19 Tips for a Successful One-on-One Networking Breakfast
After a year of dutifully attending networking meetings, mixers and events you finally were able to schedule a meeting with that one special prospect. Now, what? Do you meet in their office, skype, have an extended conference call, play golf, go to lunch, or meet for cocktails?
Love em’ or not, a one-on-one networking meeting involving food is an excellent way to establish a relationship with a future client, power-partner or even, a competitor. Personally, I prefer the breakfast meeting above anything else, as it has a friendly feel with a no pressure vibe attached to the outcome. Meeting over breakfast is virtually fuss-free. There are no complicated menu choices and food is quickly prepared. Here are a few ideas and tips you might find beneficial for your next breakfast meeting.
- Always be the first to arrive.
- Never bring your children or mother. Ever.
- Schedule your meeting at a restaurant nearest to your guest’s office.
- Get to know a few things about your guest in advance to ease the flow of conversation.
- If you extended the invitation, you pay.
- Never pay with a coupon or gift card.
- Do not request a discount.
- Do not order from the senior or children’s menu.
- If your guest prefers to order only coffee and you are famished – order something small.
- Do not order any food with syrup, or that you would eat using your fingers.
- Forget ordering the grilled tilapia salad, order breakfast food.
- If your plate is 2/3 fuller than your guest’s, you are talking too much.
- Put your cell phone down and do not answer it if someone calls.
- If your guest answers their phone, smile. Do not mention a word about it afterwards.
- Never text or answer a text while sharing meal time with someone.
- Skip bringing home the leftovers.
- If the person checks their phone or their watch, request the check immediately.
- If you need to use the restroom before you leave, walk your guest outside first.
- If they need to use the restroom, do not follow them in and use the other stall.
Remember your goal is to foster this new relationship. Your prospect may be the one who introduces you to the connection who can launch your business and career into the stratosphere. Bonus tip!: Be sure to follow-up with a handwritten thank you card.