To be seen and to talk about the practice future, that was the purpose of a recent Beverly Hills dinner meeting with clients. To be seen? Yes, a number of leader doctors in their community deliberately use breakfast (some use this exclusively to avoid impacting their schedule), lunches and dinners as an opportunity to "be seen" in the community, their target market. Walking in they often know well the hostess or owner and the wait staff and exchange greetings. It makes for a warm and friendly entrance. There will usually be someone in the restaurant that the doctor knows, a business, professional or community leader, or a patient. Stopping, going over and saying hello to those the doctor knows can be a great personal pleasure and a chance to meet their guests. This is in sharp contrast to those doctors that seek to slip through the day, eat lunch in the office and go home at night. On this occasion, we went to The Grill On the Alley ( http://TheGrill.com/location.cfm?subsections_id=47 ). It was a wonderful place for our purposes. I really did not know how wonderful until I read the recent Wall Street Journal 11/18-19/2006. This Beverly Hills restaurant was a featured Power Tables Where The Business Elite Are Eating. You would definitively enjoy the character of the place and the menu offerings when you are in the area. The article, of course, went on to list all the "A List" people seen at "The Grill on the Alley." I find that every village and town has its share of places that locals and executives go to enjoy themselves while having a meal. If you are not using this low key visibility approach on a consistent basis, try it, and if you are make the most of it! Consider all of the opportunities you have to set up move visible occasions — beyond referral doctors, think of your banker, attorney, accountant, consultant, insurance agent, investment advisor, community leaders, prominent patients. If they want to visit with you, say "Let’s Do Lunch….Or Something!"
Most of my professional life has involved a meeting, in one way or another, in a conference room, in my office, on the telephone or over a meal. When I have a choice, and the topic is not agenda or paper intensive but more reflective and coaching oriented, a meeting combined with a meal is a great combination. Even better is when a meeting is with long time friends. Last weekend Dr. Roddy Feldman and his wife Linda joined me at a most unusual restaurant they had suggested. Unusual can sometimes equal wonderful. In this case it did! The Dead Fish Restaurant promoted our good conversation over a dinner that involved picking through a monster Dungeness crab with a special cooking sauce in low key fun environment. Rod is the just past ADA Trustee for the 13th District and his wife is a past legal counsel for CDA. I’ve known Rod for 18 years at least, initially helped him in his practice, going on to enjoy mediation training with him at Harvard and just plain appreciating him and his perspective on dentistry. I suspect you’ll be hearing more from him soon! If you are in the Bay Area and looking for a fun place try The Dead Fish Restaurant at 200050 San Pablo Av Crockett CA 510-787-3323. http://www.thedeadfish.com