Do you find yourself in a quandary when a networking acquaintance call and invites you for a coffee?

Do you answer yes, simply because you have been led to believe that networking is crucial in building relationships?

Do you also wonder if the meeting is simply going to take up time that could be spent doing something far more important?

There is no way of knowing whether a coffee meeting will be a success or nothing more than a drain on your valuable time. To make sure your time isn’t wasted, make sure to follow these 5 great tips.

1. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting the person know that you don’t have time for the meeting. Only you know how much time you actually have available. You can simply let the person know that your schedule is too busy for a meeting, but let them know that you might be able to fit them in at a time that is more convenient. Better yet, you should set up coffee meeting with people that interest you.

2. Did you meet someone recently that shares the same target market as you? Perhaps this was someone you clicked with and who you see as a great referral partner. Call them and invite them out for a coffee meeting, but don’t take it personally if they say no. Remember tip number 1?

3. Think about talking points and time limits. Think about why you want to have this particular meeting. Is there something that you want to know or learn? Do you want your guest to know something about you? Can you get all the answers you need in a set amount of time? Do some preparation in advance and there should be no issues.

4. Location is everything. If you are attending a meeting at someone else’s request, they should be willing to come to you. Expect to return the courtesy should you invite someone. When invited, ask to meet at your office or a place that is convenient, as this will save a lot of time.

5. Give value. You will both walk away from a meeting happy if you both feel that you got something out of it. If you are unclear on the type of assistance they need, then ask. See if they need help tracking down a good prospect or referral, and be prepared to answer in kind should they pose that question to you.

A coffee meeting doesn’t have to be a waste of your time, and can, in fact, be very productive if you take time to plan ahead and follow the tips outlined above. Not only do you have the opportunity to build relationships, you can also expand your network and your business horizons.

And now I would like to invite you to claim your copy of my new fr*ee training “3 Mistakes Business Owners Make That STOP Them Getting More Clients … And How You Can Avoid Them” when you visit

You’ll learn the 3 common mistakes most business owners make that keep them from getting more clients and powerful, but easy to implement, strategies to avoid them, recoup more of your time, and learn how to spend it more wisely to get more clients and more results.

From Deanna Maio – Business Growth &  Marketing Strategist at