This year I've been working on transitioning from the old cliché of "meet me in my office" to "let's get together for coffee." I'm finding that new clients are much more comfortable meeting with me in a more relaxed atmosphere where they feel more in control.
I have several options in Colorado Springs for great meeting places depending upon where in town my clients are most likely to be coming from. There is Serrano's coffee on north Academy with great coffee and comfortable seating, or of course one of the several billion Starbucks although I'm not happy with the lack of free Internet so it's not my first choice. Pikes Perk downtown is great but not many of my clients are in the downtown hub. My favorite however, has become one of several Panera Bread shops around town. They are strategically located, have fast free Internet, comfortable seating, great coffee, and best of all a new My Panera card to rack up points for free food!
The perception of getting trapped behind closed doors for hours in my office has been a challenging hurdle to overcome in getting that first connection with some of my new clients. The web driven new clients are the least likely to follow through on meeting at the office. My success rate has jumped exponentially when I offer to meet with them in a more relaxed atmosphere over a cup of coffee. It's a public place, lots of exits, no locked office doors, and good eats- sounds pretty safe.
The initial interview becomes much more relaxed- just good conversation over a cup of java. I'm taking notes of course but we are just talking in a comfortable environment. If I need to jump online to show them some properties or maybe get them connected into my portal then we can do it right there. I'm also in a safe environment if I feel these are not the type of clients I want to work with- oops I'm late for my next appointment.