How to invite someone to a lunch to talk business and network.
If you have experience in the business world, then you probably know that the idea of ‘doing lunch’ is important for business and networking. Food and meals bring people together in many aspects, so why should networking be any different? Take advantage of a valuable marketing or networking opportunity and invite a client to lunch.
Inviting someone to have lunch and network doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. Many people fear this type of situation because they think clients will be offended by the suggestion. In reality, networking and business lunches are more common than one might think, whether they are one-on-one lunches or meeting-style lunches where multiple people are invited.
Send an Email
Sending an email is a great way to invite someone to a networking lunch as long as the appropriate verbiage is used. When sending out an email invite for a networking lunch, make sure that you are letting your potential guests know the purpose of the lunch date in the email (even if you are doing so subtly). It is extremely important that your intentions are clear; otherwise, your clients or guests may feel as if they were tricked into attending a business lunch. Also, by clarifying the business aspect of the lunch, you are ensuring that they will come to lunch as prepared as possible.
Make Plans Far in Advance
Most businesspeople have busy daily schedules, so it may not be a good idea to spring a networking lunch on them. If you plan a get-together at the last minute and your guests actually can attend, you still run the risk of being unprepared (and appearing incredibly unprofessional). Plenty of notice and proper planning is critical for this type of luncheon to succeed!
Make Sure you’re the One to Treat
If you invite clients to a networking lunch, you should be prepared to treat them. In many instances, a guest may decide that he or she is more comfortable paying, but it is important that you are prepared to take care of the bill either way. It is widely accepted that the person who has made the invitation is expected to foot the bill with no objections. Make a great first impression by paying the lunch tab. This is a great way of letting your guests know that you value their time and appreciate their presence at your networking lunch!
A networking lunch gives you a great opportunity to meet business associates that can help further your business. A meet-and-greet lunch is also a great reason to give out any promotional items that have your business logo on them. Everyone loves getting useful items for free, and they help increase awareness of your business among others that may benefit from your products.
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