We are all in support of thinking creatively when it comes to building relationships with our network of clients and candidates. There is, however, a huge gap between thinking outside the box and scaring clients with your crazy suggestions.
Recently we read an online article titled “12 Unexpected Places to Host Great Client Meetings” (http://www.openforum.com/articles/12-unexpected-places-to-host-great-client-meetings ). The twelve suggestions made by the article author puzzled us to say the least.
Here are the ones that really stood out:
Umm, really? I am trying to envision a business in which it would be acceptable for any of our staff, myself included, to propose to a client that we meet up at a spa. No professional milieu comes to mind. And how does one have an actual business meeting at a spa? Do we chat while getting couple’s massage or do we catch up in between treatments while we are lounging in our bathrobes in the tearoom? Or would the sauna be a more appropriate setting for a professional discussion? I can only imagine calling up any of my clients to suggest we go to a spa together and can already envision the awkward silence on the other end of the phone line.
A “greasy-food diner”, as the article’s author so eloquently puts it, does not sound wacky as the suggestion above. It does, however, sound cheap and does not scream classy. Unless we are talking a funky New York City style diner, but then it is simply another option on the list of restaurants to which you could invite your client.
Are we even allowed? There is something weird about taking up space that is used for other purposes. From what I know, even university professors need to reserve space and obtain permission. If anyone off the street can show up and decide to use it for a meeting, it seems a tad bit weird and almost inappropriate.
4. Outdoors (“around a large fountain”) or in a park.
This could be a cool idea for a staff meeting on a nice summer day. A client meeting though? I think suggesting this to a client would come off as being unnecessarily familiar and … umm, once again cheap.
5. Client’s House or Your Home.
Oh wow. Where do I even start commenting on this one? I guess it all comes down to your profession. No further comment.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to the image you want to project to your clients. Some of the above sound as borderline inappropriate propositioning. So, to all of our clients reading this – rest assured, we will not be “thinking outside the box” any time soon.