In many countries worldwide, bars are common places where people go to hang around and have fun and relax. It is also very common that people discuss business over a drink in those very same bars and many deals get locked in these places. Arranging a meeting with your associates and coworkers might and should lead to a bar in order to get rid of that office formality. But when influenced by alcohol, some poor business decisions can be made which you might regret the first thing in the morning. To avoid those situations, here are some practical rules which will help you conduct business over drinks.
Business, Business, and Nothing Else But Business
The main advantage of doing business inside of a bar is discretion. The only thing which should be remembered is business talk. Nothing else; the jokes, spilled drinks, the accidental insults or even sarcastic talk, everything should be simply disregarded and the only focus should be on closing the business deal. Whatever happens or is said on the side of business should not be memorized and should be dismissed straight away.
It is very important that you try and forget that you are in a bar. If you constantly keep thinking about the location where you are, you will not be relaxed and focused on the job. That is why you should think of business only, and let the bar do its magic. Once the atmosphere is imposed on you, you will understand the true power of a bar. Keep in mind that you should remain focused on the topic of the conversation and stay within the realm of business, nothing else. There are many splendid liquor specials to choose from so drink whatever you like. Remember not to think about other people, the lighting, the type of alcohol you are drinking, the consequences; think solely about closing the deal.
If you arrive before your counterparts, you will have enough time to have a drink or two and get comfortable. By doing so, you will create a false feeling of being a part of that bar, and you will gain a psychological advantage over your counterpart. Remember to respect the bar’s personnel even when you become overconfident, and stay focused on the business. Do not tell the bartender to make your drinks strong; if you do, you will regret it tomorrow. Once your counterparts have arrived, they might become intimidated with your overconfident attitude. Use this in your advantage.
The Rule of Two
The general rule states that if there are more than 2 people, they should not go to a bar. The reason is simple: if there are three or more people, the communication between them will become impossible and the people in between will prevent those at the ends from communicating. That is not good for closing down a business, so if there are more than two of you, consider a restaurant or any other place where all of you can sit down and talk peacefully.
Keep an Eye Contact
Studies have showed that longer eye contact (4-5 seconds) leads to greater liking. That is why you should never avoid looking someone straight into the eyes, especially when doing business. It is your goal to close the deal, so use all your cards to achieve it. You want to look secure and confident and at the same time charm the person you are talking to, and by keeping a constant eye contact, you will achieve that.
Remember to be moderate, since your goal is closing the deal, not getting intoxicated to the point of no control. Keep your cool, drink slowly and remember that you are out not to get drunk, but to do business.