A business dinner can make or break a relationship in the corporate world. When an individual is going to take a big client (or potential client) out for business dining, there are several key steps to follow in order for it to go as well as possible.
Business Dining is all About Choices
It is important to offer a choice of restaurants when taking someone out for a business dinner. Give the client a small selection of choices where to dine. By doing this, individuals can ensure the person they are taking out for the business dinner will not get stuck at a restaurant that serves food they do not like; this can set a bad tone for the evening.
Take Down Notes for Conversation Topics
Jot down some conversation topics that can be discussed during the business dinner. There is typically a period of small talk before business is discussed, and an awkward silence or a conversation that seems forced is not a good way to get started. Write down three ideas for small talk so the dinner can begin as well as possible, before serious topics are discussed.
Watch Their Body Language
There are tell tale signs that people are not enjoying themselves. One of these major signs is if someone keeps looking at their watch; this is a sign of boredom. If someone keeps doing this, it is best to ask for a check, move things along as quickly as possible, and give them some business cards while thanking them for their time. Investing time and effort into a business dinner when the client is not receptive is a waste of time. Dragging things out may worsen the situation; try to end things quickly and on the best note possible.
Take Care of the Details Before Business Dining
By doing some research and finding several different restaurants to choose from, making some notes of small talk conversation that can be had before business is discussed, and observing body language an individual can set themselves up to have a business dinner that goes smoothly. Business dinners can be a great way to keep a relationship with an important client, or try to bring in new clients to a business. As individuals practice the methods listed here, they can become better at implementing them and business dining will become second nature. Another great benefit of business dinners is that they are tax deductible; make sure to keep all receipts from these dinners and the cost can then be deducted from an individual’s income taxes each year.