Connecting: Invest just 10 minutes with me

Alana Muller, Bizwomen columnist

It's been a pleasure

Not long ago, I visited with my buddy, Brett Daffron, Community Bank President of Commerce Bank where he oversees business banking for the North Region of Kansas City.

As we waxed about the ins and outs of building professional networks, Brett shared with me a direct mail marketing campaign he and his team implemented a few years ago. Here’s what the piece said:

How About Investing Just 10 Minutes with Me?

A great professional connection can start with a cup of coffee.

Dear Alana,

I’m sure someone is always asking you to lunch. But that’s a big time commitment – especially for someone you don’t really know yet.

So let’s grab a quick cup of coffee instead; no drawn-out meeting to disrupt your day. I want to get to know you and your business needs. And by getting out of everyday routines, we may just discover opportunities you’re not currently aware of.

I know it takes time and work to earn your confidence and create a relationship. But it can all start with a cup of coffee.



When asked what the intent of the campaign was, Brett had this to say: “My team and I recognize that our current and prospective clients are busy professionals in their own right. We want to do everything we can to build solid, trusting relationships and help them to be successful without being a burden on them or their time.”

As someone who is asked to get together quite frequently, what a breath of fresh air it would be to receive an invitation like the one Brett shared. It demonstrates that the person making the overture a) wants to get to know me, b) doesn’t want to take a whole lot of time, c) would like to uncover ways he/she could be of service to me, d) recognizes that relationships are built over the long term and e) is willing to start small.

Alana Muller is a networking speaker, workshop facilitator, coach and author of the book, “Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking” and a companion blog, Her immediately actionable approach to professional networking has helped thousands of people formulate a strategic mindset around networking while creating a game plan to get out there and connect. Connect on Twitter: @alanamuller

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