7 Ways To Wow A Client
You did it! The client you’ve been working on for months finally agreed to meet you for lunch. Now, you’re wondering just how you’re going to WOW them during an hour-long business lunch. Read below for the 7 ways I like to leave a lasting impression:
Select the Right Place
It doesn’t matter if the restaurant you pick has the hottest up-and-coming chef or is the new “it” location. If the acoustics are terrible, the conversation won’t even matter. Instead, select a restaurant that delights all the senses. Yes, the food must be excellent – but also pick a place where the light isn’t jarring and you can actually hear your dining companion above the music. Drive to the location in advance and check it out during lunch to see how chaotic it all is. (Pro Tip: While you’re there, select a table that will be most conducive to conducting business and make friends with the hostess.)
Know Your Stuff
You want to be seen by your client as a person “in the know” – a person of authority. So, learn a little something about the restaurant you selected. Maybe the chef was once on Iron Chefor maybe the restaurant is known for its mussels. Find something of interest and share your knowledge. It’ll show your client that you’re someone who does their research and prepares for meetings.
You’ve got a limited amount of time to make a solid impression, so you’ll want to keep interruptions to a minimum. By pre-ordering some house specialties, your guest(s) will have something to nibble on while they listen to your pitch – and you won’t be constantly interrupted by service.
Make It About Them
I know, I know – you have a lot that you want to get across. You have a great product or service – and you want them to know “all the things”. Temper that urge to share for a moment and start the conversation off by making it all about them. Make yourself ask at least 5 questions about them before you dive in to what you want to talk about. (Warning: Make these conversational! Nobody wants to feel interrogated.)
Let the Server/Chef Choose the Meal
Nobody knows the restaurant like the people that work there. So, suggest to your guest that he/she have the chef choose the meal. This bold move adds a little mystery and excitement to the meal and allows you to focus their attention more on the conversation and less on the food.
Pay for the Meal
Better yet – PRE-pay for the meal. You don’t want any distractions when it matters most! If you’re in the middle of a pitch and you’re presented with a bill, what happens? Suddenly, everyone is digging in their wallets for a credit card and you’ve lost their attention. Avoid this crucial flub by providing the hostess with your card before your guest arrives.
Tip Valet (In Advance!)
Last impressions matter just as much as first. Take care of the valet charges and your client will stress less about digging in their wallet for a couple of bucks and instead spend their drive pondering what a thoughtful, well-planned, prepared & knowledge professional you are.
Now go get ‘em!