How You Eat Says Winner or Loser
Businessmen losing or winning clients dates back to the 1940's
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- FUMBLING WITH UTENCILS meant that the salesman never had proper upbringing. Or was severely-nervous under great amounts of pressure.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
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.