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Contributor
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎07-30-2010

Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I go to quite a few networking events as part of my volunteer activities. I seem to be a target for people who want to sell something - financial planning, life insurance, Mary Kay, consulting services, Ambit, you name it.

 

It's always a request to go for a drink/coffee/meal to get to know each other. But I'm pretty sure I know the real reason. I don't need anything. I've been turning them down by saying lets chat more at the next event.  Then I avoid the next event! 

 

My friend said she never turns anything down - it might lead to a good friendship, connection or new job. Hubby says to ask what the purpose is and just say no!

 

What do you think? How do you handle something like this without feeling awkward the next time you run into someone? Or should I go? Would love to hear your thoughts. TIA!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,341
Registered: ‎04-19-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I have turned down events like this, mostly becuase I don't want to go and I don't want to give the seller false hopes.  I am honest, though, and say thanks, but I am not interested in the products.   I don't think these types of "meetings" lead to friendships or jobs; just pressure and wasted time.


-- pro-aging --


Rochester, New York
Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,235
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

[ Edited ]

I think everyone gets these type of invitations in the mail, mostly investment brokers inviting you to a FREE meal at all sorts of restaurants and/or country clubs, just another sales pitch, and my DH & I have never and will never go!Smiley LOL

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,491
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch


@ForumOlivia wrote:

 

My friend said she never turns anything down - it might lead to a good friendship, connection or new job. Hubby says to ask what the purpose is and just say no!

 

 


 

I agree with this if you need a wider circle of friends and acquaintances for these purposes (now or possibly in the future).  

 

I think if you approach it with that intent, it can be mutually beneficial.  But if you're not into that, then keep doing what you're doing.  Don't force yourself to go somewhere with someone if you don't feel like it.  While it could turn out great, why go through the angst to get there.

 

I like the way you are handling it.  So what if you didn't attend the next event.  What I say to people at the gym where I go is "see you next time" and leave it at that.

===================================
QVC Shopper - 1993

# IAMTEAMWEN
Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I say I am not intertested and hang up. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,490
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I avoid most all of those invitations. It's a networking event for them, too. To make a sale, later.

 

Interesting because the younger generation tends to use Linkedin to make connections for jobs, etc rather than to attend face to face get togethers.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 68,924
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

Since you go to these meet and greet events to meet people, then get upset when they call you later, I think I'd quit going to them. I don't understand why you go to begin with if you resent people following up with you.
New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Contributor
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎07-30-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

You totally misinterpreted my question. I am not upset or resentful. My organization asked me to attend to answer questions if anyone is interested in our work. I like doing this for them and I like meeting people. I was just curious how others react to invites under the guise of a friendship when it's really just for a sale.

 

Thanks to those of you who gave advice, it is appreciated!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,112
Registered: ‎12-08-2014

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I believe honesty is the best policy.  I'd just come right out with it and ask "Is this a social invitation or do you want to sell me something?"  If the answer is "I'm selling something you might like"; I'd smile and say "Thank you but I already have everything I need now" and I'd walk away.  Some people are very social and they don't care why someone asks them to have coffee or lunch; they just like to talk and meet new people.  I agree with your husband on this. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,217
Registered: ‎04-28-2010

Re: Networking and Invitations for Coffee/Lunch

I've attended (with friends) a few of those invites.  The sales pitches were a bit too time consuming (and boring), so it really wasn't worth it to me. 

'More or less', 'Right or wrong', 'In general', and 'Just thinking out loud ' (as usual).