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How to Navigate the Tricky Terrain of a Business Lunch

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This story appears in the August 2012 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Let's Do Lunch
Illustrations© Chris Philpot

The business lunch exists so that two people may converse about business matters (which is a meeting), while doing something they had to do anyway (which is eating). It is formal, yet it is human. It is committal, yet it is noncommittal. It is awkward, yet it is tasty. The business lunch is a paradox.

Lunch? Lunch.
We'll assume you're meeting your counterpart one-on-one. And we'll assume the other person is, pretty much, a stranger. And we'll assume you're the one who is in need: of money, of a partnership, of a contract. You're the one pitching, and you've made the invitation.

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