by: Daniel J. Rocca
Owner/Director of CreatiVerve
Marketing Consultation from the Local Coffee Shop
Make the correct choice for you, your company, service and product by taking the time to know the people involved outside of their surroundings.
Since 1995, members of the CreatiVerve team have been meeting clients and potential clients at area coffee shops. I initially preferred to meet clients at the coffee shop because I didn't have an office and I wanted the arrangement to be equal; no one sitting behind a desk and no one sitting in front of one. No office phone or company personnel to take the attention away from either side of the discussion. I continue to prefer the coffee shop for the initial client/provider meeting because there is no better place to learn about a person than at a neutral setting.
Our business is about people and to do our job correctly we need to know as much as we can prior to getting started. An office and its environment can be very misleading at times; it can also cause one to make unfair judgments prior to learning about the people involved. Standing outside the box, when the situation allows; I highly recommend meeting with people over a cup of something hot at a neutral setting.
This may also be considered "New School" in a modern sort of way. As the world continues to grow and self employment continues to rise, office space for some companies becomes more of a burden than a necessity. If you are one of the many who are doing business from your residence you understand why I say having a client meeting at your house is not a good idea; nor may it be appropriate. For this and other reasons having an office has its benefits but going to a coffee shop for a meeting gets you out of the office; which can be very refreshing and much needed.
How many times have you had dealings with a person that dressed beautifully, looked like the picture of health and wealth but the dealings went bad? How many times have you judged a book by its cover or a business because of its location? Getting to know someone outside of their space will give you reason to either go forward with that person or to move in another direction. The judgments or reasoning behind why or why not when it comes to business decisions should not be made because of the packaging of a person or company. I do believe that it would be a good philosophy to make those decisions based on a more balanced approach.
Although I consider the people involved and their personalities to be the most important reasons, the history and packaging of the people and business should also be a part of the determining factor of you deciding to move forward with a company. Everyone is not meant to work with or for everyone! We are all never going to agree with everything the other says or does. People are different and because of this there is always another option out there. Make the correct choice for you, your company, service and product by taking the time to know the people involved outside of their surroundings.
A coffee shop is as safe of a place as any (depending on its location and the people who frequent it - obviously) to meet with perspective clients, employees, employers, company representatives and friends. The setting is neutral and both parties have to make an effort to be on time and to be prepared. I also highly suggest that when time allows being there a little early and staying a little after to enjoy that cup of something hot; people watching can be a very entertaining experience as well. Although not for everyone, much can be learned from either side of the fence at a coffee shop meeting. Try it sometime, if you haven't already; who knows - you might even like the coffee!