When it comes to wooing your client with your home business, you should take time to get to know them a little. One way to do this is to invite them to dinner. A delicious meal and a social atmosphere can be just what you need to break the ice with a new client or to reconnect personally with an old one. Here is how a successful business dinner should go.
When you want to take you client out to dinner, make sure that they are considered in the final decision.
If they have any allergies, you must accommodate them by going to place where they will not be left in a situation that makes them uncomfortable. Showing that you care about their needs can make for a great first impression. It could also be a considerate reaffirmation of why they do business with you to begin with you, which is because you have their best interests at heart.
If you say that you are going to be at the restaurant at a certain time, arrive early. If you arrive before they do, you can take the extra time to ensure that you are no located someone noisy or near a high-traffic area so that you talk business and hear each other without interruptions. Having them wait on you could also make them feel unimportant to you.
Depending on the restaurant, paying the bill ahead of time could be a good idea. If the client sees the bill, they may feel a bit nervous about the prices. You could have the staff run your card and add a tip percentage just before your client arrives or if you can step away mid-meal. This can leave you with the option to get the check just before you leave or have them mail it to you. These options will all depend on where you eat, though.
As it comes time to order items, keep your consumption somewhat balanced with that of your client. This means ordering similar items and eating at a similar pace. Follow your client's lead is the way to go with food orders and with light drinking. Things could get awkward if you finish your plate before they do.
Be courteous to the wait staff. If something arrives to your table that isn't that great, do not get angry or abusive towards the staff. Showing condescension and rudeness can show the client that this is how it is to work with you.
Adding some small talk in with the business talk while you eat can help you get to know or reconnect with each other personally. They will be also testing to see if you dominate small talk or if you listen well. Any major business talk is best reserved for the main course where wait staff tend to interrupt less.
Lastly, remember the important parts of your dinner and fulfill any requests your client made during the dinner. Nothing will hurt you and your business more than showing that you cannot follow through with promises and requests.
Connecting with clients is essential to a home business, and dinner is one of the best ways to do this. Take the time to make it an enjoyable experience for you both to build a better working relationship.