When it comes to marketing, the future is texting and “permission-based” advertising to attract new business and keep customers on site. Michael Perhaes, Sr. V.P. of Edelman Digital in Chicago, predicts that soon there will be no “traditional” or “digital” marketing, just “marketing.” He recently commented in the Las Vegas Sun on the state of – and various types of – hotel marketing. This combination of traditional and digital marketing, according to Perhaes, is being referred to already as “tradigital.”Inspiring, to say the least.
Reading Michael’s comment reminded me just how much I want to create my own word(s). This desire first came to me when Stephen Colbert invented the word “truthiness” a while ago. I decided I, too, wanted to invent a word. But where to begin….?
Hmmm. Being “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” I thought my word should probably have something to do with the Business Lunch. If I had a dollar for every time I had to type or say “Business Lunch,” I’d have more money than Trump. Don’t think I haven’t considered inventing “blunch.” It’s just that the word itself is, well, unappealing and unappetizing. I’ve used “biz lunch” in the past, but it sounds too hurried, as in “Let’s catch a smoothie after a work out in the gym.”
I could rip of Colbert directly – and talk about “lunchiness.” But what exactly would “lunchiness” mean?
I finally decided upon a phrase, rather than a single word. I’m here to discuss my new phrase: “LUNCH WORTHY”! This works for me, as time today is our greatest resource. If you want me to meet you for lunch, I have to consider taking at least an hour to get ready (now that I work from home, I am not always “lunch ready”!) But that just scratches the surface.
There is the drive to wherever your office is or to the restaurant, if I am not going to pick you up. After SCHLEPPING back and forth across the valley for nearly 20 years, I am incredibly reluctant to drive very far just to have lunch with a colleague or client. Working from home has definitely spoiled me!
Then, there is the preparation. Preparing for a business lunch takes time. I have to get up-to-date on the industry, current events, and so on…. I’m sure you’re getting the picture.
The WORST part about lunch today is that since I’m now dressed up and out and about, I will most likely want to stop at the market on my way home. It’s apparent that a simple 1.5 hour lunch (or my favorite 2+ hour lunch) is going to turn into a 5-hour excursion. Taking 5 hours out of my day means I’ll be sitting here at 11PM, working and making up for lost time.
Are you LUNCH WORTHY? Is having lunch with you going to be so fabulous that it will be well WORTH the five hours it’s going to take? In many cases, it IS worth it. I love to connect with former colleagues and I definitely enjoy work-related business lunches with current clients or prospects. There are also worthwhile industry functions – which are tremendous networking opportunities!
The next time you take someone out to lunch, make sure you have a lot to share. Try to be as LUNCH WORTHY as possible and I bet you’ll see your lunch calendar fill up quickly!
And, if you still can’t spare the time it takes to have a productive, yet leisurely lunch, remember that a coffee or breakfast meeting can always solve your problems. Here is a clip where I explain why coffee is a great substitute for a business lunch.
I had a few friends over for dinner last night, including my friends Barry and Louise Berlin. Louise asked if it is okay to use your bread as a “pusher” – as in using it to push the salad onto your fork.
She was surprised when I ran to my bookshelf to retrieve my copy of “Etiquette for Dummies.” I explained that I went to a source because while I was quite certain I knew the answer, I really wanted to be sure … and when it comes to this particular question, I remembered that there are actually several different answers! That’s the thing about etiquette – different behaviors apply to different situations. MOST of these variations are simply based on the differences between formal and casual settings; bread as a pusher is no exception!
I was able to share with Louise and another friend, Edy, that in a CASUAL setting, it’s okay to use your bread as a PUSHER! BUT – in a more formal setting, it is not. No wonder I couldn’t remember!
It’s funny to me that many people are often too intimidated to dine with me. I try to put them at ease by explaining that I was only able to write my book, “The Art of the Business Lunch” because I had already made every mistake there is to make; why not learn from my experiences? Why must we make every mistake ourselves? But I do know a lot when it comes to etiquette … I even speak on it!
So, where does the FUN come in? We started reading all about bread at the dinner table – how to pass it (to the right), how to take a slice (using the napkin to hold the loaf while you tear off a slice), and how you must put butter on your dish and then butter your bread; never take butter directly from the community plate and put it on your bread.
I think it’s fascinating to read about etiquette and discover all the little nuances that add grace to a client lunch or business dinner. If you’ve ever wondered about exactly what to do, pick up a copy of an etiquette book. You’ll really find it enjoyable and some of the tips are sure to surprise you!
Is breakfast the new lunch? ABSOLUTELY!
As “The Queen of the Business Lunch,” I ought to know; I personally hosted more than 3,000 client lunches while I was an advertising account executive and saw my sales increase by more than 2,000%. As many of you know, my tips and techniques for building business over meals was chronicled in my award-winning book, “The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2″ which is currently in twelve languages. There is nothing as effective as breaking bread for getting to know a client, to learn more about their business, understand their needs, and find better ways to help them achieve their goals. Something magical happens when you are in a social setting, sharing food. But budgets have been busted, expense accounts annihilated, and time to savor sandwiches and conversation is at a premium!
I am recommending breakfast meetings as an effective way to break bread in this “new economy”!
There have been so many changes in business over the past few years that even though a business lunch would still be ideal, many professionals just don’t have the time for it anymore. Working mothers can’t spare an hour and a half out of their day since they have to pick up their kids at five o’clock. And executives with billable hours – like attorneys – have always had a hard time getting away for any length of time during the work day.
Meeting someone for coffee or breakfast at eight o’clock in the morning is a wonderful way to accomplish your relationship-building goals while saving time and money. It’s not apparent that you may be suggesting breakfast as a way of saving on your expense account. Instead, it will simply seem like a more efficient way to get together.
The pace of business has picked up incredibly over the past few years. Today people just don’t have time for long, languishing lunches. The 3-martini business lunch of the late ’60′s and early ’70′s – where lunch rolled right on into happy hour – is long gone. But most of us used to be able to get away long enough for a decent lunch.
In today’s business environment, however, people just have too much work to do. If the professionals with whom you do business still have time for lunch, I urge you to seize those precious hours in the middle of the day to take those clients out. The mid-day hours can become the most productive time of your day. But for those who either don’t have time themselves or whose clients don’t have any time to spare, breakfast done right can help you to achieve your traditional business lunch goals.
Traditional lunchtime goals are primarily about building relationships – and trust me….something absolutely magical happens over a meal. People let their guard down and they open up. You’ll discover information about their business that you would never learn in an office setting. And the more you know, the better you will be able to help your clients achieve their goals…and that is really what it’s all about. People prefer to do business with people they like, and there is no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal with them. And if you don’t have time or the budget for a high-end lunch, then breakfast is the next best way to build relationships.
I recommend meeting at a Starbucks or neighborhood coffee shop for morning meetings. Meeting over lattes and muffins doesn’t just help you to save a bundle on meals, but it also assures that you’ll get that quality “face time” that is essential to business success. It’s a lot like working out. A lot can happen during your day to sabotage a planned after-work visit to the gym. Your friends might want to meet for happy hour or you might end up having to work late. Anyone who works out regularly will tell you that getting their workout done and out of the way first thing in the morning is the best way to succeed.
Scheduling breakfast meetings can have the same advantage; by getting together with clients before their regular day begins, you have little chance of things coming up that might interfere or cause them to reschedule. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you can drop the ball on connecting with clients. Networking breakfasts are also an outstanding way to get in front of many people at once. Mornings have never been better for building profitable, productive business relationships.”
What do you think? Have you tried substituting breakfast meetings for long lunch meetings? Are you saving a bundle? And have you been able to accomplish the same goals?