After you’ve done your homework Curi recommends choosing a location that is convenient for your lunch guest’s place of work. “Be mindful that it’s their time and that they are doing you a favor,” he says. When it comes to selecting the restaurant, keep it simple, a café or diner will do just fine.
Keep It Strictly Business
Sometimes, networking can feel forced. During the meeting Curi says to start by thanking the person for meeting with you. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Cutting out chit-chat also keeps your time focused and on-track as well as business-like. “You can be nice and act like yourself but understand that this is not the time to [get too personal] and tell them about your weekend,” Curi explains.
While you’re focused on gathering recon about this person, the company or your chances for moving up at your present job, remember that some topics –like salary — are better left untouched. “I would just steer clear,” Curi says of broaching the topic of compensation. “[People] are not comfortable divulging it on behalf of someone else or the company. Trying to address what you’ve heard or gossip you’ve heard through the grapevine is also never a good move. “No one wants to gossip necessarily if they don’t know you,” Curi says. “It’s not fair for someone to ask, ‘So what is it REALLY like?’” You don’t want to make your guest feel uncomfortable, so keeping things strictly professional but informative is the key to a successful lunch meeting.