If you are a type of entrepreneur that likes to spend time with customers you probably have been to a lunch or a dinner with one of them getting information which will help you fine tune your services and keep the customer for a long time. Meeting with a client over a meal might seem like an easy and relaxing task but it's actually the opposite - you have to stay sharp all the time and keep things as smooth as possible. And always remember - this is work. So stay professional. Here are some tips on how to take your customer meetings up a notch:
1. The place - a good rule is to pick a nice place which you can use specifically for customer meetings. If you do it often, you can get familiar with the staff and develop a relationship with it, which is useful as the employees of the place can help you a lot when it comes to business meetings;
2. The server - once you know who is who in the place, you need to pick a server that does the best job in your opinion. The customer meetings are something very important so everything must be professional and under control. You don't want an unskillful server spilling drinks on your client, right?
3. Make reservations early - call 2-3 days in advance to pick the time, table and staff that you will need for the meeting. Do not make reservations calling the staff. Speak directly with the manager if possible. A day before the meeting, call to arrange specialties from the menu and other food specifications;
4. Food - you need to be ready for everything, so make 2 or 3 different choices for the meal. If the customer has allergies to certain foods, you need to be prepared.
5. Attention - arrange for the sommelier, server and even the manager to drop by once or twice during the meal and ask if everything is all right;
6. The bill - arrange the bills before the meeting, so everything is paid and you can exit whenever you want to. Also - don't forget to tip generously.
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