This is something I learned the hard and awkward way. Read the whole blog.
Do not ask someone out of the blue to "go to lunch so you can ask them questions". Do not ask someone to let you "pick their brain over coffee". Do not ask someone to do you any sort of favor when you first meet them or approach them.... and lets be honest, when you do ask people to meet or grab coffee, lunch, beer, you're wanting something from them.
And lets get something else clear.... that's technically "ok" but it's all in the approach and the "why". We work in the music industry, it's a business, you should try and surround yourself with better people, soak up knowledge, get in the room with people who are really doing it day in and day out... but it's all about the purpose, your motive, and if you really are even ready for that sort of level in your career.
What you need to do is solve a problem for them.
This is the number one rule in sales. You have to find the problem within your industry, role, position, find the person you want to talk to, or sell to, and solve their problem. This is not creepy or sneaky.. this is good business. Solving problems for people is great. That's what all business is regardless of the industry.
For a lot of people who are high up in the business world or music industry, "time" is their problem. They don't lack resources or access to people, but they do lack "time" because everyone on instagram is hitting them up and saying... "hey bro I love your music, would love to grab coffee sometime".
Whenever someone sees this who is successful or has an actual career, family, life.. they cringe.. their stomach turns, you get the picture.
The truth within this is not that the person is mean or would not love to actually take an hour to drink coffee and have a conversation ...(that actually would be awesome to do everyday).. but most people who have built a career already have their resources tapped out. They have success because they have invested into people already and they can't magically add a new relationship or an hour to their day no matter how nice you may be.
So if we know "time" is an issue then figure out a way to add twenty minutes or an hour back to their day. Offer to take care of something they normally do, that you can do, find out who they work with and talk to those people about what they need done. It's a little bit of a pay it forward system, but if you want someones time who doesn't have any, you can create some in their life by taking care of something for them.
And let's be honest, we all have some extra time in the day. If you watched any sort of tv, movie, Netflix this week you had time. If you were on social media beyond using it for marketing and work you had time. If you went out to a party, a beer, or a show you had time. If you slept in, you had time. If you find what I am asking to be unrealistic or that you shouldn't have to give up your Game of Thrones party every week or your Facebook rant time.. just think about what you're asking of the other person when you ask them to coffee or lunch.
You're asking for them to give up something to hang out with you, you're asking them to give up something that is probably far more valuable then "your time". You're asking someone to go out with you, who they don't know, and "you" most likely will end the coffee or lunch time with an "ask", in which the person will have to then wrestle with how guilty they feel for how to get out of it because you put a burden on them.
Please, please, please stop asking people for their time unless you can help create more time for them.
Please, please, please start paying for their coffee, lunch, or time. That's a given.
Real life story....there was a guy who wanted to connect with an engineer one time in the music industry, and booked out two hours at the engineers studio and all he did was talk to the engineer for an hour instead of asking him to engineer. He didn't make him give up anything, he didn't make him give up a client or money or find an extra hour, the dude actually paid him for two hours so the engineer could take the extra hour to just chill. All this guy wanted was one hour in the room with this successful engineer and then he wanted to give him another hour to just chill, no working.
This is how you add value to someone, this is how you get to soak up years of wisdom for a very small cost on your end that can cut years off your journey if you're willing to apply it.
Are you staring to understand how to sell better? Are you starting to see how to connect better with the people you want to meet, hang out, learn from? There is no shame in trying to meet people and learn or asking people out to coffee or lunch, but there are good ways to do it and bad ways to do it.
Learn from my mistakes.
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