In this day and age of technology, it is easy to lose the art of the face to face. This is even true in the pragmatic world of business. Just like a woman wants to be wooed by a potential lover, a client wants to be more than just a business deal. This guide will give you some tips on how to create the perfect business lunch and hopefully help you seal the deal.
Location, Location, Location!
Okay, so McDonald’s might be your favorite place to eat, but it is not the ideal location for a business lunch. On the other hand, you don’t have shell out $50-75 a plate at a fine restaurant to impress. You want to find a place that is conveniently located for your potential client and is known for its good atmosphere, good food, and good service.
Mind Your Manners!
The key to any good relationship, romantic or otherwise, is to think more highly of the other person than you think of yourself. This means manners, man! Or to be more precise—etiquette. Here are a few things to keep in mind when wooing a business transaction:
- Defer to the other person’s likes and dislikes. Don’t choose a Thai restaurant if your client is a meat and potatoes guy. This means you will have to ask ahead of time, preferably when you make the initial invitation to lunch.
- Be on time, even early. Nothing says selfish like showing up late and making excuses. Arriving on time shows the other person that you respect his time constraints, and arriving early allows you to request a quieter spot in the restaurant for discussing the deal.
- Get to know the client on a personal level first. Don’t just jump into the business of haggling and negotiating. Ask about his or her family, hobbies, and interests.
- Stay off your phone. In fact, just keep it out of sight. Your focus should be on the other person without distraction. The text or call can wait.
- Let the other person order first. Feel free to make recommendations, especially if this is a favorite eat spot of yours, but don’t make the client feel restrained in what he must order.
- Be courteous to the staff. Nothing speaks to your character more than how you treat other people, especially those in a lower position than yourself. Just as you are there to woo a potential client, the client is there to size you up as a potential partner as well.
- Pick up the tab, including the tip. Remember, the business lunch was your idea; don’t expect the other person to share the cost unless you want him to reject your deal.
This goes along with showing more respect to the other person. Have your agenda ready, complete with plans, conditions, and strategies. Make everything as attractive as possible, and have the pen ready for signing at the end of your business lunch.