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we have a very important client visiting our office. One key aspect of this visit is the client’s desire to interact with our staff at all levels, ask questions, understand what they are working on etc. There are 8 client executives visiting. One thing we are struggling is how to structure the interaction in a way so it is natural. One idea is to just have the client executives meet with everyone on the floor. However, if there is no structure to this interaction, this can go either way with either too much conversation or too little conversation.

So my request is – what ideas do you have on how we could execute this. This will have a huge role in decision making of the outcome of this pursuit.

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The best way to handle these encounters is to have the employees trained for this kind of encounter.

The information of the training should include:

  • which programs to be shown on the computer screen, and which not;
  • close "secret" programs whenever non-employees are around;
  • which questions they can answer directly, which questions should be forwarded to a superior;
  • how to answer questions without giving away sensitive information;
  • define what is "sensitive information".

This kind of training should not take more than 1 hour, since the information is pretty much obvious. The preparation of the materials for the training might take more, of course.

Once that is implemented, anyone can ask anything and look anywhere, there will be nothing available to compromise the business.


The above is necessary when dealing with strategic customers, which must be kept happy at "all" costs.

For regular customers, just tell them that it is the company policy to keep customers away from the staff.

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  • Will you check the "guests" for google glasses or hidden cameras? – Solar Mike May 16 '19 at 10:19
  • Checking for "spying" devices is part of the basic security strategy of the company. If that policy tells that nobody enters the premises with unauthorized devices, then the "guests" will have to temporarily make their devices unusable. There are several ways to do that, depending on the device type, desires, level of security etc. Spying devices and social interactions are two totally different topics. – virolino May 16 '19 at 10:22
  • +1 Part of the client's objective may be a due diligence check that the business is real, and as large and active as it claims to be. If so, walking around talking to people at random will be much, much more impressive than bringing in only selected people. – Patricia Shanahan May 16 '19 at 16:24
  • Train, then drill. If you don't let employees practice the skill in a simulated environment, you're probably going to get suboptimal results in the live exercise. – bishop May 18 '19 at 17:34
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If you structure it then it won't be natural... However, you can't just let them roam free...

So, small meetings with parts or representatives of each level or team.

Demonstrations of some techniques to show experience / quality - depends on what you class as "in-house" secrets though.

Even opportunities for them to have a go... if safety / insurance conditions are appropriate. Showing them how to weld or equivalent...

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You could have your staff / teams each do a short presentation to summarize their functions to the visiting executives; with some time to allow for questions to be asked.

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