Categorized | Business Authors

The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2

Robin Jay

A Short BIO about the Author

Robin Jay is an award-winning author, professional keynote speaker, and mentor. She is not just “The Queen of the Business Lunch™,” but is a business relationship expert who shares the nuts-and-bolts of building profitable business relationships.

Her award-winning book, “The Art of the Business Lunch ~ Building Relationships Between 12 and 2” (Career Press) has been sold in twelve languages worldwide. Jay has been featured nationally on MSNBC-TV, Newsweek Magazine, CNN, the BBC, The New York Times, and on

She is a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul.” In 2006, Robin founded the Las Vegas Convention Speakers Bureau. As president, she not only runs the bureau but also publishes “The Power of the Platform,” a series of anthologies that feature messages from today’s top motivational speakers, including Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, and Les Brown.

BOOK: “The Art of the Business Lunch: Building Relationships Between 12 and 2”

I wrote “The Art of the Business Lunch” because there is no better way to get to know someone than by breaking bread with them. Something magical happens. They let their guard down and it becomes easier to find a common bond. Sharing a meal with someone can be extremely revealing, unlike a traditional office meeting. It’s a shortcut to getting to know the people you with whom you would like to do business.

After hosting more than 3,000 client lunches, my clients and friends started calling me “The Queen of the Business Lunch™”. I knew the power of a lunch done well, so I wanted to share my experiences and expertise with business professionals, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and business owners everywhere. The demand for the book has been incredible; it’s been published in twelve languages. It seems that everyone wants to understand the art of the business lunch!

I love to share profiles of successful speakers, authors, and experts as well as important articles on my blog, which is built into my website at The last blog I posted was a link to a recent Forbes Insights report that stressed the fact that most business executives prefer face-to-face meetings. I couldn’t have created better research myself!

Aside from an occasional opinion, I usually write about everything from business relationship tips to dining reviews – after all, I live in Las Vegas and we have some incredible restaurants and celebrity chefs here. I’d like to do more on dining, but as a Business Relationship Expert, I usually end up focusing more on tips to help people build their business.

I enjoy being able to share my message with associations, organizations, and corporate America. Being in the convention capital of the country, Las Vegas, I am fortunate that I get to speak in my own backyard more than most professional speakers. But I also travel a lot – from New York to LA. In fact, I just spoke in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada last week to a wonderful group of meeting professionals. I’d love to speak more in Canada … the people were so wonderful, warm, and friendly. But I’ll go wherever the business is. People are always so receptive to my presentation.

My current keynote is “B Face 2 Face 4 Success,” intentionally spelled out like a text message. I want to make the point that the technology that was SUPPOSED to help us seems to have consumed us, instead! We still need to connect with each other, face-to-face. This keynote is built upon the foundation of my business lunch program, but I take it a lot farther by addressing the challenges of socializing and networking on a budget, building long-distance relationships (when lunch is not an option), and even using social media to build more productive relationships. The most consistent comment I’ve been receiving about this presentation pertains to the relevance of the subject matter. As much as I try to be entertaining, I still want to deliver solid take-aways and rich content.

I also do a presentation on communication – something most of us can use a bit of help with. And, as a 36-year resident of Las Vegas, one of my other popular keynotes is on “The History of Las Vegas: A Study in Risk & Reward.” No other place on Earth continually reinvents itself like Las Vegas does. This program is hugely popular with foreign audiences. They are mesmerized by the growth of the city and enjoy the personal anecdotes that I bring to the program. When I moved here, there were just 250,000 residents. Today, we have more than two million! It’s a fun program and I enjoy sharing it with audiences.

Marketing today, as I stress in my keynotes, is a non-stop effort. I attended a book marketing seminar last year where we were told we needed to tweet at least ten times a day. I publish a series of anthologies for professional speakers called “The Power of the Platform,” and I had several of my coauthors at the seminar. One of the women almost cried when they said that. The book she was in had just come out and she hadn’t had the chance to build her Website yet. The next speaker recommended that we tweet more like 26 times a day and I looked over to see if she was still breathing!

I think marketing is probably the least understood and most critical element for authors, publishers, and speakers. Since I speak, write, and publish, I can appreciate the importance of a strong marketing strategy. It’s important that an author or speaker create a unique brand and then blast it everywhere they can – in campaigns, on social media, by sending press releases, and promoting their brand in person through appearances. There is no finish line to any marketing effort.

I work alone and recruit help as needed. I have a part-time, sometime assistant whose strength lies in helping me at local speaking engagements. I try to take her on the road with me if I know I’m going to be speaking to a large group of 500+ attendees.

I wish I had hired a mentor back when I started. On my site at, I have a page for coaching. I candidly stated why I did not hire a mentor or coach when I changed careers. “Was it because I was arrogant or thought I knew it all? No! It was because I didn’t know how much I didn’t know!” I think if you can find someone who has done what you WANT to do, and verify that they are, indeed, successful at it, then hire them to help you. It will save you thousands of dollars and years of time. Why not benefit from their experience? I help speakers and writers get on the fast-track to success. Why should they have to jump all the same hurdles I did?

I also think that because we all read and speak every day, we think we have what it takes to become published or speak professionally. Speaking and writing are industries. You may try to play golf or drive a car without lessons, but you wouldn’t try flying an airplane! Knowing how to navigate the waters of the worlds of publishing and speaking will help you to achieve success faster than you imagined. I wish I had found better mentors and followed my instincts a bit more when I started. I have only my tenacity to thank for being where I am today!

It is critically important for any writer or speaker to stay focused on the big picture. When you are a one-man show, doing marketing, blogging, creating products/books, speaking, and sales, it’s easy to get off course or diverted to some place you don’t belong. By staying focused, you will be able to achieve your goals faster.

The underlying message in “The Art of the Business Lunch”, and the one that I want to share with my audiences when I speak, is the importance of making people feel special. We get so busy and bogged down with business and home life, we lose our quiet time and, in many cases, the opportunities to help others or even to be courteous. I say that we often feel like a hamster in a wheel – running around and around with no end in sight.

It’s critical that we carve out some face time during our day to connect – really connect – with others. You’ll see it come back to you in spades. Reading my book will help you to see things from your client’s perspective, and perhaps to even get a glimpse of how YOU may come across to them. The stories I shared in my book are all real; they happened to me and my associates. Readers will discover why it’s so important to break bread with their clients in order to build their business. Nothing happens until people connect and since we have to eat anyway, why not connect over a meal?

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