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Building a Relationship? Give Options for BOTH Coffee and Lunch

By August 27, 2018March 3rd, 2019No Comments
offer control to the other person by offering both coffe and lunch options -- showing inside of busy coffee shop

Carol, one of my clients, called today. She asked about how to invite a business acquaintance to lunch.

Before answering, I asked a few questions to probe a little bit about the nature of the relationship. I soon learned Carol did not know the person. Her goal was to build the relationship over lunch.

I suggested she offer both coffee and lunch options on different dates. In this way, you give the other person “control” over the time and level of commitment. Then, as you build and strengthen the relationship, you’ll be able to invite the other person to lunch every time.

Coffee is perceived as low risk for a “wasted time” and low commitment as the time could be 20 to 30 minutes. Lunch is perceived as a medium risk and a medium commitment of at least an hour. And most importantly, you HAVE to stay for the entire meal. You can’t leave after 20 to 30 minutes like you can with a coffee meeting.

Carol would be able to get to know this person better with coffee or lunch.

My tip then, always offer both a coffee and lunch option.


Photography Source:  Unsplash

Ira Koretsky

Ira Koretsky has built The Chief Storyteller® into one of the most recognized names in communication, especially business storytelling. He has delivered over 500 keynote presentations and workshops in nearly a dozen countries, in more than one hundred cities, across 30 plus industries. His specialties are simplifying the complex and communicating when the stakes are high. He is also an adjunct professor in public speaking and storytelling at the University of Maryland's Business School. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after storytelling coach, global speaker, trainer, consultant, communication coach, and public speaking coach.