Wednesday, 30 December 2015

How To Choose The Right Cafe For a Coffee Meeting

Business Meetings over a cup of coffee can be one of the most productive and cost effective ways to secure new business

How to choose the right cafe for a coffee meeting

I have built my weekly networking business using this wonderfully simple method of doing business. It puts your clients at ease and allows for friendly and open conversation. A cafe is a safe neutral place to conduct business in a manner that is conducive to allowing you to explain your business to your prospective client, without them feeling pressured into making a buying decision.

I always allow at least one hour to have a Coffee Meeting, this allows time to get to know one another and to find out how you can be of assistance to them. Sipping coffee rather than eating is also easier to have a conversation around.

But how do you find the ideal cafe to conduct these important meetings? What should I look for? These are my 8 Tips......

  1. Easy to find parking close to the cafe. There is nothing worse than driving around for ages looking for an available parking spot causing you to be late for your meeting.
  2. Nicely decorated Cafe with comfortable chairs. I want to be comfortable when I have a meeting with a client. If you choose a comfortable cafe, this will help put your client at ease and they will greatly appreciate the effort that you have gone to.
  3. Friendly and attentive staff that know you and treat you with respect. I highly recommend that you have 2-3 cafe's that you visit regularly and take the time to introduce yourself to the staff and let them know that you have chosen their cafe to conduct your business. They will really look after you as cafe owners treat their regular clients with a great deal of respect and have a great attitude towards you and your clients. 
  4. Good Selection of Teas and Coffee. A lot of clients drink coffee, but there are still a substantial amount of people who enjoy a variety of quality teas and to cater to them shows your client that you are thinking of them. 
  5. Table Water and glasses when you first arrive. It is only a small thing but it does make a big difference. Your client will have probably had a busy day before arriving at your meeting. To be able to sit and have a glass of water before starting the meeting gives them time to stop, sip and gather their thoughts and relax a little before commencing the meeting. 
  6. Quiet space and room around the table. Having been brought up in the country, I always like to have a bit of 'elbow room around me'. It also allows people to feel that not everyone is listening to them and they can sit and relax a bit better without bumping into the person next to them. 
  7. Power point for your laptop. In a busy working day we are often 'on the run' and need to use our laptops for meetings or to catch up on emails or look up websites when we are away from home. Having a power point to recharge our laptop and mobile phone is a huge plus. I always carry a powerboard and extension lead in my laptop case for such occasions. This gives me the ability to use a power point that may be a little distance away from where I am sitting. 
  8. Wifi connection for your laptop. This is not essential as most business people that have mobile offices can 'hotspot' from their mobile phones, but it is definitely a plus particularly if you want to download information from the web. These cafes are a bit harder to find, but well worth looking for as they often do not advertise this service. It is well worth asking particularly if you are a regular customer. 
I have been involved in weekly networking groups for over nine years now and I learnt this method of doing business from my ex BNI Director Mr Dan Garlick in Tasmania. In nine years I have yet to find a better way of conducting business than a Coffee Meeting at a Cafe'.

Please share your your ideal cafe and why it is great for you. I wish you great success in doing better business by using this tried and true method.  Rose Gibbens: www.nrggroups.com.au

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