Hi -

I have listened to the build a network cast - and I am probably being dense, but I am having trouble with how to make the initial contact with someone new (and senior) to have an initial coffee, etc. I have been using the recommendations from the podcasts to restart / warm up my current network and its been working great. But this first contact with someone I don't know is a challenge.

I had coffee with someone in my network who knows someone 'person X" that  I have been wanting  to meet and build a relationship with.  He said 'you should and person X should talk'. Great - now what?

I am fine with making a phone call or email - but what do I actually *say* to ask this person (they are the CEO level at a different company, I am a Director - Manager of Managers) for an initial meet up?

"Hi, I was talking to <mutual contact> and he thought we should get to know each other, I would love to buy you a cup of coffee and chat' - I am in full 'give first' mode.  

this sounds lame to me.

I checked LinkedIn at it turns out I have 10 or more mutual contacts with this person. Should I ask one of them for a personal intro?

Any guidance would be much appreciated.  



Gk26's picture

 I recently did something similar and it  worked. The following is the exact quote, minus the salutation and thank you + my name.


After reviewing your profile on LinkedIn, I see you have followed a career path similar to the one I hope to follow. I am looking for ways to gain the experience and knowledge needed for the next step in my career. Would you be willing to share some of your experiences in order for me to better understand your role and ones similar to it? I could meet you sometime for coffee or lunch if it is something you would have time for. 

VPfreedude's picture

 The easiest thing would be to ask the person you had coffee with to follow up and arrange that coffee or lunch with Person X.


The other way that I have used in the past is quite simple and similar to the poster above.  I just called the person I wanted to meet.  I got thrown a little at first when assistants would pick up the line rather than going directly to voicemail so be aware of that possibility.  Once I got on the phone or voicemail I just stated who I was, where I worked and what I wanted.  I wanted to introduce myself because our paths in business were likely to cross and could I buy you a coffee to introduce myself.

I would say it worked out with a personal meeting about 70% of the time for me.  Remember the podcast advice aren't asking for anything here other than maybe to stay in touch.

And don't wait too long to initiate contact...if you put it off it will never happen.  I also learned even the guys who didn't call back weren't offended that I tried and often a lot of them appreciated the effort as I eventually met a lot of them as my career progressed.

Best of luck!