How Are Your Networking Skills Over Lunch?

Legal Tips and Resources

Do you take new clients or contacts to lunch to get to know them? What is your purpose for these outings? Having a clear purpose for why you are inviting a professional contact to lunch falls into several categories. You want to get to know a new person, you want to improve an existing relationship, you’re asking for a new order, or you’re celebrating a deal.

These situations can often overlap with one another. The goal is to continue to improve relationships so your network is strong, deep, and influential.

Here’s the secret recipe for creating those lasting professional relationships.

  1. Know your lunch date
    Do your homework before your meeting. Read their website bio, blogs, articles, and look over their LinkedIn. You should have enough personal and professional items to make the conversation flow smoothly and move beyond current events to past issues. It’s important to have a balance of personal and professional commonalities.
  2. Create a steady flow
    Lunch is a pleasant time of day. Typically the sun is shining and people have good energy. When scheduling a networking lunch, make sure to reserve a table. During lunch be polite, be pleasant, be present. With so many people having constant communication in the palms of their hands, it can be a challenge to stay present during a lunch. Put your phone away and stay present.
  3. Ask for what you want
    Know what you are going for when you request lunch and have several options for how you might open up that conversation. Make notes ahead of time if you are not certain what you are asking for. Towards the end of the lunch is a good time to say, “I was so looking forward to meeting with you, I’ve prepared a few notes,” then you can go over the objectives.

At the end of the lunch, pay for the other person’s meal. Most lunch dates are flattered. Enjoy your lunch and keep connected with your best contacts on a quarterly basis if possible. It will help your networking success, and if you are able to have lunch at a place where others in your industry go, you will form more relationships in that 60-minute lunch.

A lawyer, like a business lawyer in Montana from Silverman Law Office, PLLC, would definitely benefit from networking over lunch. Make plans to have networking lunches a few times a month to expand your network.