to a potential opportunity both personally and professionally down the road.That student who asked you for advice six years ago? He’s now managing a multi-million dollar budget for a Fortune 400 company looking for your services. That former employer you forgot to follow up with? She just landed a new job and is looking for new talent. Don’t underestimate the power of any relationship.
- Always Be Recruiting
A lot of businesses provide incentives to employees who bring in and recruit great talent. If you’re out networking and grabbing coffee with the right people, you have a better chance to find and deliver great talent to your current employer.
- Industry Expertise & Trust
It’s always nice to be invited to an event because you’re a “friend of the company”. It’s a sign that people within the organization trust your opinion and value their relationship with you. This connection will allow you to broaden your own network and build new relationships that could also further your career.
- Your Next Gig
While employers don’t like to admit, the day you hire new talent is the day you start losing them. Professionals are always on the look out for their next gig and next big opportunity. Whether it’s inside their current employer or with someone else, the reality is, the competition is fierce. Meeting people, building relationships and buying coffee is a sure-fire way to standout and be the hottest thing on the block.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building authentic relationships. The only way you can build relationships is to have conversations with people and get to know them. While it’s easy to build rapport through email and over the phone, face-to-face interaction is still king. A $5 coffee or a $20 lunch can be the difference between closing or losing a deal. Make this simple investment into your relationships and stand out instead of blending in.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and smell the coffee. How many lunch or coffee meetings do you schedule a month and what do you usually order – Tea, Latte or Espresso?