There are plenty of people outside of the corporate world that think that entertaining clients over drinks or a cigar are done. This could not be further from the truth as many people want to do business with someone they like on a personal level. Plenty of services and products are very similar so besides pricing the relationship between the client and sales person or client manager helps companies gain an advantage. While certain things like etiquette for these outings has changed a bit, the main goal of them is the same. The following are some new ideas for client outings as well as some classic with bonus advice for each situation.
The most important thing you can learn about a client is what they enjoy doing. If your client is constantly posting gun control type posts it might not be wise to invite them out to the gun range. Do your research via social media and even see if they are registered to vote for a certain political party before reaching out and inviting them. If you have multiple firearms offer to bring one for them to shoot. This can be a great way to teach a client or simply impress them with your sharpshooting or have a laugh due to both of your targets not being hit at all! Make sure to buy ammo before getting to the range as bulk ammo is far more affordable than the marked up ammo at any gun range.
There are a few different types of fishing trips that clients can go on. The deep sea fishing charter is a favorite for many especially if you live in a location like Florida or near an ocean. Another good idea is to rent a boat and throw a few lines out then have a few drinks. This can be quite relaxing and many people get nervous about fishing offshore 50 to 100 miles due to watching too many movies. Spearfishing is another way that you can entertain a client as it is a new experience and is not too difficult to learn. For some locations this will take being certified in scuba diving but in more shallow spots free diving can be done by proficient swimmers.
The fancy dinner has helped foster business relationships for hundreds of years. Every company has a certain restaurant that they take their best and most valued clients out to when they come in town for a meeting. Savannah is extremely famous for its incredible seafood so indulge your clients with one of the best meals in town. The client you take out can have as much to drink as they will want but make sure to keep yourself and other staff if attending in check. A drunk client is never the end of the world but a drunk employee can ruin a longtime business relationship in a matter of minutes.
Out To The Clubs
The startup millennial loves going on business trips as they know they will be entertained on another company’s dime. For certain ages it is a certainty that the clubs in the area or the popular nightlife area will be visited at least once. This does not mean that you have to take the client to the most expensive and exclusive club in the city. If they are not familiar with the city take them to a spot that you or staff is familiar with that will also not disappoint. Most clients will know when to call it a night but there will be some that will not know when the party ends. In these cases it is either your job or a younger staff member’s job to keep the party going. There will always be that one guy in their mid-20’s that will jump on the chance to show a client around town on the company’s dime.
The entertainment of clients is generally something that many business owners enjoy but there will be cases where a client simply is not likeable. This does not mean their money isn’t something you want so fake a smile and force a conversation. Take the time to build a relationship doing the above activities in order to make sure a long term contract or agreement can be reached. Businesses that retain a majority of major clients year after year become household names in a matter of years.