How to request a meeting — Aaron White

From Want a Coffee? A Brief Guide for Neophytes by Aaron White:

When reaching out to ask for a coffee meeting, be immensely specific about why you want to meet, and what you hope to get out if it. If the reason is only as good as “let’s connect!” don’t be sour if they pass / forget about it. That kind of “just saying hi” serendipity is best for parties/networking events you both happen to be at, not worthy of asking someone to carve out a new slot in their schedule.

The more specific you are, the more value you’ll get from your potential coffee-partner. If you communicate a clear possible path for the conversation, coffee partners who can’t provide value will self-select out, but even then if your ask is clear, it will make it so much easier for them to forward you to the right person. And if they do take the meeting, they are far more likely to show up prepared & ready to help.

(1) Cf. How to request a meeting — Steve Blank.
(2) Cf. How to request a meeting — Scott Britton.
(3) As someone on the receiving end of meeting requests, I’ve found that this advice from Aaron White is the most effective.

5 thoughts on “How to request a meeting — Aaron White

  1. Here’s the background to this blog post. I frequently get emails from people asking to meet for a coffee, because they think there’s a partnership opportunity between Seeking Alpha and their company or them as an individual. So they send me an email asking to meet for a coffee.

    The problem is that I generally try to avoid in-person meetings unless the person’s job role and / or the prior email discussion have convinced me that there’s a high probability of a productive outcome. And many of the emails I get aren’t convincing enough to persuade me to meet with the person.

    So I started looking for advice on how to ask for a meeting, and found three excellent blog posts. This excerpt is from the first of them.

  2. Learning to be specific has been one of the most powerful tools in my professional development with mentors, supervisors, and mentees. For any meeting I also suggest a flexible agenda. It helps you be respectful of each other’s time and also helps give context for the meeting. People are more willing to help than you think, so make it easy for them.

  3. Pingback: How to make bus dev meetings with large companies successful and avoid time-wasters | A Founder's Notebook

  4. Pingback: Why you should demand an agenda for meetings, and how to do it — nicely | A Founder's Notebook

  5. Pingback: How to maximize your chance of getting a meeting or call with someone | A Founder's Notebook

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