Breakfast can be the perfect time for a sales meeting. At a morning meeting you catch people before they start their days. And adding breakfast to the mix ensures they’ll be alert and ready to hear your pitch. But there are some etiquette rules you should remember for meetings in the AM. Here are some tips for making sure you start the day off right with a great first impression at your next morning meeting.
The right timing for any sales meeting is all about when you can have the most productive conversation. That’s why a morning meeting is perfect when you’re trying to reach busy people. And who isn’t a busy person these days? You catch them in the morning before their inbox is piled up. Offering breakfast gives them an extra incentive to get the right team in the room. Don’t pick a time that’s too early, or you might not catch the commuters, and don’t start too late or you may miss your window. Somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30 is a great time to start a morning sales meeting.
Picking the right starting time is key, but so is picking the time to end. You don’t want your breakfast meeting bleeding into early lunch hours, as much as you don’t want your potential customer to feel like half their day has been taken up. A good time frame is 60 to 90 minutes. That should give everyone time to consume a meal and, of course, the information you’ve presented.
Talk to your host in advance so you can arrive early for the sales meeting. The most important reason to arrive early is to make sure that everything is ready to go. Nobody wants a meeting to start off with a delay. So be sure to double check that your catered breakfast is set up and as well as your technology. If everything starts smoothly, everyone will be alert and ready to hear your pitch.
Being early also allows you to collect yourself before your potential customer arrives. Since your morning meeting is also the start of your day, you want to give yourself a little extra time to get fully awake and focused on work. You can put aside any distractions that pop into your brain like emails or organizing your to-do list.
The foods you choose for your morning sales meeting is just as important as what you’re presenting. Ideally, you should pick foods with a healthy balance of carbs and protein, as noted by Business Insider. So when you’re considering caterers, look for options that offer some of these types of food:
Avoid foods that have the potential for a huge mess, like pancakes. That’s bad when you’re a guest in a space. And it distracts from your main purpose. Find things that are easy to eat that will be filling for your group. You want to encourage productivity with brain foods, not hinder it.
Also, remember that not everyone is into caffeine, crazy as that may sound to some people. You should definitely bring coffee. But also think about decaf options like herbal teas, milk, and natural (as opposed to overly sweetened) fruit juice.
It may be tempting to bring in mimosas, bloody marys, or Irish coffee for your meeting. It could be a fun way to get people’s attention. Everyone loves a nice brunch cocktail. But it’s a real risk. It could come off as unprofessional. After your pitch, everyone has to go back to work, and that’s not ideal with a buzz.
That said, you can also decide based on your relationship with your potential client. There’s even a German tradition, for instance, called Frühschoppen, which, according to Vinepair, means having an alcoholic drink before midday with company. If that’s already part of the company culture, it will seem natural. But as a rule of thumb, follow the lead of your client. If they request libations at a catered breakfast, you can decide whether you want to oblige.
Overall, the key to a great morning meeting is preparation. As long as you have your timing set, you are able to prep your space, and choose the right foods, while avoiding any potential distractions, a breakfast meeting is a nice change of pace. And it might even help you close the deal.
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