Friday, June 20, 2008

How to compose a proper business meal invitations

One of the most important elements of a gracious invitation to a business meal is choice: Whenever possible, offer your potential guest a chance to contribute to the time and place of the meal. Here is how a typical conversation might go when you are calling to invite someone to a business meal:

“Hello, Nick, this is Mary Mitchell. I’m calling to invite you to lunch to talk about our upcoming program. Is that something you’d like to do?” “Sure. Sounds good.”
“How about Thursday or Friday?”
“Friday would be better.”
“Fine. How does Benjamin’s or The Wharf sound to you?”
“Which do you prefer?”
“The Wharf sounds good.”
“Would 12:00 or 12:30 be more convenient?”
“Fine. I’ll make the reservation. Do you prefer smoking or nonsmoking?”
“Nonsmoking, please.”
“Great. I’ll see you on Friday at 12:30 at The Wharf.”

If you are inviting more than one guest, and Nick is the most important, provide information about the other guests after the “Sure. Sounds good” and before settling details about time and place: “I’d like also to invite Megan Newman and Nancy Love, who will be working with us on the program. Okay?” Then, when you call Megan, say: “Nick and I are having lunch Friday at The Wharf.
I was hoping you and Nancy could join us.”

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