Entertaining clients can be a tricky thing to get right as you need to judge what sort of thing they are likely to enjoy. Get it wrong and you might even lose the client. However, if you hit the right mark, then you are highly likely to win the client’s loyalty and that can lead to repeat business and even more orders for your firm. If you have any doubt about what your client’s tastes are, then why not simply ask? After all not everyone is the same. Here, we look at some of the most popular and tried-and-tested methods for successful client entertainment.
The Big Sporting Spectacle
This option is one that rarely shoots wide of the mark when it comes to entertaining a client. If you know that they follow tennis then tickets for Wimbledon would go down well. Equally, if your client is a Manchester United fan, then a game at Old Trafford is certainly likely be welcomed. Perhaps your client prefers rugby or three day eventing? Whichever their sporting preference, try to obtain access for you and them at a sporting event that you know they will enjoy. This helps to cement your relationship as they will undoubtedly know that you have personalised the entertainment for them. Corporate entertainment at most of the big sporting stadia can be laid on for you, which will mean that you can chat to your client without having to run around after them. If their team wins, then it can make for a special day that will come up again and again, rekindling the client’s relationship with your firm.
Taking your client to the theatre can be problematic unless you know what their tastes are. Sitting in the dark next to your client through a dreary play can be frustrating and you may only get a few minutes in the interval to talk about business. However, if your client is from overseas, and speaks little English, it can be a smart move. Ballet or opera, which is often not in English anyway, can be understood internationally and if you are based in London or one of the other bigger cities, there are usually productions that are aimed at tourists which will be suitable for a foreign client. Always check there is no adult content beforehand, however.
Try taking your client out for a meal. Make sure that you book in advance so that there is no awkward hanging around for a table to be prepared for you. This is a good idea if your client also has their spouse with them, as it means you can all sit together at a table within an equal setting. Make sure, however, that you don’t spend all your time talking business and push the conversation into other, more social areas. Steer clear of any controversial subjects, though.
Taking your client to a charity event where they can hobnob with celebrities and VIPs will appeal to many sorts of business people. This form of client entertainment can afford your guest a truly unique and enjoyable experience. Mostly black tie events, this form of hospitality helps to do some good as well, by raising awareness of certain issues as well as funds for a range of charitable organisations. To gain access to the right sort of event for your client, go through corporate entertainment specialist like Keith Prowse, who will be able to help you select the right one.
Watching sport is one thing, but playing it is another. Golf days still remain an ever popular means of entertaining clients. If you are out on the course for 18 holes, then there is more than enough time to get to know one another better in a social context as well as a business one. Corporate golf days can be organised just about anywhere, but are especially good if you want to network and invite lots of different clients to mingle at a single event.
About the author:
Miles is a recently retired business consultant, who now blogs and consults on an ad hoc basis.