Power of Persuasion: Where To Meet?

June 19th, 2008 by Frank Damelio

restaurant_tableWhere is the best place to meet if you want to establish and enhance relationships?  Your office? Theirs?

Neither.

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.

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5 Responses to “Power of Persuasion: Where To Meet?”

  1. peter caputa Says:

    Great article, Frank. However, I prefer to meet someone over a gotomeeting first before I commit to driving anywhere. Relationship is important. But, I want to gauge how serious someone is. And since my business is all over the US, it’s sometimes hard to pick a restaurant in between. :-)

  2. fdamelio Says:

    Peter Caputa, you make a great point. For my readers who want to understand how technology can be employed with respect to the power of persuasion visit Peter’s blog: http://www.pc4media.net/

    His tips have helped me immeasurably, and I will continue to count on them!

  3. Laura Briere Says:

    Frank, this is true – you and I shared one heck of a great breakfast at Bickford’s a few years ago and talked about almost everything except business. Having that great experience start our relationship is a large part of the reason we came to work together and trust each other so much – wouldn’t you agree?

  4. fdamelio Says:

    Agreed! It shows that sometimes the strongest business relationships are forged when you engaging non-business conversation. The “guidelines” to dining and doing business in Europe suggest NO BUSINESS talk for the first third and last third of the meal . . . maybe there is some logic in that.

  5. Scott Dezrah Blinn Says:

    So, when do you want to have lunch?

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