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Written by (作者): Dan Furman
Photos by (图片来源): entrepreneur.com, reference.com


 

Usually when I write an article for Ningbo Focus, I like to stay somewhat within the theme of the issue, and give a business twist to it. I always hope that’s somewhat interesting, especially since I am an American, and can bring a western point of view to China’s readers.

This issue is about food and dining, and that presents me with a small problem – since I don’t live in (or anywhere near) Ningbo, how can I really talk about local establishments, dishes, or anything similar? Truth is, I can’t. But here’s what I CAN talk about – how to have a successful business dinner!?As I stated, being from the USA, I do have an American-oriented take on this, and may be?unfamiliar with some Chinese customs. But we do a lot of business over dinner here in the?states, and here are a few pointers that I always follow.

Make Sure Your Guest Likes the Menu

We all have different tastes, and a cosmopolitan city like Ningbo attracts many out of town visitors. It also has a wide array of eateries with diverse menus. So make sure your guest likes the type of food at whatever establishment you pick. Or better still, pick an establishment that offers a wide variety of?dishes. There’s nothing worse than taking a guest to an all seafood restaurant, and they don’t like seafood.

Keep Drinks to a Minimum

Drinking can be very common at business dinners – indeed, many negotiations are discussed over a cocktail. But my advice is to keep drinking to a minimum. In terms of business, nothing good happens after the third drink. You’re much better off with a clear head, both tonight and the following morning.

Be Mindful of Rank

While it’s true that many business meals can be seen as informal, the business “chain of command” still applies. If you are a junior executive, dinner out with senior management is NOT the time to try and impress anyone. You’ll impress everyone more by being mature and respectful, and a good dinner companion.

Dan’s Rule – The Host Pays

It’s my town, I am the host, and you are my guest. Therefore, I want to pay. This rule can be a little flexible however – sometimes a salesperson is seeing a client, and even though the client is the host, the salesperson may want to pay as a “thank you for your business”. But in general terms, I always feel the host should pay.

If You Are the Host, and the General Menu is Acceptable, Make a Recommendation if You Wish

If you have a favorite dish (let’s say a steak), and your guest likes steak, by all means, offer to take charge and make a recommendation. It leaves a favorable opinion, and your favorite dish might become someone else’s. Eating out is very important to us here in the states, and taking business colleagues to?dinner is always seen as a warm gesture that solidifies relationships, and builds new ones. And Ningbo’s finest eateries await you and your colleagues.

To your success!

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通常,当我为《宁波聚焦》撰稿时,我会围绕那一期杂志的主题展开创作并给出一些商业见解。作为一个美国人,我一直希望我撰写的文章既能带点趣味性,又能为中国读者传达一些西方观点。

小问题——由于我不住在宁波(或其周边地区),我怎么能去谈论当地的餐馆、菜肴或其他类似事情呢?我当然不能。但是我可以谈谈我所知晓的事——如何才能拥有一次成功的商务会餐!正如我在上文提到的,我是美国人,对于这个话题,我当然有以美国为中心的观点,而且我可能不熟悉一些中国习俗。但是,在美国,我们在饭桌上谈成了很多生意,以下是一些我一直遵循的准则。

确保你的客人喜欢这份菜单

?我们每个人的口味各不相同,而且像宁波这样的国际都市总会吸引众多的外来游客,又有各种不同类型的餐馆可供选择。所以无论你选的是哪家餐厅,请务必确保你的客人喜欢那种食物。或者保险一点的做法是,挑一家菜式选择多样的餐馆。最糟糕的就是带客人去一家全是海鲜的餐馆用餐,而他们根本不喜欢吃海鲜。

尽量少喝酒

?喝酒在商务会餐上是常有的事——事实上,很多商务谈判就是在喝鸡尾酒时达成的。但我的建议是尽量少喝酒。就生意而言,酒过三杯绝无好事。你最好适可而止,以确保当晚及次日清晨都能保持头脑清醒。

注意身份

?很多商务会餐确实可以被看作是非正式的,但是企业中的“指挥系统”仍然起作用。如果你是一位初级主管,与高管一起用餐的场合并不适合你去表现自己。作为一位成熟、礼貌、友善的用餐伙伴更能给人留下好印象。

丹? 弗尔曼准则——主人买单

?这是我的地盘,我是主你是客,所以该由我来买单。当然,这条准则也是可以灵活变通的——有时候销售员会见客户,即便客户才是主人,销售员可能会以“承蒙光顾,不胜感激”为由而买单。但是,一般来说,我一直觉得主人应该买单。

如果你是主人,通用菜单也还不错,你要是愿意的话,可以推荐菜品

?打个比方,如果你喜欢吃牛排,你的客人也爱吃,请务必主动推荐菜品。这会让对方对你产生好感,而且你爱吃的菜或许也会成为别人的最爱。

在美国,外出就餐对我们来说很重要,带同事一起用餐则通常被视为是友好的表示,以此建立和巩固双方的关系。宁波的顶级餐厅也在恭候你和你同事的大驾。

祝你成功!


Bio

Dan Furman is an American copywriter and?business expert, and works out of his home?in upstate NY.
丹? 弗尔曼是一个美国广告文字撰稿人和商业专家,他在自己纽约上城的家里工作。想要获取更多信息,请戳

 

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