Networking on purpose
Are you looking for a business partner or a potential friend or long-term business partner, your goal is to get a better feel for compatibility.
Are they easy to talk to? Does the conversation sustain your interest? Do you get a sense that they’re trustworthy? Competent?
How will this person react when times are tough? What role will they play? Business development? Marketing?
Because you’re not planning to rush into a formal relationship, you don’t have to make any snap decisions; the main goal is to start the evaluative process and determine whether you’d like to spend time with them in the future.
Partnerships are long term plays so this will obviously take more than one lunch, dinner, meeting.
It’s a two way street so make sure you feel comfortable moving forward with the business relationship.