Forget the golf course as a casual place to meet with clients. Instead, professional women in New York are turning to manicures as a way to connect and close important deals.
Instead of a loud bar, an overfull coffee shop, or a distracting sporting event, the nail salon could be the perfect place to meet with a new client and have an informal chat while still appearing professional.
It's an interesting twist on the traditional locations since the nail salon offers a benefit that no other location can.
A fresh manicure is a surprisingly effective bar on email checking, Twitter reading, and other smart phone distractions. At least until the nail polish dries, meeting participants have to listen to one another and focus their attention on the conversation.
Nail salons are easy to talk in rather than bars and coffee shops which can be loud and crowded. And the act of being pampered can diffuse corporate formality says nail technician, Paulina Vallejo. Manicure meetings are popular enough for the salon she works at to cater specifically to business women looking to meet with clients.
For women attorneys who feel out of place at sporting events or more importantly for clients who don't play golf the nail salon is a comfortable and neutral place to have a meeting.
The relaxing effect of a manicure is also preferable to the relaxing effect of one too many drinks at the bar. The latter may do more harm than good to a new relationship with a client.
Men don't have to be left out of the new trend either. While they don't come by themselves, Vallejo says it's not unusual for a man to be included in a mixed gender meeting schedule at the nail salon.
For women attorneys (and men too), a manicure with a client can be a nice pick-me-up and can also lead to a productive and informal meeting. Just don't go for a pedicure; let's all keep our shoes on for now.