A power lunch is a working lunch, where important discussions, plans or ideas are discussed. These types of lunches allow business professionals or executives to talk about work in a neutral setting that can be slightly more relaxed than being in a boardroom.
It can be crucial to a lucrative deal and every little detail needs to be paid attention to, this includes the location, what is said and behaviour. We have compiled 5 tips to guarantee that the lunch is a success, which will impress and secure the deal.
1) Offer Options
Once the time and date has been organised, don’t wait to be told the venue - offer options. Three options are best, as it gives variety and allows your guest to have a choice. Ensure that the venue that is chosen is in a central location and is convenient for all that are attending. No one wants to travel miles and spend large amounts on petrol, especially if they don’t have to. Also make sure that the venue has a private space to talk or that it is known as being a quiet place to dine. The last thing that is needed is rowdiness that can disrupt or distract at any point.
No one wants to turn up to a business meeting all hot and bothered, so arrive at least 10 minutes early. This will allow time to get used to the surroundings, as well as enough time to gather your thoughts and to grab a drink. You should ensure that you are listening more than you talk, and don’t become too pushy. If you talk too much about yourself, you will put your guest off. Try to make a well rounded, two-way conversation that flows naturally and appeals to your guest’s natural desire to talk about themselves. It will make them feel like you care, and well looked after.
Phones should also be off the table, unless you need it to note something down or to show something that is relevant. Alcohol should be approached carefully, and dictated by the leader of the meeting. If they order, then the guest can order too, but it should be kept to a moderate consumption. Body language is also important, and you should ensure it is open yet professional.
"Be firm and don’t be afraid to refer back to your agenda if it goes off topic."
3) Save the business talk
Don’t start the meeting with business talk, slowly develop into it, ideally waiting until the food is on the table. Small talk can be difficult at times, so stick to topics such as children, travel and technology. It is best to avoid topics such as politics, religion and dating. Another tip that will keep conversation flowing is to do some research into your guest. Learn as much about them as you can. By doing this you ensure that not only do you know enough to avoid awkward small talk, but you also impress your guest by showing a genuine interest in them as a person.
4) Lunch doesn't have to be at lunch time
Although the term is still used, a “Power Lunch” can now be a meal at any time of the day and can even be just a mid-afternoon coffee. We now live in a world that is 24/7, the evolution of the term coincides with that. Overall, the purpose remains the same but the time alters. Regardless of the time of the day the meeting takes place, remember that you are at this meeting for a purpose, so don’t let food or drinks, regardless of how good they may be, distract you from why you are there in the first place. Be firm and don’t be afraid to refer back to your agenda if it goes off topic.
5) Who's paying?
This one should be a no-brainer. If you invited them and you want to "schmooze" or impress them then you should be footing the bill. However, if they are adamant that they want to pay or split the bill then allow them to. You don’t want a disagreement at the end of a business meeting, to not only guarantee you lose a lucrative deal but any deals that could have occurred in the future. If you did pay then don't refer back to it at a later date, this is not necessary and is in bad taste.
If you follow these steps, you will be certain to have a successful and lucrative business lunch. However, there are always practises that each individual will have of their own, which begs the question, what would you add to this list?
We are interested to find out, so tweet us @NetworkHRJobs and let us know.