A smartly dressed salesman entered a plush Manhattan bar and took a seat. The bartender came over and asked: "What can I get you to drink sir?"
"Nothing, thank you," replied the salesman. "I tried alcohol once but I didn't like it, and I haven't drunk it since."
The bartender was a little perplexed but being a friendly, outgoing
sort, he pulled out some cigarettes from his pocket, flipped the top of
the pack and offered one to the salesman. But the salesman refused,
saying: "I tried smoking once, didn't like it, and I have never smoked
since. Look, actually I wouldn't be in here at all, except that I'm
waiting for my son."
To which the bartender said: "Your only child I presume?"
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that in order to
be successful at sales, you need to be polite and accept others
hospitality. Never hold a meeting in an establishment without ordering
something. It's the courteous thing to do. If you don't smoke or
drink and someone offers you either, just say, "No thanks, but I
appreciate your offer." Or you could counter with, "No thanks, I was
just about to order myself a coffee, could I order you one too?" In
this way you are less likely to offend anyone. Remember, an offended
prospect, rarely becomes a paying customer.
"My father was a guy who, because of the businesses he was in, - the
hotel business, - the hospitality business - he didn't differentiate
between the waiter serving you dinner, from the maitre d from the guy
who owns a restaurant. Everybody was the same to him. He didn't look
at who you were. He didn't look at your wallet." - Steve Tisch