This is it. A luncheon, meeting, or client deal that has to go through. But, bad manners can ruin the whole thing. So, here’s how to master the business lunch without looking foolish.

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Don’t Go Unprepared

If you know you’re going to meet a client, bring all the paperwork you need with you. If you need to have the client sign a contract, bring it. There’s simply no excuse for being unprepared, it makes you look bad, and it could kill the deal.

If it’s a business meeting with your boss, bring whatever you’re supposed to to the lunch.

As for ordering, most restaurants post their menus online so that you can check them out before you go. This is a great idea so that you don’t sit there and mull over the menu forever, keeping everyone waiting.

If going with your boss, check the menu and make your selections beforehand. It will show you’re not a dawdler and come prepared for the venue.

Don’t Go Out Hungry

Do a little pregame. If you’re ravenous, you’ll be lightheaded or unable to focus on the conversation. Have a small bite to eat before you actually go out to lunch. Good options are protein bars, some cheese and crackers, and a small meal.

Don’t Drink

Drinking alcohol is a social activity. But, it’s probably best reserved for social gatherings, not business meetings. Even if your client or boss drinks, don’t. And, if your company insists that you order something, sip it slowly. Stay coherent.

Don’t Forget Your Manners

The table is a test (sort of). A test of manners. If you fail, it cost you everything.

Sometimes, it’s obvious. Sometimes, not so much. For example, many people know not to pick their nose during dinner. Many people do not know, however, not to eat with their elbows on the table.

If you mess up during a job interview, or a meeting with a client, you could end up losing the deal, or the job. And, sometimes, acting badly could become a serious liability. If you drink too much, and become drunk and aggressive, you could end up in court facing injuryclaimnyclaw.com, a personal injury attorneys in Jamaica – not good.

Put Your Phone Away

This one is actually harder for most people to understand these days, because phones are so ubiquitous and more and more people are completely oblivious to the fact that it represents bad manners.

Checking messages on your phone is bad manners and disrespectful. Likewise, checking Facebook, taking or making a phone call is bad manners. Put your phone away, on silent, or turn it off.

Don’t Treat The Staff Poorly

People who treat waiters and waitresses poorly are revealing their own disrespectful nature. Never explode on them or take out your frustrations on the staff, even if someone dumps a glass of wine on you. This is especially true if you’re interviewing for a new job or you’re meeting with a client.

How you react in stressful or extreme situations says a lot about your character and you under pressure.

Scott Bentley is a managing director. He loves the fast paced world of business and enjoys sharing his knowledge by writing for business blogs.

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