Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Sealing The Deal Over The Business Meal > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Sealing The Deal Over The Business Meal

Doing business over meals is a ritual that has existed for centuries. Taking clients to breakfast, lunch or dinner has long been an effective way to build relationships, make the sale or seal the deal. These business meals are essentially business meetings. Knowledge of your product or your service is crucial to the success of the meeting, but so are your manners. Too many people jeopardize an opportunity because they fail to use good dining etiquette. Here are a few basic rules to make the experience pleasurable and profitable.

Know your duties as the host. You are in charge. It is up to you to see that things go well and that your guests are comfortable. You need to attend to every detail from extending the invitation to paying the bill.

Plan ahead when you issue the invitation. Allow a week for a business dinner and three days for lunch. Be certain that the date works for you. That might sound obvious, but if you have to cancel or postpone, you can look disorganized and disrespectful of your clients' time.

Select a restaurant that you know, preferably one where you are known. This is no time to try out the latest hot spot. Being confident of the quality of the food and service leaves you free to focus on business.

Consider the atmosphere. Does it lend itself to conversation and discussion? If you and your clients can't hear each other over the roar of the diners and dishes, you will have wasted your time and money.

When you make your reservation, let the staff know that you will be dining with clients. If your guests suggest a restaurant new to you (perhaps you are hosting clients out-of-town), call ahead and speak with the maitre'd. Make it clear that you will be having an important business meal and picking up the check.

Confirm the meal appointment with your clients the day before if you are meeting for breakfast or that day if you are having lunch or dinner. Things do happen and mix-ups occur.

Arrive early so you can attend to last minute details. This is the perfect time to give your credit card to the maitre'd and avoid the awkwardness that seems to accompany the arrival of the bill.

Take charge of the seating. Your guests should have the prime seats-the ones with the view. As the host, take the least desirable spot-the one facing the wall, the kitchen or the restrooms.

Beyond being polite, where you seat your guests is strategic. When you are entertaining one client, sit next to each at a right angle rather than across the table. With two clients, put one across from you and the other to your side. If you sit between them, you will look as if you are watching a match at Wimbledon as you try to follow the conversation.

Allow your guests to order first. You might suggest certain dishes to be helpful. By recommending specific items, you are indicating a price range. Order as many courses as your guests, no more and no less, to facilitate the flow of the meal. It is awkward if one of you orders an appetizer or dessert and the others do not.

As the host, you are the one who decides when to start discussing business. That will depend on a number of factors such as the time of day and how well you know your clients. At breakfast, time is short so get down to business quickly. At lunch, wait until you have ordered so you won't be interrupted. Dinner, the more social occasion, is a time for rapport building. Limit the business talk and do it after the main course is completed.

When you know your clients well, you have more of a basis for small talk. However, because you have established a business friendship, you can eliminate some of the chitchat when time is an issue. When you don't know your clients well, spend more time getting acquainted before launching your shoptalk.

Sometimes you simply need to use your own judgment about when to get down to business, realizing that if you wait too long, your clients may start to wonder why they were invited. If you begin too early in the meal, your guests might suspect that you are more interested in their money than you are in them.

Keep an eye on the time, but don't let your guests see you checking your watch. Breakfast should typically last an hour; lunch an hour and a half. Wrap up your business dinner in two to three hours, no more.

Handle any disasters with grace. With all your attention to detail, things can still go wrong. The food may not be up to your standards, the waiter might be rude or the people at the next table boisterous and out of control. Whatever happens, make sure you are not the one to lose control. Excuse yourself to discuss any problems with the staff. Your guests will feel uncomfortable if you complain in front of or to them.

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink at the business meal. The three Martini lunch is mostly a thing of the past. However, cocktails and wine are still part of the business dinner. Since alcohol can have the same effect as truth serum, keep your consumption to one or two glasses. When guests are drinking liberally and you sense trouble, excuse yourself and discreetly ask the server to hold back on refilling the wine glasses or offering another cocktail.

Your conduct over the meal will determine your professional success. If you pay attention to the details and make every effort to see that your clients have a pleasant experience, they will assume that you will handle their business the same way. Before long you could have them eating out of your hand.

(c) 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at [email protected] or visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

Modest Increase In European Auto Sales Too Much For VW
Forbes
Car sales in Western Europe rose a modest 2.5% in 2017, boosted by burgeoning demand for SUVs, and despite the shunning of diesels and Britain's pre-Brexit problems. Sales in December dived 5.3% to just over 1 million, but that was mainly due to less ...

and more »

CNBC

Tiffany's holiday sales jump 8 percent, boosted by growth in China and Europe
CNBC
Tiffany & Co. on Wednesday reported an 8 percent increase in net revenue during the holiday season, fueled by higher sales of fine jewelry, watches, and a new home and accessories collection. Total same-store sales were up 5 percent during the November ...
Tiffany's Americas holiday same-store sales up 6 percent, raises FY forecastsReuters
Tiffany's Americas holiday same-store sales up 6 pct, raises FY forecastNasdaq

all 9 news articles »

