Where is the best place to meet if you want to establish and enhance relationships? Your office? Theirs?
In many case the best place to meet is at a restaurant. There are two primary reason: 1) It’s neutral; 2) People enjoy eating; accordingly they will subconsciously associate that pleasant experience with you.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that dining out makes sense in building your business relationships. Just take a look at how much the pharmaceutical sales reps spend on taking their clients to lunch and dinner.
Keith Ferrazzi in his insightful book Never Eat Alone suggests that adding food to the mix when it comes to doing business helps facilitate relationship building. Dr. Kevin Hogan has studied this topic in detail and shares his findings in and audio interview with respect to what type of restaurant is optimal, selecting the right table, and positioning.
Persuasion goes beyond your people skills; environment is important as well. Next time you plan that meeting with a prospect or a client, be sure to keep these points in mind. They will serve you well.