Plenty of people go on business lunches, but not everyone has mastered them.
Think about it: Pick the wrong venue and you can send the wrong message. Pick the wrong dish and you can look distracted. Pick up (or don’t pick up) the wrong check and you can just look rude.
Luckily, Esquire just walked you through the ideal lunch with a total pro — business man and problem solver Kenneth Feinberg. He’s been a “Pay Czar,” special master of the $7 billion September 11th Victims’ Fund, and administrator of the the BP Deepwater Horizon.
He’s used to negotiating serious compromises in American business over a plate of arugula, and shared the secrets to his success. One of those secrets was the fact that there are three kinds of business lunches, and if you know how to spot them, you’ll save yourself some time.
There are three types of power lunches. One: getting to yes. You would never come here for that. I love the Four Seasons. But in 35 years I’ve never been invited to the Four Seasons for a power lunch designed to get to yes. Two: the social luncheon. “We haven’t seen each other in a while. Let’s go to the Four Seasons.” There’s still probably an agenda, but not one that troubles the CEO that there will be any downside risk to being seen. If anything, they may want to be seen. And then the third type of power lunch is there’s absolutely no agenda. Just, “Let’s exchange war stories, and the Four Seasons is fun; it’s convenient.”
A lunch that’s the first kind — getting to yes — can break up an e-mail and phone- call impasse. “We started like this. [He puts his hands far apart.] We’re 82 1/2 per cent of the way to getting it done. [Brings hands closer together.] It’s this last 17 1/2 per cent. Let’s have lunch and, at the end of the lunch, shake hands.”
Say everybody knows the agenda: You want to get them to say yes.
Got that? Now go forth and conquer.
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