View Full Version : A business - manner question.

Rwy in Sight
5th Jun 2012, 20:24
I have a business appointment at a brewery to promote a product in a couple of weeks time. The meeting is at 10 am. Last time I had a meeting at a coffee company I drank coffee and when I visited a soft drink company, I was drinking their product.

The obvious question is: what do I drink during the meeting, coffee or I accept a sample of their products?

Rwy in Sight

5th Jun 2012, 20:25
The obvious answer: what you are served. :E

DX Wombat
5th Jun 2012, 20:28
Or, if you are driving, tell them then request something non-alcoholic eg water

5th Jun 2012, 20:31
You'll probably find you'll be served tea,coffee & water by an office minion.

Then if they aren't rushing to throw you out the building by the end of your sales pitch, you may be offered some samples to take home in a doggy bag.

Mr Optimistic
5th Jun 2012, 20:38
I don't think it is a good idea to drink when working: they will understand that. Even if they have an on site shop and you enquire about buying something that could be misinterpreted as angling for a freebe. Bit of research first perhaps at the pub?

5th Jun 2012, 20:50
By all means accept a brew if offered but ask for a shot chaser to wash it down.

Milo Minderbinder
5th Jun 2012, 21:25
tell them its too early in the morning to drink - and that anyway you value your driving licence
do they have a range of non-alcoholic beers? or do they bottle their own soft drinks?
Most breweries I know are as interested in their soft drinks range as the alcoholic stuff

5th Jun 2012, 21:40
Straight after the handshakes, loosen your tie and ask, "Any chance of a pint?"

5th Jun 2012, 21:41
Most breweries are dry sites and unless tasting / sampling they will not serve alcohol as a matter of course to insiders or outsiders.

It's to do with H&S (thankfully) as if staff allowed consume and then use high speed machinery you into lots of claims. Most apply it to full site so avoids a them and us.

If selling a product in then make sure its fit for purpose, i.e. if its a chilled product then it better be chilled to perfection including if necessary sending samples in day before and taking same along to cover everything.
Also may be worth using branded chilled glasses etc if as suggest its a chilled product but don't underdo or overdo it.

5th Jun 2012, 21:44
In the 1980s it was commonplace to be provided with a selection of soft drinks or light beer during meetings held in Denmark, whether internal or when entertaining visitors.

6th Jun 2012, 00:49
In 1970, just out of school, I worked for a few months at the Emu Brewery in Perth, Western Australia.

We started early and had a free beer mid-morning, another at lunchtime (more if you were quick) and one at knock-off. This included forklift drivers etc.

I was a low OHS risk (not that anyone seemed to care about risk) - I was In Charge Of Hessian Bags.

6th Jun 2012, 01:10
So, it I've got this right, it is, in fact, quite difficult to organise a p*ss-up in a brewery?

6th Jun 2012, 06:30
So, it I've got this right, it is, in fact, quite difficult to organise a p*ss-up in a brewery?

No. I've done it a number of times, at Bass and Marstons amongst others. Last time I remember my mate ending up in the ditch ten times in 4 miles on the way home (on his pushbike).


6th Jun 2012, 07:16
Last time I remember my mate ending up in the ditch ten times in 4 miles on the way home (on his pushbike).

Before anyone says anything (especially Ibbie) it wasn't me. :)

Rwy in Sight
6th Jun 2012, 07:42
Thanks for the stories and the advice. The reason I asked is because I thought I would be offered a bier along with coffee, juice etc. My boss would be driving there so not a bid danger for my driving license.

I don't usually consume their products and as a matter of fact several cans went 3 months past their expiration date.

RJM thanks for the reply. I would have done so but I will not wear a tie otherwise I may be tempted to do so.

So the consesus is if offered do I drink it or not?

6th Jun 2012, 08:56
Perhaps you should call to mind the old adage which advocates never mixing business with pleasure? That's exactly what you're mulling over doing and the maxim is as good a piece of advice now as ever it was.

6th Jun 2012, 09:02
I let it be known in my last job that I was a teetotaller. It solved many problems, admittedly caused a few too, but the benefits outweighed the disadvantages.

6th Jun 2012, 09:30
I thought I would be offered a bier

Do they have a funeral parlour as well as a brewery?



6th Jun 2012, 09:31
Possibly consult your boss, if he sees you downing pints that might not go down well either. Ask for small glasses, if its nasty talk a bit more sell your product and leave the drink. Thank you very much.

6th Jun 2012, 09:35
I don't usually consume their products ...

Says it all...

Best to be oneself in business situations -- especially when on the selling side.

Though not a stranger to beverages of that sort, I have occasionally found myself spouting off unnecessarily or just not staying on point after even a tiny bit of lubrication. Put it down to allergies, I do, but the lesson is still there.

