Bernie DiMeo | Posted 6.25.10
Okay I admit it. I miss the good old days. I can handle the new media. In fact I actually embrace the new media for getting the word out for your business. But…I still miss the good old days – especially lunch.
Lunch was truly where business got done. Whether it was at the Boul Mich, House of Hunan or especially Riccardo’s – lunch was when business happened. Because it was all about personal relationships. Instead of writing a “pitch letter” and emailing it, we called a reporter, set up a lunch, tucked the press release in a jacket pocket and headed over to the restaurant.
Just a quick aside to everyone under 30, lunch wasn’t a salad and a glass of water. Nor was it a cup of yogurt at your desk. If any of my bosses saw me eating at my desk I would likely hear, “What are you doing here? Get out there and make some contacts.”
Lunch meant cigarettes, martinis and a plate of spaghetti or a beef sandwich and fries. The bar at Ricardo’s was 3-deep by 11:45 and smoke filled the air.
There wasn’t much small talk – the reporter quickly got to the point – “Whadda you got for me?” At which point I gave my verbal pitch, followed by slowly taking the press release out of my jacket pocket. (Oh yes, we all wore jackets and ties every day). “You didn’t give this to anyone else, did you?” Of course not I said and my word was good enough for him. He slipped the press release into his pocket, promised to call me before he ran it, and we got back to our not so healthy but very tasty lunch – and another round of drinks.
On a really good day I would hear about an agency that was having some trouble with a particular client. Promising that I didn’t hear it from him I jotted it down on a napkin and put it in my pocket.
Not too many people have time for those kinds of lunches today, and even if they did it wouldn’t be the same because, for many reasons, we’ve lost that personal touch. Now it’s email, voicemail, recorded phone systems and well…you get it.
Personally I still believe in that personal touch and am doing my damnest to still make it work. Yes I use email, voicemail, Blackberry, iPhones, Twitter, Facebook and all the rest. But you can still find me doing business the old fashioned way. Except today martinis might be a glass of wine, that plate of spaghetti may be fish or chicken and Riccardo’s is now Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush. But I’m there – care to join me?
Look for Bernie’s next blog soon…tips on how old school tactics can still work today – if you do them right.