A business lunch and how to get through it

Lunch? Lunch

We are considering the case when you meet with your partner one on one. And we are considering the case when your interlocutor and companion is a stranger. We also consider the case when you are the party that needs something: whether money, cooperation or a contract. You are the one who offers the appointment.

So, you invite the person you need to dinner. What should you remember first? That you can get rejected. Or dinner might not go as well as you would like. Just like a meeting in the office, in general, but a business lunch is a special event with its own distinctive sides. So, when deciding on this, know that you have taken a bold step.

Why bold? Because this is an all-in move. Many entrepreneurs admit that they prefer to have their first orientation meetings in the office. And only then, when they have at least a weak, but confidence that the interlocutor can offer something that will be interesting to them and in which they will be ready to invest money or other resources - even then they agree to a business lunch. So if you've gotten an appointment at lunch, whether it's your first meeting or not, you're almost certainly in business. You can ruin everything yourself by the time of dessert, but in the first half hour or hour of the meal together, you are in business. Remember this!

Before partner arrives

Choosing a restaurant or cafe is critical. This must be the place. Where it will be comfortable for both - you and your interlocutor. And it should be located on something like neutral territory, where each of you can get quickly and easily enough without getting stuck in traffic jams, for example. The point is simple: your potential partner must feel comfortable before being served.

It's very good if you can get there before the guest arrives. Because then you will know exactly what awaits both of you. For example, you will be able to evaluate the work of the service personnel - you will probably want the level of this work to be at its best. Moreover, the height in this case is determined by the desires of your interlocutor. For example, if he does not want to be disturbed, take the trouble to explain to the waiters that you should approach the table only after a prearranged signal. If he likes to feel himself the center of attention, then try to provide him with this from the service personnel.

Try to arrive seven minutes before your appointment. Seven - because ten before the meeting your table may not be ready yet, and five - you risk coming second. And you need to sit in a quiet place, at a comfortable table for two, which your assistant ordered - just where you really want to do business. It should be just a table, not a booth and, God forbid, not a place at the counter - a table ordered by an assistant.

Note: if you don't have an assistant, try to create one. From anyone: from a secretary, from a friend, from your mother. Having an assistant changes everything. The assistant is a guarantee of a good table. If you book a seat yourself, you may well find yourself in a booth or at a small and uncomfortable table in the center of the hall. If the call is made by your assistant, you will have a wonderful table for two, somewhere in a quiet and cozy corner. And this is the best table arrangement for your purposes.

You also need a corner table because it will be best to sit on the sides, but in no case - not face, directly opposite each other. This is the worst choice for a business lunch. Every casual eye contact will be a little awkward, especially while eating, and you may have to speak too loudly, or worse, lean across the table to your interlocutor. The corner table is a little intimate, but lunch is a little intimate. Well, and most importantly, a corner table will help you avoid awkwardness, which can easily ruin everything that you paved the road with that brought your interlocutor to this restaurant.

Before your partner arrives, you can order yourself an aperitif - and scan the menu. You should take advantage of the available time and look around, feel confident and ready to meet your guest. This is important because since you are the supplicant, you need to compensate for it. Come early, sit down on the menu, decide exactly what you want, make sure you have a great table, relax - and by the time the guest arrives, you’re not a busy entrepreneur who needs this contract, but a welcoming host who welcomes the guest. < / p>

When your guest arrives, politely and subtly point him to a chair next to you: make an inviting hand gesture or move the chair if your companion is female. The main thing is that you do not need to pat the seat with a smile. Unless your guest is five years old (or - especially if your guest is five years old).

So, business lunch!

The "lunch" part of a business lunch is simple enough: you eat and talk. The “business” part is a little more cunning. Because lunch is something that has more to do with socialization and networking than business development. On the other hand, this is the time when you can throw the line, and do it so skillfully that your fish will swallow the bait without even noticing it among other treats. Experienced negotiators point out that at lunchtime, relationships are key and business is an addition. Therefore, it is better if the time devoted to a clean business is about five minutes. And you can devote everything else so that the interlocutor likes these five minutes of business and the offer that you have managed to make during this time. Or - so that the potential partner just was with you and comfortable and / or fun.

You find a place, you meet an entrepreneur, you order food, you make your proposal - and then you just enjoy your meal and conversation with an ordinary person. And the conversation can be about business, and about fishing or football.

Think about what your interlocutor wants. And he probably wants to see a person who is comfortable with a potential business partner, and to make sure that both you and your business are really as good as they thought earlier - and they probably thought so, otherwise there would be no dinner. So you can relax. Now you will surely have an interesting conversation and delicious food. And if, after your proposal, the interlocutor wants to discuss it in more detail - in any case do not dissuade him.

The best thing about a business lunch is that it forces us to do what we so rarely do as businessmen: just be ourselves. Yes, more - there is sitting at the table, and for more than 15 minutes. But mostly, be yourself.

29 December 2020

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