Most of my girlfriends and guy friends are disappointed that I don't act like most "pencil-skirt-owning fast-talking corporate leaders"even my postman seems a little disappointed. Sometimes my little niece baby James often uses the time when I'm telling my "daring stories" of how I conquered paperwork or sat on the edge of my seat as I watched some stock climbing beautifully. So I won't dare bore you with those details, instead I will share a few tips about business lunches I've learned in my few years as a pencil skirt connoisseur.
Location, Location, Location...
A lot of business and advertising books will tell you that location is everything, it doesn't matter how great your product or service is if you're in the wrong place talking to the wrong people. For a meeting pick a location that is central and easy to find, if you are the one who called the meeting it is polite to offer to meet closer to the other person's place of business. If it's a client, let them pick the restaurant or even offer to go to their premises. So what if they serve bad coffee?
Be on time! It doesn't matter if the other person is late but if you are late that says a lot about your character and with any luck the person you're meeting with will also stumble upon this piece of writing and realise that being early matters. Do you really want to leave that to chance? I didn't think so, you are allowed to email this to people with whom you usually meet, add a "I stumbled upon this" — a smiley face is optional, depending on how well you know the people. Being early shows that you really care about what the meeting is about, plus you get to hold it against the other person if they are late or stand you up. You can get all sorts of things: an "I'm sorry" SMS, a better office, cup cakes, a Friday afternoon off or even a "why aren't the rest of oualway on time like Susie?" And as my mother often quips, a date. That's if you're that kind of person. [I know I am!]
Plan, research and practice if necessary. Know what the meeting is about, make a mini agenda and make sure you tick all the items off. Listen to what the other person is saying. Make notes and ask questions if something is not clear.
Pick a restaurant you like, if you don't like the meeting place or if you're not sure about it eat before the meeting. If you are running late, call and let the other person know.
I'm off to find out what's going on with the Easter weekend, CSI and staff party budgets.
Image found here