Top 5 Lunch Meeting Mistakes. “Let’s go to lunch” is so often what salespeople say to interest a prospect or deepen relationships with an existing client. Great. But there is a chance that you will alienate someone if you don’t pay attention to these top 5 lunch meeting mistakes.
Talking too soon about business.
Listen, you’re there for a meeting. You’re at this restaurant to talk shop but you also need to show basic social graces. If you jump right in with the business talk the person you’re meeting with isn’t going to be relaxed as you should be at lunch.
Forgetting to talk at all about business until the Check arrives.
While it’s good to engage in some light and casual conversation you also have to remember you’re there for business. Don’t wait until the check comes to discuss the reason for having said meeting in the first place. A good rule of thumb is to start business talk once everyone at the table has ordered their food.
Not calling ahead.
This is both a bad move and a missed opportunity. By calling ahead you can ensure a table by either making a reservation or making sure the restaurant isn’t too busy. That is a smart move but an even smart move is to call ahead and tell the maitre d who you are when you will be arriving, who you will be with and what you will be discussing while at the restaurant. This not only helps with getting a good table but will also look impressive to the person you’re going to lunch with.
Going to a loud and/or crowded place.
You’re going to this lunch meeting to presumably talk about important business matters. Don’t pick a place that can get loud or has a noisy atmosphere. You’re there to make moves professionally not catch the game.
Being rude or short to server.
This seems obvious but this mistake is still made far too often. Being short with the staff at the restaurant shows the person you are trying to go into business with that you can be disrespectful. It portrays a personality trait in you that most wouldn’t want to do business with.