One of the best ways to initiate a professional relationship is to arrange a meeting over lunch or coffee.
Personal finance writer Ramit Sethi says $US100 spent on networking coffee dates throughout the year is the best investment you can make.
Master networker Jon Levy has had plenty of coffee meetings over the past five years as he’s built up “the Influencers,” a collection of over 400 impressive and well-connected people across a wide variety of industries.
He says that if you’d like to initiate a mutually beneficial relationship with someone you admire, you should “schedule shorter meetings rather than longer meetings the first time.”
“It’s better to leave the conversation having something to talk about and feeling like you need to connect again rather than feeling that the energy’s died,” he says.
Thirty minutes is ideal, says Levy, and under almost no circumstances should it go longer than 45 minutes.
“Maybe three times in my entire life — and I’m in my mid-30s — have I scheduled meetings that were an hour and a half,” he says. “And that was just because I knew from the 15 minutes that I spoke to that person on the phone that we’re going to end up like siblings. So shorter rather than longer.”
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