Forums » Friday Polls

Friday Poll: How Often Do You Take Clients out to Lunch?

    • 1234 posts
    May 19, 2017 12:44 AM PDT

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    Here is this week's poll question:

    How often do you take clients out to lunch (or coffee)? Where do you usually go?

    Looking forward to reading your replies!

    • 51 posts
    May 19, 2017 5:14 AM PDT

    Happy Friday, indeed. And a happy National Pizza Party Day to boot. 

    This is not the kind of answer you're looking for, but I can't resist. This is a sizzling hot topic for some of us. 

    Before starting my own agency, I was not an account rep, but a creative director. And when I was a working in a station, account reps would frequently call me, acting like taking me to lunch with the client was some huge treat. In reality, when presented with The Client Lunch, many if not most copywriters would rather gouge out their own eyes with a grapefruit spoon. So here's a tip: don't drag your copywriters to lunch with clients unless there's a really good reason.

    For the overworked scribe toiling away in the dungeons of radio, there are precious few hours in the day as it is. If you need to meet with the client and with the copywriter together (which is a great idea if you want good, smart work), do it at the station over a conference table. It's more focused and more productive. For the introvert copywriter, lunch with the client is a good meal ruined. It takes the writer away from a pile of deadline-based projects (some of which could be yours), and is never a good strategy session because it's multi-tasking and lacks focus.

    On behalf of copywriters everywhere, I thank you. Lunch ho!

    • 61 posts
    May 19, 2017 9:28 AM PDT

    I generally have a rule of not socializing one-on-one with clients. I have in the past and it always ended up with expectations beyond what I was able to offer. That's not to say I won't talk to or see clients outside of sales. I just make sure it is an event of casual meeting, say, in a grocery store, at a Chamber mixer or such. My reasoning is I want my client to think only business when they see me. I believe it is easier for a friend to say no to a proposal than it is for the average business owner. 

    If I see a client at a restaurant, for example, I will say hello unless it appears it is more than a meal but will always wave or non-verbally say hello. I might even pay for their meal. 

    Don't get me wrong, my clients know me personally and I know them the same way but that knowledge is typically gained inside their business. My ex-wife used to be so frustrated at how long it took me to grab an item or two at the grocery store because I would see so many clients and talk to them briefly. She'd need something for something she was cooking and a 10 minute trip became 45 minutes. Pure frustration for sure! To me, these folks paid my salary and if they wanted to chat a few minutes, that took priority in my book. 

    I also had a rule that regardless of price, when I needed a product or service my client sold, I shopped exclusively with them. I felt if I earned my paycheck from them, it was only fair that I spent my paycheck there. So my clients saw me as a customer. 

    This post was edited by Bill Turner at May 19, 2017 9:30 AM PDT
    • 38 posts
    May 19, 2017 1:04 PM PDT

    Depends on the client. Some love investing the time in the relationship. Others are less inclined. There doesn't seem to be a correlation with renewals either way because in both cases I work to generate good results. Without good results, lunch doesn't matter much.

    • 80 posts
    May 19, 2017 1:35 PM PDT

    Less than once a month total in the past 12 months.  If you count coffee shop meetings maybe 15 and that includes short term clients.

    Yesterday I met with a media buyer from out of town who wanted to simply say hi while she was in town.  Today I met with a HVAC dealer that is part of a group spending $70,000 with me this year and we reviewed what we have been doing an brought her up to speed on what I'm doing for her in the future.  She also mentioned something that she wants to buy that will result in another $10k this year.

    If my client has an office, in order to make it easy for them, I visit them.  We are also in the middle of a remodleing project at our stations and once that is complete, I am more likely to bring people to the office.

    I like to surprise clients with gifts.  Not just around the holidays but other times too.  It could be concert tickets, gift cards, or something that I know they would like due to my conversations with them.

    My best clients I also have a friendship with.  None that are as close as my non-client friendships, but I am an open book and connect with them online with Social Media.

    I never try and overcompensate for a bad campaign with a friendship... instead we work hand in hand to create a successful campaign and that naturally leads to friendships.

    • 4 posts
    May 30, 2017 3:00 PM PDT

    Not many lunch or dinner meetings anymore but a coffee break meeting at a store like Panera or buy coffee and sweet rolls and bring it them to the meeting.

    I've also found that quite a few of my clients like a brief Skype or Facetime meeting. It's still kinda face to face and with client's having more on their plate and fewer employees

    it seems to work for them.