It’s crazy, I spent several hours last
night with my wife and a calendar, and we were putting plans in place that span
the entire year. Isn’t it only the second week of the new year? Yep it sure is.
So, this morning I spent time putting events into my Outlook Calendar so they’d
sync with my phone. And, as I did this, it made me realize that I also have to
add plans for some of my client entertainment throughout the year.
If it is not too early to begin planning
ahead for my personal schedule, it is certainly not too early to plan ahead for
client entertainment or engagements. Now, if you’ve read my posts before about
entertaining clients, you’ll know I am very particular. I’m not a big fan of
playing golf with a client because it simply takes too long. I also don’t
believe in waiting until November or December to say thank you to a client by
scheduling a bunch of lunches. Rather, I’m a big fan of combining education
with entertainment, and so this is the planning I’m doing now.
During the year I like to find ways to
bring clients together, in an offsite setting, to hear a presentation related
to my industry which may have an impact on their business. Then, let’s hang out
a bit together and enjoy each other’s company. But, I cannot wait until the
month before, the week before or last minute, not if I want to have a real
impact with my clients. Therefore, I plan now, lock in the dates on the
calendar, and proceed with scheduling venues in advance.
In doing taking this approach I also
plan ahead by setting goals for these events. For example, I may want to
increase sales with a particular client or two, so I will plan to invite them based
on a specific topic. Or, I may plan an event at a particular venue that will
win favor with this client. Whatever the goals are, they need to be defined,
and not delayed. You don’t want to fly by the seat of your pants and hope for a
salable outcome from your entertainment.
Planning now, early in the new year,
will also provide you the opportunity to schedule your daily and weekly routine
around these events. You’ll know well in advance of when and where these
entertainment opportunities will take place, and so you’ll also know how to use
these when selling to prospective clients.
Planning for the
larger, multi-client engagements should happen now, and then you will always be
able to handle your individual breakfast, lunch and one-off visit type of