How To Have Successful Networking Lunches

How To Have Successful Networking Lunches

Networking can be difficult. You may not know a great deal about a potential connection and need a way to break the ice. Luckily, a meal can do just the trick. Take the tips below to learn how to have successful networking lunches.

8 Tips For Having Successful Networking Lunches

Plan Ahead Going out to lunch with a prospective new employer or business partner can be an awkward experience. Who pays for whom? What sort of meal do you order? How much small talk should you make? Rather than simply “winging it,” make a mental plan of what you should expect and how you intend on handling those circumstances. This planning may also include getting a sense of the menu ahead of time; by doing this, you can order quickly and confidently. If you the paying party, consider giving the restaurant your credit card in advance to alleviate any potential confusion and to be more discreet.

Clean eating The key in a networking lunch lies in accepting one basic principle: the lunch is not about the food. It’s about the business relationship. This may require you to skip your favorite dish if it’s too messy or obnoxious (in quality, cost, etc.). No matter how much you’re craving pizza or ribs, skip it unless your lunch colleague suggests it first. These foods are way too messy; it’s practically impossible to look professional while eating these items.

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Imitate your companion’s selections Make your lunch choices based off your companions. Skip either the most expensive, or the cheapest, item on the menu. Do this because it can signal to your guest that you’re focused on the price tag; this may make them feel uncomfortable about their own selections. Pace yourself If your lunch companion is a slower eater, they might be still sitting in front of a full plate while you’re finished. Try to avoid this from happening. Pace yourself, and eat at their pace.

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Your aim should be to finish about the same time.

Don’t drink too much Avoid drinking too much. This even includes drinking too much water. You don’t want to have to excuse yourself to go to the restroom on many occasions; would you like being left as a guest twiddling your thumbs on multiple instances? Of course not! Definitely watch out when it comes to alcohol, especially in the Middle East. Unless your guest orders it first, avoid it. If you do have a drink, maintain a one drink max. Mind Your Manners Remember your dining etiquette. Bring your food to your mouth, not vice versa. Use the proper spoons and utensils for each dining aspect. Tilt the soup bowl away from you. Manners can make a good impression, and can put you over the top in making a professional proposition.

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Ask plenty herb viagra green box review of questions This lunch is not about you. Your goal is to get to know the other person. Therefore, let your curiosity run free and ask lots of questions. Remember to keep them conversational though; this isn’t an inquisition. If you’re not good at coming up with questions on the spot, plan ahead with inquiries. Avoid going into minute details of your own life; definitely leave your personal baggage at home. It’s also good to have a look at the news headlines for some current topics to get you started.

Stay on Task Embrace small talk, but don’t let it delay the event. You’re there to get to know someone outside a business setting, but that doesn’t mean it should take all day. Try to place your orders before getting sidetracked talking about each other’s families. At the same time, don’t bring up business too soon in the meal. This is especially true with traditional Middle Eastern customs. Get to know your companion. Try to establish trust and grow the relationship. Many consultants suggest to wait until your guest brings up work or bring up the subject over dessert and coffee. The networking lunch can perform wonders in accomplishing your professional goals. Incorporate these recommendations into your routine and be prepared for your next lunchtime affair.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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