How is a Cup of Coffee Like a Sale? When It’s With a Customer!

How is a Cup of Coffee Like a Sale? When It’s With a Customer!

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

How is a Cup of Coffee Like a Sale? When It’s With a Customer!

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 that 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 at eight.

Oftentimes 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 my with 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 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?
Talk positive
Talk truth
Talk relaxed
Talk about things in common
Talk humor

“But Jeffrey,” you whine, “What sales tools should I bring?”
Bring a referral
Bring a book
Bring an idea
Bring an influential friend
Bring your Instagram on an iPad

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.