We always recommend that you blend your business entertainment with the activities you enjoy. We have had many clients who have thought of themselves as social introverts but who have effectively used their hobbies and interests as a vehicle for entertaining their valued contacts.
We had a client who was an avid fisherman who took his business contacts on fishing trips. We had a client who used her love of playing the harp to invite prospects and clients to harp concerts in her home. We had a client who was passionate about wines and invited his contacts to local restaurants to sample wines and listen to wine-tasting experts.
We have had many clients on the boards of symphony orchestras, museums, and theaters who have hosted special gatherings for their business contacts. Many of our clients who have children involved in school sporting activities have invited the parents of their children’s teammates to barbecues as a way of bonding with the other parents.
We here at Kohn love giving parties. One of our parties was in an art gallery. At one point during the party, guests were furnished with laser-tag pistols. It was fascinating to see successful lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other professionals running around and hiding behind sculptures like little kids shooting their laser-tag pistols at each other. The more fun or interesting your idea, the more people will be likely to attend, remember, and appreciate your invitation.
Your entertainment idea doesn’t have to be a hobby or a passion. You may think of a creative idea that people would enjoy. One of our clients hired a famous dessert chef to give a presentation on chocolate desserts at a local cooking school. We had another client who asked a friend who was an authority on ancient spice routes in the Middle East to give a lecture on a recent excavation that he had led. More than two hundred people came to hear the presentation. Not only was the evening a success, but our client developed a lot of new business.
You do not need the personality of an outgoing socialite to entertain. Once you learn that selling can be fun, you are more likely to feel enthusiastic about using entertainment in the sales process.
For more marketing tips, check out our book Selling in Your Comfort Zone.