The current business environment seems to be heavily focused on trying to get as much done in as little time as possible in order to maximize efficiency and profits.
There are going to be times when an email or a quick video conferencing call might get the job done but there is also a good argument for saying that business lunches are still very relevant and could help your business grow.
Here are some of the compelling reasons why you should consider making time for regular business lunches.
A more in-depth meeting
If you are holding a meeting at your office or meeting someone in their usual environment there are plenty of potential distractions that could interrupt the flow of the conversation and spoil the rapport you are trying to build.
A business lunch where you are away from the usual distractions of interruptions and phones ringing will give you a greater element of control and allow the conversation to progress more easily.
An hour spent lunching with a potential client without any distractions and where you can really get to know each other better could prove to be a good investment in a future business relationship that could blossom.
A level playing field
If you are arranging an international business meeting at somewhere like the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, for instance, this would create a neutral territory where you will both be on an equal footing.
If you go to someone’s office or they come to yours, this can often create a situation where the host controls the environment and this can change the tone and agenda of the meeting all too easily.
When you meet for lunch at a venue that is away from the usual influences that can put one or both of you ill at ease this will allow you to get down to business without feeling that one of you is more in control than the other.
The opportunity to treat them well
It might be perceived as good business etiquette to consider splitting the bill these days but when you invite someone to lunch it allows you the chance to offer to pick up the check and show them how much you value the chance to get to know them and create a business relationship.
The great thing about inviting someone to a business lunch is that it does give you the ability to show your gratitude for agreeing to meet and how much you appreciate their time by taking up the option of paying for the lunch rather than splitting the cost.
You can do this discreetly so as not to cause any embarrassment, by giving the waiter your card privately before you start your lunch. Surprising them with the news that lunch is covered could be the catalyst for cementing a strong business relationship.
If you want to get on in business don’t dismiss the opportunities that come with making the time to take someone out for a nice lunch.