Today, more than ever, deals are sealed at the dining table. If you are not comfortable doing business over a meal, you may be losing that business. That’s why so many companies around the country are investing in dining etiquette and protocol experiences for their frontline employees. Strength, and making tough decisions, ARE compatible with good manners! Many of today’s management are well-educated, but not in social skills. Although we may not be remembered for good manners, we will for bad.

At business meals, it’s about BUSINESS. Remember WHY you are there…you will eat again. Have a protein bar, etc. before the meal to avoid being too hungry to focus on the business at hand.

When mixing lunch or dinner with business:
*Pace your eating to your client’s. Don’t leave him/her eating alone or feeling rushed, so if you need to send your food back until his/her’s gets there,
please do so.
* immediately bring up work. Business dinners are a great way to build rapport and gain their trust first. A good time to start the work discussion is after appetizers, when you are first getting to know them. Use coffee and dessert time to summarize key points.
* spread papers all over the table. Give papers to your guests to look over later, but not while eating.
* be late. If you are hosting the meal, arrive 10 minutes early. Guests should always call if they are going to be late—even by a few minutes.

For more information on a seminars or personal coaching, contact Rita Rocker, Chief Communications and Image Officer, Transformation Academy, 402-968-3250, www.transformationacademy.
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