7 Reasons to Meet Your Client at a Neutral Location

parcs-american-diner-02 2The best place to meet with your client is at their office or work location. There is so much you can learn just by being in their workspace with their colleagues that it’s usually worth it to go to your client for a meeting. We have written a number of posts about why meeting in your client’s office is useful, and how you can leverage being in their workspace.

The exception, however, makes the rule. A neutral location can have advantages. Here are seven:

  1. It’s often less formal. A meeting at a restaurant or a café or an industry conference is usually a more informal environment than an office. It’s a more personal experience that can be more conducive to starting a relationship.
  2. Your client will be less distracted. The office has lots of reminders of things they need to get done, not to mention the possibility of interruptions by co-workers for tasks unrelated to your meeting.
  3. It’s geographically desirable. It can save you time to meet at a place that works for them and is nearer to a place you have to be anyway.
  4. It might imply a higher level of commitment. Rather than just being in their office when you come by, your client is making an effort to meet you.
  5. You can pick up the check. Everyone likes to be treated.
  6. It’s easier to leave. If the meeting turns out to be a waste of time, it’s easier to depart when you’re not being hosted by your prospect in their space.
  7. Because your prospective client also knows it’s easier for them to leave as well, it may be easier to get a yes to your request for a meeting, (It’s a lot easier to drink your coffee and go than it is to get a tenacious salesman out of your office.)

Like anything the right decision is contextual. Yes, in general it’s better to meet at your client’s office, but there are reasons that make an offsite preferable. The key is to get face to face with your prospective client. Where you are face to face is secondary.

The ideas from this post come from Never be Closing. We hope you found them useful.

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Hurson and Dunne do an admirable job of equipping sales professionals with effective strategies… from creating scripts and establishing credibility, to securing the meeting and setting criteria. They show how to capitalize on every step from the waiting room to small talk, maximizing opportunities to learn about a potential client and their needs. These easy-to-apply principles and tools help deliver real value to prospects and increase the odds for sales success.
   --Publishers Weekly, April 28, 2014