Going to a first time meeting with a client without visiting their company website or LinkedIn page is a business meeting no-no, according to one expert.
Cited by bizjournals.com, author and entrepreneur Thom Singer always researches the basics of a client before joining them at a function venue.
“Years ago that might have seemed like ‘stalking’,” he admits, “but now it is good business to know the basics about someone before you get to lunch.”
He advises not to bring up the subject of politics as this could cause tension in a conference space. Some people have very strong opinions and could be fast to “dismiss others who do not share their views”. If the conversation meanders towards a difficult topic, it’s important to stay respectful of differing views, even if this means meeting the client for a little longer than expected, reports thesunbreak.com.
However, it is still worth meeting face-to-face rather than over social media as this allows both people to create the foundation for a real relationship.
“I have a rule that I do not connect to people in Facebook or LinkedIn if I have not had a cup of coffee, a meal or a beer with them,” he said. “If we invest the time to have lunch or a beer, we are more apt to have the foundation to build a real relationship down the line.”