Finishing Touches, V3I3

Sales and Dining

When shared, a meal is more than just providing substance for your body, or at least it should be. It’s a time people get to know each other. A time of communication, friendship, bonding, relationship building, memory making. We enjoy and savor the meal as much for the food as for the fellowship. It’s considered uncouth to simply show up at the table and devour the food while ignoring others sitting around us; we use manners to show those we’re sharing the table with that we care about their enjoyment of the experience as well.

While the purpose of the event is to provide our body with the sustenance it needs to carry on, we join each other for mealtime to also provide our minds and spirits a time of slowing, of reflecting, of bonding. The food will be consumed, of course, and very likely enjoyed and appreciated, but there shouldn’t be a rush.

These are the reasons some families insist that they eat dinner together every night. It’s a bonding time.

On the other hand, a quick spin through McDonald’s drive-through has its advantages as well.

We’re on the road, on the move, no time to spare. We need food, and we don’t have time to chit-chat; we’re focused on something other than the experience. Time is tight and at this point we just need to feed the machine and move on, nothing more.

Both dining experiences have their time, but you won’t get to know anyone any better or enrich each other’s lives if you’re not sitting down around the table with them.

And so it is with sales.

It’s a process. It’s a dance. It’s a meal. It’s a time of relationship building. A time for the customer to explain what he/she needs or wants, and a time for the vendor to explain how they can help.

Spend time with each other. Enjoy each other. Communicate. Express. Explore. Share experiences, both business and personal.

So, in essence, sharing a business experience really is just like sharing a meal. You’re being served from the same dish. You can discuss the texture, the zest, what each of you likes or dislikes. Each learns how the other does business as you discuss the “meal.”

Sharing a personal experience while sharing the “meal” is what gives the relationship spice. It gives it meaning, creates history between you, and that history is something you’ll both come back to time and time again. Share a laugh, or a tear. Go ahead and wear your heart on your sleeve—it’s worth it.

There’s a depth that’s building in your relationship. You’ll begin to hear nuances in the conversation allowing for deeper communications, the surface preliminary steps having been long since passed, a friendship has developed that is based on mutual understanding. There’s an unspoken trust that overrides the relationship.

And with that depth of trust from both parties, there’s the comfort and enjoyment of the shared meal.


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June/July 2024