How many times this past month did you entertain an advisor or COI?
How many times was that engagement truly memorable?
For too many wholesalers, entertaining via dinners, sporting events, etc. is so much second nature that it has become an afterthought – which is why there is so much to learn from this weeks’ guest.
Eddie Osterland, Author, Speaker and America’s first Master Sommelier is an internationally acclaimed expert in the culinary arena of food and wine. For more than 25 years, he has performed his workshops and given educational and highly entertaining “during dinner” presentations on Power Entertaining with Food and Wine.
Eddie works as a client relationship consultant specializing in developing high net worth marketing events for new client acquisition. He uses high-end client engagement strategies through luxury marketing events that go way beyond expectations.
Eddie’s educational background evolved from a degree in behavioral psychology to graduating from L’Institut d’oenologie at Université de Bordeaux with the D.U.A.D. degree (diplôme d’aptitude a la dégustation des vins). He went on to become the first American to pass the grueling Master Sommelier Diploma in London in 1973.
Power Entertaining for Wholesalers
People do business with people they like…it’s that simple.
Finding ways to get people to like you is what you need to do. How you go about that is up to you. Some choose to treat people to a round of golf. Others invite prospective clients to shows. I like to take people out for lunch or dinner and Power Entertain them.
International currency for connection
Power Entertaining is creating an experience with wine & food.
Wine & food are the International currency for connection. Done well, and you will attract people like a magnet. Most people don’t do this as well as they should because they haven’t had any training in food & wine pairing. Sommeliers are trained in wowing people with food and wine. You need to become friends with a SOMM (aka sommelier). You need to bond with the SOMM! Rather than worry about learning all about wine and food, you should make friends with a SOMM and leverage their expertise so that they can make you look like a rock star. What you need to do is establish a protocol with one or two restaurants that you choose to dedicate some of your business entertaining in.
Starve ’em and Stab ’em
Food tastes best when you are hungry so I recommend that you start with the best tasting item you can afford right from the get-go. People don’t like being hungry and because of this they will dine on your hors d’oeuvres or basket of rolls, chips and salsa etc. Why not start them out with something egregiously tasty (butter poached lobster, caviar etc.) I call it “starve ’em and stab ’em”…bring them in hungry and hit them between the eyes with the best 1st and you will own them!
Private and Paired
What you want is to always utilize a private dining room (even if your party is only 4 to 6 persons). You want to stand out. Private rooms are quiet and not as distracting as most restaurant dining rooms. You want to pre-arrange the entire meal by doing a practice dinner and having the Somm test drive some of his/her favorite pairings so you can see what you like. The wines should be served in pairs so that you can showcase themes like (New World vs. Old World; Young vs. Old; Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Cabernet Franc). When you serve wines in pairs you learn something because you have wines to compare in context…you may even choose to serve them blind so people can guess where they are from.
1 + 1 = 3
Always serve the wines before the food so people concentrate on the wines first and learn something. If you do like everyone else and serve the wines after the food people will treat the wine like a beverage to wash their food down. People need to learn that wine & food should be tasted simultaneously; a bite of food and small sip of wine together in the mouth. In this fashion they will see that the food & wine will amplify each other’s assets.
This is explained with the equation 1 + 1 = 3.
A True Power Entertainer
Another nice touch is to never have the dinner check presented. To accomplish this, you simply need to have your credit card on file or have the bill sent to you office. This is very professional. If you want to be treated like a rock star, you need to tip like one. 25% will have the staff treating you like royalty. Do this for your best clients and you will be a true Power Entertainer.
What you need to do is create an experience that your guests will not forget. You want your advisors to always look forward to a restaurant experience with you because they always learn new things they can use themselves. (You offer great take-away value vs. others who are using the boozing and schmoozing model).
Leave a Lasting Impression
My recommendation would be to have me custom print a box of them with your company name and contact information or whatever message you want on the back cover. That way they will always think of you when it comes to learning more about food, wine and Power Entertaining.
Written by Eddie Osterland