People are more receptive to an business proposition if they have just been treated to a meal, according to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources. Over a third of CFO’s interviewed said that other than in their office, their most successful meetings were conducted at a restaurant.
The survey, which asked over 1,400 CFO’s where their most successful business meeting occurred, showed that trade conferences and sporting events were also good places to hold business meetings. However, a restaurant was by far the location selected most often as the site of a successful business meeting.
“A well chosen restaurant can offer a neutral, more relaxed environment than the office, often with ewer distractions,” says Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Sharing a meal with clients or colleagues puts all parties at ease and helps establish rapport.”
Construct the Ambiance for Success
Although a business lunch can seem very informal, there is a lot of protocol you can follow to ensure that the meeting goes your way. McDonald suggests that everything from the restaurant you select to the way you interact with the staff can effect the meetings outcome. He says to make sure that you are on time, relaxed, but that you make sure the meeting moves along and stays on topic. Maintaining the balance between casual and business will ensure that your client feels comfortable and more receptive to your offer.