The Rules for Grabbing Coffee

Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.

This blogpost was originally published on


Having coffee is essential to a successful career.  Meeting someone for coffee or a meal is a great way to make new contacts or reconnect with friends, colleagues and connections.

There are rules for a coffee meeting that are important to be aware of for successful networking:

  1. If you are asking someone else for coffee, the other person should pick a place and time convenient for him or her.
  2. Be on time.  Obvious I know.
  3. Offer to buy coffee for the other person.
  4. Pick a table or location where it is easy to hear the other person.  Tables in the middle of Starbucks or near the barista can be extremely noisy.
  5. DO ask for advice.  Everyone loves to talk about him or herself, tell you their story and provide advice.
  6. DON’T ask for referrals to people.  Generally, a person offers to make a referral.  A referral is currency.  People tend to make referrals for people who are strong connections where making a referral is helpful to his or her relationship with the other person.  A cold referral is meaningless and often puts the person you are having coffee with in an awkward position.
  7. DON’T ask people whom you don’t have a deep relationship with for referrals to investors.  It doesn’t work.  If you are raising money, get referrals from people who know you well, mentors, investors in your company, board members or company advisors.  If the person you meet likes you OR likes the concept of your company, they will offer to make introductions to investors during or after your meeting.

There are probably others and I will keep updating this over time.  Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted by

Nikesh Parekh

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Comments (7)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

OMG let me fall off my chair, great advice but what brings you back to this platform? Lot of . Ex.. Z & T people have been back lately commenting are you guys back to buying AR back or you just missed the camaraderie?:)))....Endre

Jul 18, 2016 03:30 PM
Nikesh Parekh

Ha ha.  Jon is right.  Not with Z, T, ML nor AR!  I am slowly getting back into blogging.  People ask me to grab coffee all the time, so I am getting to be a professional at drinking coffee.  I feel like everyone should know the basics.  If I bog, I may as well put it on AR to keep my profile fresh.  


How are things in the 'Rain?

Aug 08, 2016 01:44 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL

Endre Barath, Jr. - But Nikesh  is no longer with Z&T, I believe... And Ben wouldn't sell cheap. The difference between the guys is that one did not know what to do with AR, and the other one did... :)

Jul 19, 2016 01:35 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great advice, especially the part about referrals are offered, not asked for.

Jul 18, 2016 09:27 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Great rules. I had a meeting in a coffee shop just last week and we were careful to pick a table away from distactions and noise.

Jul 19, 2016 04:01 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Nikesh - Good to see you back here. Nice rundown of the coffee protocols - I'd only add don't slurp and don't spill :)

Jul 19, 2016 07:32 AM
Nikesh Parekh

Definitely no slurping!

Aug 08, 2016 01:46 PM
Kartik Subramaniam
Adhi Schools, LLC - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools

Great advice. I've conducted a lot of college admissions interviews in coffee shops, so I thought the seating location was a nice touch. Seems intuitive, but sometimes the first person to a location sits right in the middle so they can be seen more easily. It doesn't make the meeting pleasant.

Great advice on the referrals too. A coffee meeting with someone who isn't at that level yet without a referral request might turn into something. It can be pleasant and no one leaves feeling awkward. 

Jul 19, 2016 08:23 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Very funny comments loved Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL   & Dick Greenberg  comments, from one coffee drinker to another:))Endre

Aug 08, 2016 02:38 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I love it:) I'm having a lot of meetings like that, just for a cup of coffee and a friendly chat. 

Sep 05, 2016 04:53 PM