It is often said that respect begets respect. This only goes to show the importance of the practice of business etiquette whether you are dealing with long-time or new-found clients as well as with your other business associates.
The corporate world is a host to a wide range of possibilities. Nowadays, several of the business dealings no longer transpire within the four walls of the office. Many businessmen conduct the transactions over lunch or dinner. Some of them are done while playing golf, during some special business functions, and during some entertainment events. Needless to say, the restaurants are among the common venues wherein contracts are signed and business deals are closed.
Below are among the essential business dining etiquette tips that you should observe. Keep them in mind and establish healthy business relationships.
Take note of how the clock works.
Prior to the actual meeting itself, you have to come up with a schedule. Is it going to be at breakfast time? Is it at lunchtime? Or will you have dinner instead? Whichever schedule you settle with, what is very important is that you arrive at the venue earlier than your client does. Don't let your client wait for you. Being on time or ahead of time is a sign of courtesy and respect. It is by arriving early that you have more time to fix yourself, to use the restroom, to check your documents, to warm up with your dialogues, and the like.
Do your own research.
There are instances when it is the client who suggests on the venue of the business meeting. If the place is unfamiliar to you, it is vital that you do your own research. Check out the website of the restaurant, make phone calls, or ask other colleagues for directions. It will also be helpful if you check out their menu beforehand so that you already know what to order for yourself. Doing so will save you from wasting too much time on the table.
Drinking alcohol or not?
Before the business meal itself, it is best to determine if you are in the mood to order for any alcoholic beverage. Be careful though if your client or associate is not at all a drinker. You may also ask your boss if drinking is the client's cup of tea. Of course, you have to know your own responsibility as you drink. More so, be sure that you know your own capacity to tolerate such alcoholic beverage.
Let's talk it.
What are you supposed to discuss for the meeting? You may start the conversation with some hints about sports, travel, business trends, current events, entertainment, and the likes. Small talks like these help set the mood of the business meeting. As soon as you feel that your counterpart or client is already settled, then it is best to discuss your proposal.
Be ready with your cash.
You may or may not be paying for the meal. However, there are times when the total amount of the meal may exceed that what you have previously expected. In times like these, your extra cash can save the day.
The business etiquette is best to integrate into your own system. After all, proper manners encourages long-term business relationships.