Prospect offers a drink. What next?

Not everything in sales is as complicated as funnel management or sales forecasting. Let me present a familiar conundrum: You’re in a client’s office for a meeting and she asks if you’d like anything to drink. Do you accept?

This ubiquitous situation presents salespeople everywhere with a dilemma:

  • If I accept, am I being too friendly? Greedy? Awkward?
  • If I say no, am I being rude? Arrogant? Awkward?

The answer depends on who’s offering.

Are they direct?


Are they accommodating?

If you’re with a direct person and you’re not thirsty, it’s probably okay to pass. If you’re thirsty, take the offer.

If you’re with an accommodating person, there’s a chance that the offer is being made because of their own thirst. Accept.

Simple, I know.

Of course, in either case, you should be polite.

  • “Yes, please. May I have a glass of water.”
  • “No, thank you. I’m fine.”

What about you? What do you do? How do you handle this quandary?


Jeb Brooks

About Jeb Brooks

Jeb Brooks is President & CEO of the The Brooks Group, one of the world’s Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He is a sought-after commentator on topics related to sales, sales management, and adult learning, having appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Money, Fortune, and CNN. Jeb is the author of four books and numerous articles.


Leave a Comment

  1. Mal says:

    ALWAYS ACCEPT! if the client is willing to offer you a drink it shows a synergy between you both/all, if they are thirsty you are following their lead and you can refresh yourself,

    If they are not thirsty it shows a form of acceptance that they are willing to offer you there hospitality and give you time and space to become accepted and make your pitch.

    On the front foot, it give you the opportunity to choose how long the sales process will last, very few people will tell you to drink up and go! unless your sales pitch is so bad you didnt deserve the drink in the first place in which case your in the wrong job! and should be a coffee taster in the back woods.

    To learn more on and offline sales techniques visit me at

    In all cases, use the beverage to control how long the sales process will last and DO NOT OVER LOOK this gift horse it will bite you in the ass (a kind of horse lol) if you do

  2. J.P. Maes says:

    Always accept , is an indication they have time to listen.

Leave a Comment