Recently I was chatting with a few of my colleagues, bemoaning all the limitations the pandemic is putting on our relationships with our clients. We used to take clients out for lunch, dinner, or meet them for coffee, and relax while we built relationships, solved challenges, and grew our businesses. But that’s just not possible anymore.
Or is it?
While chatting, my colleagues and I soon shifted to all our advantages and opportunities. We live here in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The sun is almost always shining. The scenery is stunning. The breeze is gentle. We have cars and legs that can still take us to hundreds of possible places right here in our area!
Folks, it’s picnic time!
Think about it: for less than $100, you can buy a beautiful picnic basket with cutlery, plates, wine glasses, napkins, and a tablecloth. I know, because I went out and purchased a few already! Then, all you need to do is invite a client, set up a place to meet up where you can relax outside (and still stay 6 feet apart), and call up your favourite restaurant to fill the basket for you.
I called a few of my local restaurants to ask about providing picnics, and they were delighted to accommodate me. Plus, it’s another great opportunity to support local businesses who definitely need it.
So, there you have it. A completely lovely way to touch base with clients, enjoy the beautiful Okanagan Valley, or wherever you are blessed to live, and you can leave them with the picnic basket so they can keep the good times rolling!
I can just picture it now… you grab your briefcase and the picnic basket, make sure you’ve got sunscreen and sunglasses, and when your kids ask where you’re off to, you answer, ‘I’m taking my client on a picnic!’ What a wonderful way to model how work can be fun for the next generation.
Now, I’m not the most creative person out there, but here are some possible variations on the picnic-with-clients theme:
- Grab some drinks and wander through a garden center for a walking meeting
- Book a spot for a picnic at a vineyard, winery, flower grower, or orchard
- Have a trunk-nic or a truck-nic with foods and drinks served from the trunk of your car or the back of your truck
- Visit one of the many parks in the area
We’re only limited by our imagination. It’s not about being childish, but taking a child-like approach to meetings. In fact, you could even include your client’s children in the invitation and meet at a playground. What a thoughtful way to accommodate parents who are juggling the demands of working from home while raising children! (And I’ve heard that many teens are more than happy to visit one of our local skateboard parks, volleyball courts, or basketball courts—where there’s often a picnic table or two nearby.)
What do you think? Ready to book a few picnic meetings? Do you have other creative ideas to safely keep connected with your clients, and have a little fun together at the same time?
Please share them here with our community!