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The Art of the Business Lunch

By Marty Nemko

Brian Kelly, former president of Napa National Bank, has transacted many millions of dollars of business over lunch. I asked him, "What do you do to make the most of a business lunch?" He replied, "If I'm choosing the restaurant, I pick one with a limited menu--you don't want your guest spending a half-hour deciding what to eat. If I want the person's undivided attention, I have them face the wall, but if it's more important that the person be seen by others, I have them face out. A lunch shouldn't be too content-heavy: I prepare just two or three points I want to make. My favorite warm-up topics: family (especially with women), vacations, and hobbies. My favorite question to transition into the serious discussion: "Tell me about your business."

What can you do today?
With whom do you want to have a business lunch? Follow the above steps in preparation.

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