In the previous blog entry, we broke down business breakfasts. While they are not very popular, this can not be said about lunches. Discussing work-related things and closing deals during lunch is as normal nowadays as listening to music when you work out. These two things can be done separately and it wouldn’t hurt either one, but when they go together, they complement themselves hence add value to each other. And who doesn’t like a good meal and a signed contract with some zeros in it? Since closing deals is not the only thing to do during a business lunch, here are our 3 tips on how to make most out of this meal.
However, we will start with a general tip that applies to all business meetings where the food’s involved. One of the most common questions about meals is:
Who pays for a meal?
The answer is simple – the one who organizes the meeting. However, if you are the guest, you should offer to pay your part of the bill. Do not forget to check that you have more than enough balance on your card or cash before you go to the lunch!
Now, let’s jump to the lunch-specific guidelines. Keep in mind that the difference between business breakfast and lunch is that people mostly consider the former as a follow-up on different topics and the latter, while it can also be a follow-up, is also good for making acquaintances:
Business card exchange
The universal thing about business acquaintances, besides saying hi, is a business card exchange. There are some rules about this process that you need to follow if you don’t want your partner to think that you disrespect them:
- In Muslim countries, you must give your business card using the right hand even if you are left-handed. In the majority of Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Israel, China, and India business cards are given and taken with two hands. The representatives of these countries will slightly bow while handing out the business card. If you are a foreigner, you do not have to bow back.
- When you receive a business card, read the name and the surname of the owner out loud.
- After you receive a business card, do not put it into the back pocket of your jeans. At least for as long as the owner is present. If your partner gives you the business card during the meal, put it on the table and don’t take it away until the negotiations are over.
Order a dessert
And not, we are not saying this because we are sweet teeth and we decided that you are too. Dessert is an important part because it symbolizes the end of the meal and it also leads to the conclusion of your discussion. People seal the highest amount of deals during dessert-time. Do not underestimate the importance of having a cake.
Think of your devices beforehand
Sometimes it’s important to bring a laptop to the business lunch, for instance, to take notes as the meeting goes. Ask your associate if that’s ok. You won’t get a no, and still, it’s a part of business etiquette.
But what if you found a perfect restaurant but the tables are too small for a laptop? Or two laptops? You can always use a phone or a tablet without losing functionality. For example, Meeting Assistant works perfectly with Salesforce1, Salesforce mobile app, that lets you use Salesforce on your phone or tablet, and makes it very easy to take notes on your smartphone.
Want to find learn more about capturing meeting minutes with your mobile phone? Contact our customer success team today at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply use the form below!
Good luck with your business lunches and see you in the article about business dinners!
Customer Success Manager