The most powerful meeting that aspiring entrepreneurs or young professionals can have isn’t a job interview. It’s an informational meeting.
What’s an Informational Meeting?
An informational meeting is an opportunity to meet with someone you can learn from. It’s a great way to expand your network, increase your influence, and build your brand.
You could meet with someone:
- Who has or had your dream job.
- Who works with an organization that you want to learn more about.
- Who knows about an industry that you would like to explore.
- Who has experienced similar challenges you are facing.
- Who you connected with at a networking event or conference.
- Who attended a graduate school or program that you are considering attending.
- Who currently lives in a city that you’ve always wanted to move to.
How to Get an Informational Meeting
The best way to secure an informational meeting is to tap into your existing network. Your network includes your colleagues, family and friends, friends of friends, former professors, college alumni networks, social networks, people you’ve met at networking events and beyond.
Once you identify people to contact, send them a brief email. Introduce yourself, share how you came across them, and tell them a little about yourself. From there, ask for 15 minutes of their time for an informational meeting to discuss what you would like to learn from them.
Before the Meeting
Once you secure the meeting, prepare as much as possible. Learn as much about the person, their background, and their work as you can. Review any information about them on the Internet. Prepare great questions and have a goal of what you’d like to get out of the meeting.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.