That first business meeting with a vital client is the perfect occasion to break the ice and get to know each other face-to-face, as you take brokering the deal to the next level.
The business lunch can be an effective opportunity to strengthen networking links, negotiate better terms and conclude mutually beneficial deals. Big Easy Durban suggests five ways to successfully mix food and business and seal the deal:
- The truth about a business lunch, it’s just like any other meeting
Clearly address the need for the meeting. When you arrange a business lunch, be sure to have an agenda of topics for discussion and define your goals.
- Keep them talking and find common ground
People enjoy dialogue. Nobody likes to listen to someone else go on and on about themselves, so show a genuine interest in your guest to establish a connection – but don’t be too personal – and identify those areas that will be of mutual benefit.
Changing your environment can provide a much-needed inspiration boost when creativity is stifled at the office. Dining is a sensory experience, which can help spark fresh ideas and provide opportunities for problem solving.
- Selecting the appropriate restaurant
Being confident of the quality of food and service allows you to focus on the business at hand. Consider the atmosphere – does it allow for easy conversation? Does the food cater to all tastes? Look for a restaurant that offers private dining areas that can accommodate an intimate meeting between two people or a group of 20.
- What to eat?
Considering that the main focus of a working lunch is to conduct business, it is advisable to select a restaurant that offers a variety of packaged options to avoid becoming embroiled in menu selection.
A business lunch is far more than just a lunch. Your image, your company’s image and brand are at stake, so it is imperative that the venue reflects values in line with those of your organisation. Other considerations include secure parking, easy access and whether or not the restaurant makes allowances for smokers.
Source and image: Big Easy Durban