One of the best experiences in the world includes having a great tasting meal served right in front of you and your beloved guests and family. No matter where you are in the world, meals are exceptional when you spend them with the people you want.
However, what does breakfast, lunch, or dinner have to do with a business meeting? Why do most deals and necessary corporate introductions are made over these meals? As mentioned earlier, having a meal with trusted people is a pleasurable experience. Business deals done over meals signal each party involved that things are going positive. However, there are times when something goes wrong.
Business deals done over meals are so crucial that a lot of people pay attention to every detail. If the experience isn’t a pleasurable one, you can expect a business deal to go down the drain. A simple mixup with reservations, food, wine, and even the wrong choice of clothing can become enough reason why a deal doesn’t go through.
With a potential growth and wealth on the line, a business meal is a worthy investment for any host that’s looking to seal a good deal with corporate leaders and business owners. With that said, here are some tips for having proper etiquette while doing business deals over meals, particularly during dinner.
Choosing the Right Place
When you’re the host of a business deal, you arguably have the most critical responsibilities for a business dinner to go smoothly. One of those responsibilities is choosing the right place. Is the place classy? Do they serve the right type of wine your client likes?
Never let your client choose the place. If they don’t suggest it first, you should offer a place where you think is the best that can make a deal go through.
Wear the Proper Attire
Aside from choosing the right place, you also have to look presentable. The way you dress speaks volumes about your personality and, possibly, how you conduct business. Always dress professionally when doing deals over meals.
Imagine having a business meeting that involves thousands or even millions of dollars with a person who’s wearing a graphic tee, sweatpants, and flip flops on. As mentioned earlier, the way you dress also tells something about your personality. If a client sees you wear rugged, casual clothing during your meeting, then it can say to them that you simply don’t care about the deal; you’re untidy, unprofessional, and not pleasant to work with.
Wearing a suit and tie, or a business casual look is the right way to do it. Wear appropriate accessories such as iconic watches, beautiful pieces of jewelry, etc.
Don’t Cancel any meeting, unless it’s an emergency
Canceling a planned business dinner can be very damaging to a person, especially if they do it at the last minute. Only cancel meetings when it’s an accident that needs your actual presence. Clients will understand if a family member is physically injured. If you’re sick and can’t go forward with the meeting, at least notify the other party 24 hours before the actual meeting.
If you’re just busy with something, or you have somewhere else to go is the reason why you’re canceling last minute, then you probably don’t deserve the attention that a client is giving to you.
Pay for the Dinner
As the host, always pay the dinner. A business meal is an investment that can potentially land you more options for growing your company.
Don’t Ask for Doggie Bags
Even if the meal is fantastic and there’s still a lot left, don’t ever ask for a waiter to get a doggie bag for you. Getting extra food to eat later is a good thing for family dinners, asking for it during professional meetings is rude.
Be Courteous to Restaurant Staff
Treat the waiter or any other restaurant staff with courtesy. If you want to request something, ask in a respectful tone and say, “Please.” If you receive your request, politely say, “Thank you.”
DON’T BE LATE
Don’t ever let your client wait for you. Being late at the dinner you organized yourself tells your client that you don’t care and that they are on your time. It’s considered an insult and is why most business deals don’t go through.
With the right etiquette, you can make your business dinners feel more special and pleasurable. When that happens, you can expect your business deal to go through. Wearing the right clothes, be courteous to everyone, pay for the dinner, and don’t ever be late can all help you seal the deal with your client.