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 and 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.


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.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

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