Why You Need a Favorite Watering Hole

Pandemic restricts have been easing for over a year.  No one knows what the future holds, but masks are coming off and people are resuming major aspects of normal life.  This includes going out for a drink after work before heading home.

I know what you are thinking:  “Great!  Sign me up!  But what does this have to do with business?”  The answer is simple:  If you seek to cultivate a niche market, it makes sense to go where members of your niche congregate.  The good news is once you find that place, that adult beverages are often served.

You are an advisor in a major city.  Your have several engineers, accountants or attorneys as clients.  You understand their field and how they think.  You might have worked in the field before you became an advisor. 

Your city has a few big law, engineering, or accounting firms.  Each one occupies several stories in a landmark office building in the center of the city.  The firm’s name might be on the top of the building.

If it’s in a skyscraper with an impressive lobby, the chances are good there is a bar on the ground floor of the building.  If not, the bar is next door or across the street.  This is a logical place for lawyers, accountants or engineers to stop off for a drink before heading home. 

You want to become a regular.  Make it your mission to visit at the same time every day, several days each week.  (Do not develop a drinking problem.)  Sit at the bar.  Watch the game on TV.  Comment on the game with the people sitting around you.

You will gradually become part of the fabric of regular patrons.  It’s natural for people to ask “What do you do?” and “Where do you live?”  Shared interests will bring you together.  Initially it might be the game on TV or your preference for single malt scotch.

You are not pushing business.  Accountants and lawyers know how financial advisors augment their practice.  Engineers, accountants and lawyers change firms.  New ones get hired.  You are an expert in your field who is easy going, approachable and sitting at the bar at 6:00 PM most weeknights.

Does This Strategy Really Work?

Let’s bear in mind this strategy is fun.  You are being yourself, meeting new people and maintaining relationships. You are making new friends.  But does it work?

Yes.  I learned about this strategy via a variation used by a bank president in our area.  When he started as a loan officer, he was told he should pick a coffee shop or luncheonette and visit every day.  It must have counter seating.  Over time, he because a regular, part of the fabric of the place.  “You would nor believe the amount of business I got!”

I also heard about a New York City advisor who became a regular at a famous steakhouse.  The bar area would be crowded with people having drinks or waiting for a table.  He made friends with the bartender.  There was a TV overhead set to a financial news channel.  If a patron started to engage the bartender in talk about the stock market he would say: “If you want to talk about stocks, you should really be talking to that guy sitting over there…”

You have probably heard Woody Allen’s expression: ‘80% of success in life is just showing up.”  You want to be in the right place at the right time.

Related: How To Accept a Compliment from a Client (or Anyone Else)