Can I have 15 minutes to pick your brain?
Do you have time to meet me for coffee?
About ten times per week, I get variations of this particular email.
What these people have in common is they’re saying is:
Will you give me time for (free) business or career advice?
I have to say no (politely) to these people. I explain if I give away all my time to help people achieve their goals, I'd never get to my goals.
If you want a meeting, start by giving rather than taking. How do you align yourself with the other person’s mission or interest in helping?
This process takes some work. You must spend the time to understand what matters to your busy person. Good news is most of us tell the world what we care about by our words and actions.
That’s how you will get a busy first to schedule you. In many cases, you’ll get the advice or connection you want anyway. When you help others, they help you in ways you may not have even considered.
Footnote: There is a rash of people who send the "Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn! Let me know if I can be of any help to you at all." That's not what I mean. These people are again writing a "taking" email because they're asking me to do work for them. Doesn't count!