Reader Question: “Where to Meet for Sales Consults”

Q. How would you go about meeting clients if you don’t have access to office space? Meet for lunch somewhere maybe?

A. Let me preface by saying there is NOTHING shameful or wrong about having a home office. It’s energy efficient and widely accepted. So don’t make excuses for it and no on will have a question. However, having client meetings does become a challenge. Personally I do not like have a strangers up in my home.  So here are a few ideas:

  1. Talk to local caterers that may work out of a restaurant. Some of them have a small meeting rooms they use to reserve for business meetings during lunch hour. See if you can talk them into you using it for free and you can buy refreshments for your clients.
  2. Certainly coffee houses are very popular. Choose one that has space to meet and isn’t always jam-packed full of people (thank you Starbucks for never being empty). Don’t forget about local owned coffee businesses, not just the big chains.
  3. Are there any professional offices out there that rent just meeting rooms? Find out! It may be very cost effective.
  4. Talk to other vendors and/or businesses. Some may have large spaces that would have no problem you paying them for a meeting space (per meeting) or better for free.
  5. Upper class hotel lobbies sometimes can offer you a great area.
  6. Have they already selected their venue? Why not call and see if you can meet there! You are RIGHT in the space you’ll be working in.

What ever location you choose, make sure you can have privacy. You don’t want to be discussing someone else’s budget where someone else can overhear. And you want to have their focus and attention.

I never, EVER meet at a first sales consult during lunch at a restaurant. NEVER. If that is the only time they are available, I do not eat. I make an excuse or something. It’s just weird to me to try to talk and worry about food and plates, etc. I want to be on the top of my game and all of that ends up being a huge distraction, to ME! After they are my client … we can eat and drink anytime.

Personally, I also do not like meeting a libraries or other public, government venues. It does not reflect my brand, therefore it’s not on the list. Be sure you keep that in mind, especially if you are trying to sell “luxury” services in a boring, sterile environment. Doesn’t add up!

Happy Selling!