28 Dec Talking Business Over Drinks: Dos & Don’ts
Bars are places where many business deals have been closed. Meeting with your clients and other business associates to talk business over a drink takes away the office formality. People then feel more relaxed when talking business, but it can be a problem if you have a couple of drinks more than you should. When the alcohol hits you, there might be some disappointment when you sober up and realize that you made some pretty poor business decisions. Check out these practical rules for talking business over drinks.
Think Only About Business
Forget everything else. Whatever happens or is said aside from the business discussion does not matter and should be dismissed. The jokes, the spilled drink, the accidental insults, all are to be forgotten except the closed business deal. Discretion is very important, and that is the advantage of doing business in bars.
Forget That You Are In a Bar
Business deals are made in bars for they serve as neutral territories for both sides. Concentrate on the business, and let the bar do its magic and impose the atmosphere. You know what is the conversation topic. It is not the bar, its decorations, nor the variety of available drinks available. It is all about business, and should stay that way until the deals are closed and you step out.
Be the First To Arrive
Get there before your counterparts, because things should happen sooner than they expect. Doing things early gives you control over a situation. Also, respect the bar staff – hosts, bartenders, cocktail servers, and restroom attendants. You will feel much more pleasant in that kind of environment and gain confidence when feeling that the bar is a bit more yours than your associates’.
The Rule of Two
Do not sit at the bar if there are more than two of you. When three people sit at the bar, they are not able to jointly communicate. The person in the middle prevents those on the ends to get a good look at each other.
You are there to talk business, not to prove that you handle alcohol well. Weak drinks ensure strong positions. Spilling your drink all over yourself, bar, or table can be really humiliating. Drink beer from a bottle, so you will spill just a tiny bit if it happens that you miss your mouth. Of course, do not get yourself in that kind of a drunk state to miss your mouth when taking a drink. Order a serious drink, for you want to give an impression of a serious entrepreneur. Do not waste time on reviewing the menu or reading the bar chalkboard, but order a martini, whiskey, beer, something with soda or tonic in it, or some other liquor specials that you know they have. Never hesitate while ordering a drink.
Eyes and Posture
Did you know that longer eye contact (4-5 seconds) leads to greater liking? Never avoid looking the other person in the eyes. It is not the right way to do business. By doing this, you will give an impression of someone who is insecure, intimidated by something, or ashamed. Business meetings are a sort of (mental) confrontation. Square up, sit straight and keep your chin up. It does not matter whether the person you are meeting seems quite friendly, or formal and serious, you should always square up. Also, by sitting straight you show that you are not intoxicated by alcohol, and are perfectly competent for conducting serious business.
There is a difference by going out for a drink and to get drunk. Your primary concern is closing a business deal, and you need to stay sharp and on-point. It cannot be achieved by getting inebriated. Be moderate, well-prepared, and direct, and your counterpart will see you as a professional in your area of work. Drinks are there to loosen up a situation, but just a little bit.