During any given day I get A LOT done. I know I am not alone here. Answering emails, delegating business, managing clients, creating original content and promotion is only the tip of the iceberg. Aside from a successful staffing and production operation I run, I also write movies (even starring in them), write and play songs, podcasts, interviews and blogs – among a myriad of other work. (Editor’s note: this article was originally written in 2017)
Sometimes when dealing with a brand new contact (maybe an old colleague or even friends) they will suggest an offer to me that I almost always refuse:
‘Let’s chat over coffee’.
I am going to come out and say it: Most times, physical FACE TO FACE meetings are a total waste of time. How can I say that? Over 15 years of industry experience.
This article is NOT to say meetings in general are not effective. They are. Meetings are required for strategic planning and development as well as essential to collaboration.
Meetings are highly fundamental and I am totally willing to meet anyone: via Skype / Zoom / FaceTime or anything that works well for you. There are many options.
(A physical meeting isn’t one of them!)
YES we can still have coffee. As a potential client or colleague, I want to talk to you and hear you – in the most streamlined effective way possible.
You have a coffee, I can have one, from our own offices/homes, while over the phone (phone call) or digitally face to face. Of course we can discuss further – without having to meet physically. Obviously some potential clients rightfully ‘want to see how you are looking,’ so it is optimal to grant them FaceTime or Skype time. (It works perfectly!) Some businesses make effective use of technology like ip phone systems to communicate both with their clients and internally – such a system helps keep them in line with the latest trends that modern businesses around the world are adopting to make their operations more efficient.
I am going to explain to you how you can cut these pointless meetings out of your life while being professional and courteous.
Be firm and be honest with clients. Actually, many are impressed by my stance and some are even thankful that I am not wasting THEIR time with pointless run-arounds either. We’re ALL busy. Making these ground rules for your business also helps weed out people who “just want a meeting,” or worse, those who want to pitch you when you’re trying to pitch them.
Early on in my career I used to eagerly take every meeting, running myself thin. The final straw came when I met someone in 2016 with a serious business proposal, only to be pitched by the person I was attempting to pitch.
How dare he?
Anyone who wastes precious time almost certainly never gets another meeting, and I always remember who wastes my time.
It was late 2016 I lamented to one of my best friends how a decent portion of my meetings amounted to me drinking soda water (I don’t even drink coffee) … and little else.
“Drinking Soda Waters” Became our new running joke: for total time wasters.
Yes. I have wasted time “drinking soda waters”. I wrote this article so that hopefully you never get your time wasted in another meeting, ever again! Remember: sometimes people just want to be seen in public with you and they have no intention whatsoever of conducting serious business.
WHY ARE “Coffee” MEETINGS MOSTLY POINTLESS IN 2017?
Time management is an exceptional skill. It enables one to be super productive. Equally essential is choosing what to spend your valuable time on. Eliminating pointless face to face meetings saves you (and your invitee) travel, gas, TIME (most important) and peace of mind. Simply put: We have other options now.
THE EXCEPTIONS – When I WILL Take a Meeting:
Of course I still accept meetings with existing clients. The clients who are already paying for my business. I also will go out of my way to meet with family and close friends.
My productivity and international business successes are a direct result of highly effective time management coupled with strategic planning.
Having said that: No. I will not meet you “for soda waters/coffee”, or anything of the sort. We can call, we can message and we can have Facetime or Skype, but we do not have a meeting.
It’s all about respect!