How to Wrap Up a Business Meal
You finally got the potential client to agree to lunch. Now don’t waste this golden opportunity. Follow Modern Manners Guy’s 3 tips to successfully wrap up a business meal.
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I’ve always found that the best way to do a business meeting is over a nice meal. Be it at a restaurant or even just over coffee, somehow food just makes the conversation more casual and, if you’re lucky, the results just the way you anticipated. As well, when you meet someone out in public for a meal, it puts you on an even playing field, as opposed to if you were meeting in their office.
However, no matter what sort of outing you plan, it’s crucial to remember that the main purpose of the meeting is to make a deal. Sure, you may like the person a lot, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in conversation and good food. But let’s be honest, the main reason you asked them out – or they asked you out – is because you had certain business to discuss. So don’t blow it! Don’t walk out of there wishing you did more, said more, or really nailed down the next steps in working together.
So before you end up spending the next hour in your car banging your head against your steering wheel saying, “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for how to properly and successfully wrap up a business meal:
Tip #1: A.B.C. = Always Be Closing
In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross the character Blake has a famous quote: “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing.” What he means is that no matter what’s happening, you have to stay focused on making the deal. Always be on the ball and always make sure you end things the way you want to. Of course, not all meals are this intense and not everyone’s jobs are so focused on “the deal,” but this saying does apply to all business meals.
Whether you are the one being sold or the one pitching the next big thing, you must remember that your time is being spent for work and not just because the lunch specials at this restaurant are spectacular. So don’t waste anyone’s time. If you are not interested in the other person’s proposal, then let them know, politely. Something like “That sounds like a wonderful idea. But I’m not sure our budget allows for that sort of investment at this time. Can we catch up on this in the next quarter?” This way, you both save face and can go on to have a perfectly civil meal.
However, if things are going well and both parties are feeling the groove of success, then close it, buddy! It is essential that you make sure they know where you stand, you know where they stand, and all business matters are discussed adequately.
Bottom line: Don’t leave the table with questions unanswered. Ever!