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How to Use Breakfast Meetings to Meet More Prospects Face-to-Face

by Bill Cates
How to use breakfast meetings to meet more prospects face-to-face

I was speaking with my colleague Gail Goodman ( about how difficult it has become to get through to prospects and get them on the telephone.


Gail said, “The newest mantra of our society is ‘If I don’t already know you, and you’re not in my phone, I don’t want to know you.’ How does an industry dependent on getting new clients survive with this thinking?”


Knowing that the straightest line to relevance with a new prospect is an introduction from someone they already trust, our conversation turned to ways we see our respective clients get more introductions.


The operative word here is introduction. Even referred leads don’t work very well anymore. Your client can say, “Call George, just use my name.” The problem with that is that George won’t answer his phone if he doesn’t know who we are. In fact, he’s probably thinking, “Why did Susan give my name out to this guy?”


Gail told me about one of her coaching clients who is using breakfast meetings as an easy and educational way for her clients to introduce their friends and colleagues.


Liking this idea, I’ve asked a number of my own coaching clients and discovered others using a similar formula.  So I’ve put together a bit of a “recipe” for you to follow.  Feel free to be creative and adjust this strategy to make it work for you.


The Business-Building Breakfast Recipe


4 clients

4 guests

1 knowledge expert


  1. Invite up to four clients to invite one of their friends or colleagues to this educational breakfast. This means a total of 10 people at the most; 4 clients, 4 guests, your knowledge expert, and you. Of course, either you or one of your clients could qualify as the “expert.”

  2. Have the educational piece run about 20 minutes, plus questions. The entire meal and meeting will be about 60-75 minutes.

  3. Always follow up after a breakfast with everyone who attended; with your clients to make sure they found it helpful and to gauge the interest of their guest. Then with the guests to see if they’d like to meet 1:1. And with the center of influence to see how you might further their relationship with the attendees.


Says Goodman, “Your COI is now in your debt. You introduced her to 8 solid prospects for whatever she brings to the table. It can be a PR or branding expert, a marketing guru, a tax accountant or attorney, or it can be someone who specializes in employee issues).”



An Alternative to an Educational Breakfast


Another twist on this Educational Breakfast came from one of my coaching clients, Lisa. Lisa hosts a monthly “networking breakfast” for a small number of her clients, solely for the purpose of connecting everyone.


She invites her clients who are professionals and small business owners to get them together with others with whom there might be some business synergy.


During the breakfast, each person gets time to describe their business and then the group just looks for ways to help each other. Sometimes they end up doing business together and sometimes they become strategic partners. 


Lisa, of course, gets to meet more potential prospects for her business. Since she is the person organizing these events, everyone gets to know her and learn about her business.



Breakfasts are preferred over lunches because they are:

  1. Faster
  2. Cheaper
  3. Take place before the work day gets started.



Thank you, Gail Goodman for stimulating this idea. Check out how Gail might help you create more effective phone conversations with clients and prospects:



What creative ways are you employing to meet more prospects in person? (I really want to know!)


What works for you? Or what questions to you have? I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave your comment below.  We can all learn from each other. Thanks!



P.S. Don't Keep This a Secret!

Referral Coach