Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coffee Perks

I’m a serial dater, a bona-fide serial coffee dater. It makes perfect sense. I mean I am the Sales Barista!

A while back I was challenged on an invitation I extended for a coffee date. Denied! I was told coffee is just that – “coffee” a pick-it-up-and-go or brew-it-at-home beverage. Oh how my heart was ripped out! For the love of coffee beans, it’s so much more!

So I forced myself into self-reflection: Why do I prefer coffee dates versus any other kind of meeting?

I boiled it down to one main reason: coffee creates connections.

In this technology-ridden world, it’s a brief time to turn away from the smartphones and focus, engage, and connect with a “smartperson” in a relaxed and welcoming environment. It’s not professionally stuffy, it’s not yoga-pants casual, but instead it is perfectly brewed friendly.

Here are the coffee house connections you can capitalize on:

1. Caffeine. The most popular “drug,” caffeine, boosts energy and alertness when consumed properly. One too many espressos and you may trigger the jitters. However, when you get the dosage just right, it can connect you to a heightened sense of focus and awareness, a huge asset when meeting with prospects, customers, or friends.

2. Conversations. This is the main reason I connect with people over coffee, is because it forces authentic and genuine conversations. If I ask you to coffee, I’m looking to talk, listen, share, collaborate, and communicate together. One-on-one. It’s that simple.

3. Concentration. Laser-sharp focus. Meet in an office, conference room, or a home, and you are subject to interruptions. Meet at your favorite coffee shop and post-order you are left to your own devices. Most coffeehouse-goers are very respectful of not bothering their other smart brew-sipping neighbors. This allows you to dive into deeper concentration and be more productive in less time.

4. Creativity. I also make coffee dates with myself. It’s my creativity haven. I have my very own “Cheers.” It’s called Cast Iron Waffles. My favorite barista, Elsa, knows me, knows my order, and knows to leave me alone once I sit down at my bar stool, open my MacBook Pro, and put in my ear buds. It’s the environment that invokes my most creative juices. I connect, like most other creative types, to the aroma, buzz, and personality of a coffee shop.

OK, OK, so for those of you who may not love coffee, hopefully you are still reading. You may not love coffee shops. You may hate them (GASP!). That’s ok. This is what works for me. What else would you expect from a Sales Barista? The point isn’t to force yourself to make coffee dates if you know it doesn’t work for you. The point is for you to find your own special place to plan professional, personal, and solo dates where you can communicate and concentrate more effectively.

Uncover your place and you will begin to create a calendar with dates you look forward to. Uncover your place and you will begin to be inspired to create deeper connections with others. Uncover your place and you will begin to connect with the person who matters most - YOU!

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, please visit or contact the Michelle at Buy Gitomer via email at or by calling 704-333-1112.


  1. 2 guys riding in a truck = no conversation
    2 guys standing outside next to the truck, drinking coffee = 1-2 hours of conversation!

  2. Yep. I would much rather have a good conversation with a customer or friend over coffee than the hum-drum no fun meetings. Some people just don't understand how coffee can generate way more loyalty, than an iPad.

  3. Last time I was invited out for coffee, it was by a person who is looking for work and wanted to do some networking with me. I'm a real believer in building up "good karma" so was game to help out however I could. Despite him being unemployed, isn't it the ettiquette for the invter to buy the coffee? Ok maybe not a full meal, but at least a cup of joe? Moreover, he didn't even order one for himself, making me feel uncomfortable.

    Finally, do I somehow make him aware of this? His "thank you so much" email afterwards feels a bit hollow.

    1. Karen,

      I agree that normal etiquette would be for the invitee to pay. Since the guy is unemployed I would let it go. Money talk is uncomfortable for most people, especially for someone who is stretched thin, as I imagine he is. I would suck it up, smile, and be happy you are blessed to be on your side, able to help.

    2. Karen,
      I have been on that side of the table. Ugh it is not fun. It took alot of courage to to ask for the meeting. Buy them a coffee and let the karma work.

  4. Thanks Stephanie! The frothy goodness of a french press and meaningful conversation is top notch for me-the caffeine really does help. My coffee date with myself (a close second place) usually involves early morning hours, a splurge on a pastry, and several empty journal pages to fill :)

  5. I am a big fan of coffee and coffee shops,good ideas . Have you read the book entitled "Uncommon Grounds" by Mark Pendergast ? 550 pages on the history of coffee .I loved it. Thanks Java Jim

  6. Maybe someone of you could recommend me good coffee machine if I want to learn how to learn latte art? What do you think about this- kavos aparatai ? Maybe you can suggest me smth else?