Sales Moves

How is a cup of coffee like a sale? When it’s with a customer!

February 7, 2014
Text Size:

I like coffee. Dark, black coffee. Espresso. No cream. No sugar. Just dark, black coffee. You?

But I look at coffee differently than you do. I don't “wake up and drink it.” I venture out to a coffee shop and an early morning meeting, and — oh, by the way — I have coffee.

My goal each day is to have an early morning cup of coffee with someone who can help me enhance relationships, make connections, build value and make sales. As a traveler, I can’t do this every day. But I try my best to do it as often as I am able.

A meeting is a brand-new way to look at the value of a cup of coffee. You may look at coffee as a cost or an expense. To me, coffee is an investment of time. It’s not “how I drink it.” Rather, it’s “who I drink it with.”

Key point of understanding: Whenever I meet someone for coffee in the morning, I find the meeting is relaxed and fun. It’s a genuine exchange of information, always informal and humorous. And it’s usually with someone I do business with or could do business with.

I try to have these meetings early — very early — between seven and eight in the morning. Sometimes I have two breakfasts, one at seven and one and eight.

Often my appointments meet each other, so it becomes an additional networking opportunity. Many of my customers, prospects and connections have done business with my other customers, prospects and connections.

Personal note: When I'm done with my coffee and my meeting is over, I get back home as fast as I can so I can take our young daughter to school by nine. And no, I can't do it every day, but that is the goal every day.

Think about the impact of that: a sales call before the day starts.

Here’s how that idea applies to you:

If you have one cup of coffee a day with a customer or prospect, that’s equal to 250 sales calls this year that will be relaxed, build relationships, make sales, gain referrals and create business opportunities. Coffee and sales — not just coffee.

What could you do with an additional 250 meetings, appointments, or actual sales calls? How much extra income would that convert to? How much quicker could you advance your sales cycle?

My wallet is pulsating just thinking about it.

“But Jeffrey,” you whine. “My customers are scattered all over the country.”

Quit whining and start thinking: Drink coffee at your desk with a connection via Skype or Send Starbucks gift cards via It’s so unusual that customers will set the meeting and then talk about how innovative it was.  

“But Jeffrey,” you whine. “What do I talk about during the meeting?”

Talk about anything but business at the start of the meeting:

  • Talk family.
  • Talk kids.
  • Talk hobbies.
  • Talk sports.
  • Talk vacation.
  • Talk travel.
  • Talk fashion.
  • Talk books.
  • Talk movies.
  • Talk culture.
  • Talk passion.
  • Talk ideas.
  • Talk social media.

Ask questions that allow you to ask more questions. No news, no weather, no politics, no religion, or anything negative about people or things.

“But Jeffrey,” you whine. “What tone should I set inside the meeting?

How to say it:

  • Talk positive.
  • Talk truth.
  • Talk relaxed.
  • Talk about things in common.
  • Talk humor.

“But Jeffrey,” you whine. “What sales tools should I bring?”

Tools make sales fast and easy:  

  • Bring a referral.
  • Bring a book.
  • Bring an idea.
  • Bring an influential friend.
  • Bring your Instagram on an iPad.

Remember and memorialize:

  • Take notes.
  • Take a photo.
  • Ask for his or her favorite quote, book, movie, team, player.
  • Make another appointment at the end of the meeting.
  • It’s under five bucks.
  • It doesn’t interfere with your workday.

“But Jeffrey,” you whine. “When do I start talking business?”

When the customer brings it up. Talk business when they start talking business.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. His “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling” is available as a book and an online course at For information about training and seminars, visit or email Jeffrey personally at

Recent Articles by Jeffrey Gitomer

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus