How You Eat Says Winner or Loser

Businessmen losing or winning clients dates back to the 1940's

Source

A few facts

  • Millions of dollars are won and lost over having dinner with clients.
  • Characters are broken or built while dining with a company C.E.O.
  • How a sales representative or sales manager eats speaks to the client if he is a "winner" or "loser."

Other images of business diners

If drinking is all that this businesswoman does at an important business dinner, then say goodbye to another client.
If drinking is all that this businesswoman does at an important business dinner, then say goodbye to another client. | Source
The man with the cup of coffee has an embarrassing eating problem and chose to meet his client one-on-one and just drink coffee as to not lose the client's business.
The man with the cup of coffee has an embarrassing eating problem and chose to meet his client one-on-one and just drink coffee as to not lose the client's business. | Source
The project: A done deal.
The project: A done deal. | Source
The older man (right) is tipsy from drinking, but he is the wealthy client, so no one will rebuke his foolish behavior.
The older man (right) is tipsy from drinking, but he is the wealthy client, so no one will rebuke his foolish behavior. | Source
What fool lights-up a stogie at an important meeting with his company's oldest client?
What fool lights-up a stogie at an important meeting with his company's oldest client? | Source

This is a very depressing

story to write. At this point I am stunned, shocked, now self-conscious on how I eat. All because of some secret memo that was leaked to a noted magazine a few years ago. The memo, supposedly-written by a national company's C.E.O. on why he chose to either go with or turn-down certain sales rep's or sales managers while they were having dinner.

In one way this is laughable. Not everyone eats like a baby bird taking a crumb at the time and in another way this is just another burden of pressure added to the sales rep's and sales managers to deal with circulating numerous reams of directives to their employees, meetings, seminars, and other unwanted things to help their sales force to eat "normally."

But first, these companies who have lost millions because of how one of their sales employees ate a plate of spaghetti now will spend big bucks on hiring behavioral specialists to come in and study their sales teams and evaluate them if they are the cause of their company losing such huge amounts of money.

The explosive memo

supposedly-written by a national company's C.E.O., went on to talk about the C.E.O. pretending to have a good time and pretending to eat, but in reality was observing the salesmen or sales manages who were taking him to a complimentary dinner and how they ate their food.

His conclusions were:

  1. IF THE SALESMAN took several bites, but chewed very little, was considered unmannered and somewhat greedy. And this C.E.O. was uncomfortable having his company do business with a greedy salesman who might give in to temptation and try to take other salesmen's clients.
  2. DEVOURING GOOD FOOD sent up many red flags because the C.E.O. surmised that the salesman who "wolfed-down" his meal was very self-centered and from a poverty-laden background, two signs that there might be others in his company just like him.
  3. HESITATING to take the bite of steak on his fork, but talking instead told the C.E.O. that the salesman was aloof and wanted attention of those around him.
  4. FUMBLING WITH UTENCILS meant that the salesman never had proper upbringing. Or was severely-nervous under great amounts of pressure.
  5. IF DINING AT A BUFFET and the salesman or salesmen at the table went back for "seconds," they were deemed "chow hounds," and underpaid by their company. This discerning C.E.O. needed a slim, trim company to do business with, not a gang of overweight, slow, hard-breathing people who were dangerously out of shape.

These were only five negative observations that he made.

The following five points are just the good things that the C.E.O. made.

  1. IF THE SALESMAN ordered "just" a fresh garden salad, this impressed the C.E.O as a man who was health-conscious and trustworthy to handle his advertising.
  2. IF A SALESMAN only ate two or three bites of the huge steak dinner he ordered, this told the C.E.O. that the salesman cared more for his business than his stomach.
  3. WHEN THE SALESMAN just had a small cocktail and some water, the C.E.O. was excited about partnering with a man who didn't like food that much.
  4. IF THE WAITRESS brought a salesman or sales manager their order and they simply engaged in business talk, the C.E.O. paid for the entire meal because he had a credo, "Food will be here forever. Mankind will not."
  5. IF THE SALESMAN did more listening (to the C.E.O.) than he did eating, he signed the contract for a year's-worth of expensive advertising.

Okay then.

How are we to eat mannerly and with our health in-mind?

To the C.E.O., he stated a few tips on how to accomplish both, a mannerly, respectful way to eat your food with the thought of your health constantly on your mind.

  • Take "a" bite, put your fork down. Chew your food at least 70 times. Swallow and repeat.
  • When you feel your first burp coming-on, it is time to stop eating--even if you still have food left on your plate.
  • Make your dining-experience a social experience by eating slowly and moderately while listening to your guest(s) tell their life's adventures.
  • Make it your practice to simply push-back your plate even if you are not full. Do this as an example for those at your table who eat without limits.

To all of my readers who are employed in the field of newspaper, radio, and television advertising sales, try these tips at your next business dinner and please let me know how it goes.

And that huge bonus you will get . . . be sure to share it with the wife.

The man laughing is the happy client

Source

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Comments 8 comments

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I thought this would be a funny piece, but it is actually helpful and it proves that little things mean a lot. True, there has to be some value placed on table manners.


mgt28 profile image

mgt28 2 years ago

This is a well written article on an important subject. I fully agree that the way we eat or 'not eat' is an indicator of a lot about our stability in life.

I strongly feel through that this particular C.E.O as wrong on many issues. But that is besides the point, the issue is how we eat is an indicator of how we grew up, where we want to go and of whether we take today as the last one in life. Good post.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

I had no idea people would decide a business deal on how the other person ate. In a way, I think it's ridiculous. Why is it wrong to actually eat if you take someone to lunch at lunch time and you're hungry? I can see having good manners being a indicator of the type of person you are and possibly how it reflects the way you do your work, but I think this guy is being too nit-picky.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, grandoldlady (but you are not old),

Thanks, my friend, for your sweet comment. I thought that it would strike a nerve to people who do not use manners anymore.

Thanks again and visit with me again.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hey, mgt28,

Yes, you are right. "This" C.E.O. was off-center a tad, and yes, a lot things we do go back to how we were raised. I wasn't allowed to talk while chewing or elbows on the table. I appreciate my mother teaching me these things at an early age.

Visit with me again, mgt28.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Sheila,

I wonder just how many people were approved by this C.E.O.? Sounds like a weird-o who inherited his job and company from old dad. Anyway, you and I think alike. Making a decision on how someone eats does not indicate if the person eating has no talent for the job, so why is he even at the meeting?

Thanks for all of your comments.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

I agree with Sheila. Good table manners should be what is noticed by the prospective client, not how or what someone eats. Unless, of course they talk with their mouth full or let food dribble down their face.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, bravewarrior,

Count me in to you agreement. No person should be watched either, how they eat. If I were this big client, I would be grateful that a company thought so much of me as to buy my dinner.

Thank you, bravewarrior, for your comment, friendship following.

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