In the olden days of macho imbibing over business lunches, more than once the ritual devolved into a race to the bottom as far as content and business purpose went. Good for bonding and camaraderie sometimes, but it's a terrible thing to be nursing the beginnings of a hangover when stepping out into bright daylight at 2 or so of a summer afternoon.

Tasting is different, perhaps... certainly is quite customary with wines. Still becomes a trap one prefers to avoid.

Mumbling something cryptic is a possible avenue for polite cowardice.... something like: "Sorry, no thank you. Medication, you know."

Of course, in deepest Europe, perspectives might need to be different.

6th Jun 2012, 09:37
Having been on the razzle with RiS, I reckon he can hold his drink ;);)

6th Jun 2012, 09:47
In that case he could tell his employer that, as alcohol consumption forms part of the job description and requirement, the company will please provide a car and driver. If that request is declined, he has his answer.

6th Jun 2012, 10:20
Spit or swallow?

If you're offered beer, that is.

Solid Rust Twotter
6th Jun 2012, 16:30
So, it I've got this right, it is, in fact, quite difficult to organise a p*ss-up in a brewery?

Drop in and see us. Home (http://www.gilroybeers.co.za)

We might be able to throw something together for you...:E

Rwy in Sight
6th Jun 2012, 20:28

When I was dealing with a funeral director, I was intresting at some aspects of his job - but I don't wish him to do well in business when I emailed him.

N707ZS, my boss drinks too.

Thanks for your advice. I think I would wait to see if offered the beer and use the argument about being too early to have a sample.

Rwy in Sight

7th Jun 2012, 10:46
One of my customers is a whisky maker in Scotland and last time I was there I was offered a sample of the product. I thought it would be rude to refuse, but, it was after the meeting and late afternoon.

7th Jun 2012, 13:40
While we're on business etiquette, could do with advice on how to address a businesswoman who refers to herself by name only in her letter; do I use Ms, Mrs or what?

7th Jun 2012, 21:52
You could try Madame . . .

Rwy in Sight
15th Jun 2012, 13:51
The meeting was these morning. Their bier products were very obvious all over the places. We were given bottled water (a brand I knew but I did not know was theirs) and offered in a firm way - coffee. I took an espresso.

Thanks for the assistance.

Rwy in Sight

15th Jun 2012, 13:56
Meetings at Volvo in Sweden were usually supplied with Ramlösa bottled water (which at the time was owned by Volvo).

15th Jun 2012, 15:17
The meeting was these morning. Their bier products were very obvious all over the places...

Are you absolut-ely sure that all you had was bottled water and coffee...?! ;)

What a shame that I'm too late to offer my own suggestion. Which when or if offered refreshment at the meeting, would have been to ask for 'a beverage from their most important competitor, if they didn't mind?' At minimum, that would demonstrate that you've done some research on their competition. Of course they will have the product available...?! Once served, you could then launch into your sales pitch: 'this is a good product, but (suitably turning up a corner of your mouth and clacking your tongue several times), it's not great. Here's what I propose...?!'

Sometimes it's worth reducing 'very serious efforts and strategies' into simply trying to be different from everyone else initially. Almost like flipping a coin...?! Unless your potential customers are complete morons, they'll probably at least have a quiet chuckle afterwards. Once you've convinced them that you're perhaps worth some more of their time and got your foot in the door so to speak, comes the serious stuff. When all gimmicks etc. must be excluded, and the true worth of your company, your proposals and your own integrity must be represented by solid research, attention to detail and realistic solutions to their requirements.

That's why I'm not head of International sales for Airbus, or earning a 7-figure salary today.

15th Jun 2012, 15:20
Probably better than the douzier good old days.

I can remember times and places where small airports in summer had a modest beer-garden facing runway as principal entertainment for the fly-in visitors. Didn't seem a source of any harm, at the time. None of that in the States, of course. One had to walk around to the front of the building to enter the bar.

Course in them days part of the arrival procedure was an extra pass to chase the cattle off the centerline of the pasture.

15th Jun 2012, 15:30
While we're on business etiquette, could do with advice on how to address a businesswoman who refers to herself by name only in her letter; do I use Ms, Mrs or what?

Probably am more of an idiot than most for such things, but my favorite is to use an odd pronunciation of the generic Ms. by stringing out the sound of it some as a kindly and polite Mizzzz. Or simply Ms. for the written version.

Nobody has hit me for it. Nor any warm embraces either. Just right, one reckons.

Rwy in Sight
15th Jun 2012, 17:22

I had to return to the office, go visit a dealer, spend time there while the dealer worked on other issues, getting in a heated political argument with my ex-boss and then still spending time planning some advertising material took a toll on my English. Even more I was about to go home so I typed the comment rather quick.

Your ideas were great thank you - honestly. Although I rather speak about their markets and products.

Regarding the addressing question how about go ahead and call her with ther first name if she all she gives. I remembered that Anglosaxons are great at keeping distance while using first names,

Rwy in Sight

15th Jun 2012, 21:32
"I'm on medication for a dental abcess."