This week someone paid $3,300,100.00 to have lunch with Warren Buffett.
Now that is an expensive lunch.
It was for a charity auction, in fact, it is the 19th time Warren Buffett has auctioned off lunch.
It got me to thinking about what questions I would ask Mr. Buffett. Figuring, this is your typical business lunch, I would have approximately ninety minutes to learn as much as possible from the Oracle of Omaha.
Most of us will never get the chance to have lunch with Warren Buffet. However, we will all have an opportunity to meet with people who could influence our careers and our lives. Every month, I talk with individuals who are looking for advice in their careers, or their leadership skills.
I hate it when people ask stupid questions, like how long have you been working at True Star Leadership? It means that they haven’t taken time to check my LinkedIn Profile or website (truestarleadership.com). Maybe it’s not stupid, just lazy.
For us to use the time wisely, we need to have a plan. Here are six things we should always do no matter whom we are meeting.
- Decide on Your Goal: What information or help do you need from this person to help you move closer to your goal? What is their expertise or area of interest that you want to utilize?
- Do your research: Learn more about the person you are meeting. Even if you just do a review of their LinkedIn Profile, at least get to know them. If they have a book, blog post, interview or website, check it out. The better you know them, the better questions you can ask.
- Be Prepared with Questions: Based on your goal and what you know about your subject, prepare some questions to start the conversational ball rolling. For instance, I once had the opportunity to meet Marshall Goldsmith, because I knew he had accumulated millions of airplane reward miles, I asked him his advice on how to make the best use of plane time. This lead to a conversation about time management and its benefits.
- Listen More: If you talk a lot, you will miss hearing the wisdom of the person who you are meeting and will not move any closer to your goal. Let them speak and carefully guide the conversation, so you get what you need.
- Act: In your meeting, most likely you will get advice or useful information that will help you be more successful. Take thirty minutes after the meeting to put the advice into action, even if it is just making a note to yourself about what you need to do the next day.
- Thank them. When you leave, thank the individual with whom you met. When you get home, send a handwritten thank-you note expressing your gratitude.
If I were paying almost $37,000 per minute to talk to anyone, I would want to get my money’s worth. Even if I am buying coffee for someone, I want to make sure I am using my time and their time wisely.
Good Luck Networking,
PS: I am always open to good conversation – click here to schedule time with me.