The business lunch. Some love it, some hate it, but like it or not, it can be a very strategic utilization of time and can lead to more benefits than cons.
- We’ve got to eat. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s all we can do to scarf down a quick sandwich or snack during the day – which is not good for getting us the nutrients we need anyway. We may even have a working lunch where we’re eating while progressing through tasks. The business lunch is an effective way to conduct a meeting that will force us to have a meal while still producing needed results.
- Our lunch companion has to eat, too. Have a tough time getting time on a prospect’s schedule? Need to have a strategy session with a team member? It’s tough for them to get away, as well. The business lunch allows them to carve out some time where they can enjoy a meal – potentially on your dime, which is an added bonus that clients and employees and co-workers and colleagues enjoy – that is mutually beneficial. You get the meeting, they get any benefits you bring and a break in the action.
3. Meals are more personal. We spend a lot of time having meetings and calls with a specific purpose in mind: closing a sale, coaching or training an employee, making a plan with a colleague, etc. The business lunch allows us to get away from the typical scene of the crime in a potential new restaurant or hotspot, a change of scenery, and a more personal setting where we can enhance the business relationship. Let’s face it: effective business relationships benefit from knowing one another better. When we know one another, it elevates the connection and we want to work together more after finding this common ground and these interests we have in common. It humanizes us.
4. The business lunch takes pressure off. Perhaps it’s the first time you are meeting a potential client or maybe you are strategizing with a team member: sharing a meal brings out a sense of comfort. It’s something traditionally done with family and friends, so when we break bread with our professional contacts it breaks down barriers and forms a type of kinship. You’ve shared a meal, and the only stressful meals are during the holidays. (Ha!)
5. The business lunch is likely to be accepted. You can ask for meetings time and time again, to no avail. But offering to buy lunch for a client – like asking someone on a date – inherently provides little risk for the recipient. Even if the meeting yields no fruit for the person you are treating, they got a meal. The upside is a burgeoning business relationship. But they are often more likely to take that leap when the aforementioned comfort and variables are introduced.
Whether you are a huge proponent of the business lunch or not, balancing them into your schedule can certainly provide a bountiful feast of better business relationships!
Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” and sequels “The Salesman Against the World” and “A Salesman Forever” which take the unique approach of serving as sales/leadership books inside of novels showing proven sales principles designed to birth you into the top producer you were born to be. If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ICRVMI2/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_yGXKtb0G
Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership. You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.
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