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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Commandments of Business Bar Meetings

Drinking = new business, for better or for worse.
And the managing director said,

"Let there be drinks."

And there were drinks.

And from these drinks,

the Sales Guy closed the account at the bar.

And the Creatives were given dominion

over all things upon this account

and the power to choose

between scandalous and informative.

And so goes the evolution of a media account...

At the core of any deal is networking. It really is who you know and many times not what you know. But if you aren't in the know, then sealing a deal requires a deft gift of gab and a social setting befitting of the client you are seeking.

These fifteen, er, ten commandments...
The years of drinking your way to the top created these fifteen ten commandments:

1. Thou Shall Not Be Careless.
Being careless is inexcusable. Spilling an entire drink on oneself is an automatic loss. Game over. This applies at all times. If you do it, just excuse yourself and go home.

2. Thou Shall Provide Comfort.
Comfort Counts. I read this study that Harvard, Yale and MIT conducted and it said that people in a hard wooden chair held out for more discounts that those in cushioned seating. If you have to, take some splinters for the team.

3. Thou Shall (Wo)Man Up.
Be strong on your drink selection. Don't be a copy cat. "I'll have the same" is weak sauce. Order your own drink.

4. Thou Shall Make Good Choices. 
Your drink cocktail shall be clear or brown. This is serious stuff. Say it with a good drink choice. All brown or clear drinks are serious drinks.

5. Thou Shall Have Good Posture.
all business meetings are confrontations of a sort. Square up. Even if it seems friendly, even if it's with a colleague. Sit tall and with pride. Sitting up straight is evidence that you have a backbone. It is also evidence that you're not so wasted you can't do the actual business you invited your counterpart to conduct.

6. Thou Shall Treat Thy Servants Properly.
The employees are there to serve you, but you should never act like they are there to serve you. Respect the bartender...and the host...and the cocktail server...and your neighbors at the next table...and the valet...and the restroom attendant. (Whaaaaat? the place you chose doesn't have a restroom attendant? Pick a better place!) Why all the respect? Because for this night, these are your assistants. They are your people. YOUR PEEPS. You want the bar to be more yours than your counterpart's.

7. You Shall Not Commit Murder.
Don't kill your night with hesitation. Hesitation kills the momentum of your a flash. When ordering a drink, never hesitate. Don't review a menu. Don't read that fancy black chalkboard that the host spent forty-five minutes and seven pieces of chalk to build. You know what you like. Order it. Refer to Commandment Four when in doubt. Why? Well, you shouldn't waste time if in the conference room. Don't do it at the bar.

Commandment 10.
8. Thou Shall Focus.
Put that damned iPhone away. Yeah, yeah, I know, we all love our smartphones, our Candy Crush and seeing what Susan is eating on Instagram. But for an hour or two, put it in your pocket. Look your guest in the eye the entire time. When you don't look someone in the eyes, it shows you have an agenda other than the bond of the night. It also shows an inclination that you can be intimidated or lying. Practice that eye contact.

9. Thou Shall Arrive Early.
Everything should happen sooner than expected. Get there first. Order first. Introduce your business earlier than appropriate. Wrap things up faster than seems suitable. When you do things early, you have control. Control is a virtue. Your virtue.

10. Thou Shall Take Notes...on a napkin.
You might brand it as, but taking notes on a napkin is cool. Tell your guest(s) that five years from now you can all say, "It all started by writing it down on a bar napkin."

More from the Media Guy on Drinking:

The Media Guy Struggles: Drink Like a Mad Man
When he's not drinking Canadian Club straight, Don Draper favors the old fashioned, which is filled with Vitamin C and fruitiness to offset its ... Read on...

The Media Guy Struggles: Making it at a Media Party
...if you don't know how to drink or look like you're drinking while nursing a cold bevie, you're going to have a tough time in the ad game ... Read on...

The Media Guy Struggles: Eight Ways to Toast Globally
...have you ever wondered how people drink beer across the globe? ... Read on...