Bloomberg

Online Gold Coin Sales Jumped 400% as Bitcoin Plunged
Bloomberg
Sonny Singh, BitPay's chief commercial officer, and Bloomberg's Cory Johnson discuss the plunge in Bitcoin. Gold coin sales jumped fivefold on Tuesday at one of Europe's largest online dealers as Bitcoin suffered its biggest selloff since December. The ...

and more »

Fox News

European car sales at highest level in 10 years
ABC News
Car sales in Europe topped the 15-million mark for the first time in a decade in 2017, the fourth straight year of higher registrations, the association of European carmakers said Wednesday. Registrations of new cars were up 3.4 percent from 14.6 ...
Volkswagen sales hit record of 10.74 million in 2017Fox News

all 72 news articles »

ESPN

LeBron James passes Steph Curry as top jersey seller in China
ESPN
LeBron James reclaimed his kingdom in China from Stephen Curry -- arguably the most popular current NBA star in China -- in terms of jersey sales, according to the latest NBA China jersey and merchandise sales for the 2017-18 season. Curry, whose ...


Voice of America

Mexican Car Sales Slump Ahead of Election
Voice of America
Car dealerships in Mexico City have kicked off the new year offering "clearance sales" and free insurance as 2017 models collect dust on their lots, a reminder that consumer nerves over high interest rates could slow the economy ahead of elections. The ...

and more »

Bloomberg

BitConnect Closes Exchange as States Warn of Unregulated Sales ...
Bloomberg
BitConnect said it's closing the company's cryptocurrency exchange and lending operation after receiving two cease-and-desist letters from state authorities for the unauthorized sale of securities and suffering from denial-of-service attacks.
China Escalates Crackdown on Cryptocurrency TradingBloomberg

all 554 news articles »

Kelley's Market Trends: Residential Sales 2017
Flathead Beacon
The number of 2017 residential sales in Flathead County set a record high. In 2016 there were 1,680 home sales and 2017 finished with 1,882 sales. The previous high was in 2006 when there were 1,870 home sales. The median price finished at $275,000 ...

and more »

mySanAntonio.com

China Grove considers allowing fireworks sales within city limits
mySanAntonio.com
Back to Gallery. China Grove officials are leaning toward authorizing the sale of fireworks inside the city — while still prohibiting their discharge there — a decision that drew mixed reactions from fireworks vendors. “We're all in agreement that ...

and more »

Reuters

China luxury sales rebound as millennials snap up cosmetics, handbags: report
Reuters
Domestic sales of Gucci handbags to Chanel cosmetics, sluggish in China for years, rose at the fastest pace in over half a decade last year and are poised to consolidate the gains in 2018, according to consultancy Bain & Co. That could provide a major ...

and more »
Google News

Asking The Right Questions

On an introductory call, how do you gather all of... Read More

Sell More: How to Get Motivated Buyers To Call You First

How many sales opportunities have you lost to competitors who... Read More

Cracking The Billable Hours Ceiling

How many of you made as much money as you... Read More

To Sell Successfully, You Have to Be Willing to Be Different

We are complex. We confidently assert that we are independent... Read More

Telephone Techniques

TELEPHONE TECHNIQUESSelling face to face is different from selling on... Read More

Marketing Conversations, And Conversation Stoppers

Where many marketing conversations get off-track are the ones you... Read More

?The Power Of Consumer Opinion, & How To Profit From It!?

Selling is just a whole lot easier when you know... Read More

Winning Sales Proposals

Your proposal is selling for you when you're not there,... Read More

Persuading Learners to Buy: 7 Groups

There are seven major reasons why adults continue their pursuit... Read More

Define Your Best Customer

To be more effective at developing relationships, one should always... Read More

Refining Your Telephone Prospecting Techniques To Be A Master Closer!

Let me create a picture for you. This is the... Read More

Business Lessons Learned At The Mall

Normally in this column I dispense highly-intelligent small business advice... Read More

How to Sell Your Products Without Competition

Selling your products at shows can be difficult when you... Read More

Book Yourself Solid

THE 7 KEYS TO GETTING MORE CLIENTS THAN YOU CAN... Read More

The Anatomy of a Sales Letter

When Dr. Frankenstein exclaimed "it's alive... it's alive," he thought... Read More

When Selling, Keep It Simple Stupid!

After our first half-hour telephone coaching session, when asked what... Read More

The History of Sales: Dale Carnegie is Still with Us

I've recently been hearing sales companies talk about how they... Read More

Four Easy Steps To Building A Powerful Employee Incentive Program

Want to build a successful incentive program for your company?... Read More

A Stupid Question, but it has to be asked

This is a stupid question but it has to be... Read More

What Are Car Boot Sales?

If you live in England then you will already be... Read More

How Can a White Paper Support Sales and Marketing?

A white paper supports PR, marketing and sales because it... Read More

The Power of Thank-You

When was the last time you thanked your customers?This often... Read More

10 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Selling

Ahh. Selling. Sometimes, this is a word that is dreaded... Read More

The Risk of Being A Yes-Man

Sales is all about negotiating. You are negotiating from the... Read More

In Sales Service Means Business

Some businesses flourish while others slowly fade away. There's usually... Read More