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Grab that coffee with both hands! The importance of networking

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Friendly conversation from two businessmen networking over a cup of coffee

There’s a lot to be said of a cup of coffee, especially when it goes hand-in-hand with a notebook, pen and a phone on the table. It conveys the silent message that you mean business. 

Well this blog is not about the cup of coffee itself… it’s about the invitation to grab a coffee.

 If you, like me, extend this invitation to the majority of the contacts you obtain through professional networking at sometime or another, then you know as well as I do not everyone reciprocates or accepts the offer.  But the question remains, why?

Typical cold-shoulder responses can range from:

  • “Well, I don’t have the time”

  • “I don’t need your services, so why bother”

  • “Nothing is for free”


However, if you offer the chance to meet up with someone over a cup of coffee, you more than likely have a genuine reason for doing so.

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Why you should grab that coffee with both hands

Although an invitation to meet for coffee may seem like an inconvenience to an already crazy week, it’s important to remember that while a simple chat may not necessarily yield quick wins, it’s the opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship, which in turn may very well be worth its weight in gold further down the line. You never know whose help you’ll need in the future.

 

We usually know who is moving and shaking before the movers and shakers themselves do. We are the font of all knowledge, gossip, speculation and educated guesses. But we are more often then not bang on the button! Why? Because we listen! We listen far more then we speak and what we hear, we trade with. That simple piece of information is our key in opening many valuable doors.

 

I work in hospitality and for years my favourite past time is the trading of information. The industry I love has given me so much gossip it’s a delight, and what I don’t know, I find out. This sometimes can only benefit me but I’m a true believer in knowledge being power!

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If I know a hotel is about to loose a top GM due to a new opening then I know an opportunity is to be had. Or if a hotel is about to be sold and the potential buyer has a track record of stripping back the operations to its bare bones, then that departing hotel team will need supporting in finding opportunities when that deal goes through. The margins may be low and the turn around slow but those who work in your specialist industry are the best people to grab a coffee with.

 

A cup of coffee is not signing a contract to guarantee business. But even so, the next time you get invited for a coffee, take the invitation! That person may be reaching out to share knowledge, exchange gossip or just genuinely wants to add value to you and your business in the future. The slow burn can still be as heart-warming as an instant flame.

 

Some of my best friends in the world were originally met over a coffee, those friends I would go to the ends of the earth for! I know from experience, I’m more likely to work with someone as a priority if they have given me the time of day when they didn’t need me or the service I offer!

 

It’s a very small world, and hospitality is even smaller.

By Daniel Franklin
 

Search Consultancy is a specialist in sourcing and placing a variety of positions within the hospitality and catering sector including chefswaiters and hotel management.

We also pride ourselves on guiding our candidates and clients through some of the most important issues surrounding the industry. So if you would like to grab a coffee with one of the team please contact a member of the Search Hospitality & Catering team in your nearest England office.