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See and Be Seen

If you're in any kind of business that relies on your interacting with people outside of your office walls, the concept of "see and be seen" will be something you'll want to consider.

There are a lot of people with whom you may want to connect where a phone call or email contact may seem awkward. But a casual "see" at a coffee shop is organic. The conversation may be brief, but may be all you need to make a valuable connection.

There may also be people you haven't thought of contacting who may be very interested in what you're doing and could become quite valuable in your business. And that chance meeting at the coffee shop can have real potential.

As you think about your own "see and be seen" plan, here are a few things I have found to help me be successful:

1. Commit to at least one day a week. I like Mondays. Everyone (well, almost everyone) is fresh and ready to tackle the week. And they're making time for their coffee. The wear of the week hasn't set in yet. And, for me, starting my week this way is a great motivator.

2. Select a coffee shop or two where you are most likely to run in to people of benefit to you and your business. You may need to try out a few to make this determination. I like the variety of having more than one.

3. Arrive early enough to actually see people. I like the 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. hour. You can catch people picking up coffee on the way to work and also people there for scheduled coffee meetings.

4. Consider the time an investment in your business and use the time to organize your day or week. Think of it as time at your desk. Just a different desk in a different atmosphere.

5. Commit to the long haul. Every visit won't yield a "see." Some will yield several. It will balance out.

6. And, finally, remember that sometimes that value will be someone else's. Seeing you might help them. I consider those "sees" especially good.

The real key to success with "see and be seen" is in the follow up. Every interaction will have some value. You may get an appointment, it may have general networking value, or you may get to reconnect with a former client or colleague you haven't seen in a while. Determine the appropriate follow up (if there is one) and do it. How successful you are with the plan is up to you.

See you at the coffee shop!



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