For any and every successful entrepreneur keeping the business floating is one of the most important things there are. Why? Well, say you’ve spent years and years building your way to the top and you’re finally where you hoped you would be. You will surely do everything in your power to keep the business going.
A thing most businessmen aren’t aware of is that keeping a business blossoming isn’t just about numbers. It’s also about keeping your workers happy and your business partners satisfied and stimulated. After all, your business isn’t just you – it’s all the people working with you, potential and current investors, old and new clients and multiple factors related to the current state status.
Anyhow, when it comes to relationships with your clients, there are a few things you need to start doing (or continue doing if you’ve so far been familiar with business lunch ethics) – make your business lunches the first impressions of your future collaborations.
If you are wondering what to do to make this possible, here are a few tips that will make your business lunches a real success!
1. Schedule ahead
Hardworking people are also busy people which means most of them have their work schedules planned one month ahead. You don’t have to go that far and schedule your lunch 30 days earlier, but you can do it a week or two ahead. This way, both you and your business partner can prepare for your business meeting and make it a success. After all, business lunches aren’t about food, really. They are about enjoying your food WHILE discussing important business matters. Serves to be prepared. Plus, if you schedule the lunch time some time before, you’ll show your partner you respect him and his time.
2. Mind your manners
The key to any successful meeting is keeping it light and cultured. You need to be mindful of your manners, no matter how close you feel to the person. Seemingly insignificant mannerisms can be exposed potentially damaging a relationship which is why you need to be careful. No talking with your mouth full, no picking food from your client’s plate, saying “Are you going to eat that?” etc.
3. Keep them talking
A silent meeting is by far the worst experience you can have. Naturally, not everyone is talkative and open, but it should be your job to keep your potential partner interested in the topic and willing to give insights and ideas. The more you converse, the more ideas there’ll be bouncing around and in no time you’ll realize you’ve got yourself a new business deal!
4. Don’t get personal
While eating your favorite food you can’t help but feel great and comfortable. This is when we tend to loosen up our breaks and get too personal when it comes to topic choice, honesty about personal matters, etc. Some personal chit chat is expected but you need to know your limits.
Unless revealing personal information will help you achieve one of your goals, we’d advise not getting personal.
5. No alcohol
Well, unless you are going to pop some champagne after closing a deal, it’s not recommended to drink during business lunch meetings. Alcohol tends to numb one’s motor skills and messes up with one’s ability to stay logical, concise and to the point. If the other party really insists on having an alcoholic drink, then join them but steer clear of too strong drinks like vodka, tequila shoots and similar. And, never go over two drinks! Remember, clear head at all times!
6. Pick up the check
The check should be picked up by a person who asked for the meeting. Hence, since you were the one who organised everything, be the one to throw down your credit card, too. If the other party reluctantly offers to pay instead of you, say “This time, it’s my treat” or “Please, let me”. However, if they insist on paying for the meal or splitting the check – let them. You need to respect people around you.
These advice are what will surely help you go through a business meeting and end it on a positive and successful note. Just because something is business doesn’t mean it should be stiff and unpleasant. Having an optimistic approach, nice manners and clear agenda will take you straight to success!