I’ve been experimenting with a business development strategy recently, and it has proven to be highly effective. I call it “Supper Club.” The concept is simple: Make a list of a dozen local clients, prospects, and referral sources and invite them to join you for dinner at an upscale restaurant. Assuming you invite compatible people, the evening will, at the very least, be an enjoyable way to deepen some of your key relationships. But if you want to maximize the business potential for all involved, follow these 5 steps:
1. Make sure there is plenty of referral synergy throughout your guest list.
2. When you send out your invitation, list the invitees. The guests will be much more likely to attend when they see names, titles, firms, and companies of interest.
3. On the evening of your Supper Club, seat your clients next to your prospective clients. Inevitably, the subject of your services will come up, and your client’s endorsement will go a long way toward encouraging your prospect to engage your services.
4. Keep the wine flowing. It’s an excellent catalyst for camaraderie.
5. After the waiter has taken your order, but before the food arrives, switch up the seating. That way your guests will make more connections, and no one will be stuck next to the same person all evening.
Every time I host a Supper Club using these five steps, I have a great time and I generate new business, both for myself and for others at the table. I recommend that you host one for your key contacts. You’ll find that it’s a smart way to turn dinner into dinero.