Don’t misinterpret this tip. Hear me out. I am a big advocate of eating lunch and believe everyone should do it! In the context of business development, however, lunch is not for everyone. If you’re trying to schedule lunch with a client or prospective client, it is quite possible that they’ll turn you down. Many view a lunch appointment as a colossal time sink, because it can interrupt the flow of a work day, pull you away from the office for 2+ hours (if travel is involved), and often takes place in a distracting and loud setting, making quality conversation difficult.
We recommend offering alternative meeting options, such as an early morning or late afternoon coffee. Or perhaps you do stick with lunch, but offer to bring it in to the client’s place of business. You can pull up a chair at their conference table for a more intimate, comfortable and convenient chat.
Based on feedback we have received during client interviews with GCs and executives, they think that alternative meeting times and locations are great. They end up being “occupied” for a shorter period of time and it allows them to continue their busy day. It also sends the message that you are cognizant and respectful of their time. A bonus perk for you: it gives you an opportunity to meet and interact with their colleagues, earning you multiple points of contact and greater rapport.