Business Dining Etiquette - The Art of Keeping The Deal...

Business dining etiquette is such an important topic. Think about the last few times that you were doing a proposal, negotiation, or sales presentation for your business. Chances are, the presentation was done over a meal.  Your ability to show good etiquette literally can make or break the deal

For every sale you do not close, how much do you lose? In today's shrinking economy, you cannot afford to lose transactions. Every prospect and client are critical. So, how do you leverage your efforts?

One easy way is to become a master of one way of doing business. Very few people have mastered business dining etiquette and this is an easy way to set yourself apart from the others. 

Business Dining EtiquetteWhy have few people succeeded in business dining manners? Think about the steps involved with the process:

  • Extending the invitation
  • Coordinating the details
  • Getting a location that is "conversation friendly"
  • Eating without offending others
  • Having time for the presentation
Do you feel awkward eating in front of others? Many people do...and it shows.

Is it possible to eat in such a way that people will trust you and have more confidence? It is...and it can be taught very quickly...

In a very short period of time, you can learn the principles of business dining etiquette and be more successful in your business dealings with others. It is really just a matter of focus and attention to the details.

I have been at business lunches where people were so offensive, I would not work with them. As an example, I was at a business lunch one day and one of the people I was eating with reached over and took food off of my plate (without asking) and ate it. I could not believe it!

I vowed that I would not work with them again...

When you are doing a presentation, regardless of what you are selling, you are the product because they will either trust you or they will not trust you. What impression are you making on people? Are you turning them off before you even get to the presentation?

What we say is far less important than how we say it. When you are on a business lunch or dinner, or even a presentation, make sure that you make the right impression.

I have found that when I eat at a business meal, I do it differently than when I am with my family. At a business meal, I intentionally slow down and eat slowly. Generally speaking, eating fast does not inspire confidence or make the right impression.

I will also order food that I know I can eat without much of a manners nightmare. Foods like spaghetti can really cause a bad impression if you are slurping the noodles and they are hanging out of your mouth.

I find that I usually wipe my mouth after every bite or two. This is mostly for my own knowledge so that I haven't left a morsel of food or sauce on my face when I am talking to them. Usually they will be too embarrassed to tell you if you have something on your face. So, make sure you take care of it yourself.

These quick tips on business dining etiquette will have you eating with confidence and closing the deal!

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