Monday, December 27, 2010

Quick Networking Tip: Teeing Up "Business Talk" Over Lunch

It was never hard for me to mix business and lunch. In fact, I don't quite understand why it is for other people - especially since most of our weekday lunches are with other business folks, even if they have also become friends over the years.

Perhaps I had lunches with good networkers who weren't shy about mixing the two, so I learned from them. (In at least one case, I know this is true.)

Anyway... I'm often asked for tips and figured I'd put a couple of them here.

Have a mental agenda. (Required.)

Bring a relevant article to share.

Tee up the conversation with phrases like:
"During the business part of our lunch, I'd like to..."
"After we order and before the food comes, let's talk shop."

Set up the lunch with a business topic.
"Let's go to lunch, since I am not 100% sure who might be a good prospect for you."
"Hey, why don't you look at my LinkedIn profile beforehand and let me know of anyone you might want to meet."
"I see you now offer _______ service. Let's grab a bite; I'd like to learn more."
I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones that come to mind.

Happy networking.

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