10 Tips For Building Client Relationships During Outings

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You never get a second chance to make a first impression! When taking a client or business associate out for a meal, you should always have proper etiquette on your mind. Etiquette, along with professionalism, will build a strong relationship with your client and may even aid in your sales with their company.

 Here are some tips to make sure your client outing is successful and professional:

– Always make a reservation – use both your name and your company name, as you do not know which name your guest will ask for at the reception desk.

– Plan to arrive 15 minutes early, so you are there to greet them.

– If there is more than one guest, do not sit between them or it will be like a tennis match during the meal, with you looking right, then left, then right.A

– Always stand when a new guest arrives.

– Turn off your cell phone.

– Bring writing materials – using a scrap of paper or a napkin is tacky and indicates you did not expect to do business.  And it is tacky to ask for a pen.

– Use proper posture at the table and do not lean on your elbows.

– Do not point, it is considered rude.  Especially the one finger point.

– If you drop your napkin on the floor, it should be left there and a new napkin requested from your server.  If you drop a utensil, you can pick it up if it is within reach, but request a new one from your server.

– Place your napkin back on the table only when everyone is leaving. The napkin should not be left on the chair.