You might think that paying for lunch is a cheap bribe, but lunch can be a smart way to control the situation and present your ideas in the best possible way.
Photo by Gareth Williams.
We've written about avoiding a business lunch if the person is busy, and that's still solid advice for respecting someone's time. However, if you are going to pitch an idea, rather than doing it in an office environment with a slide deck, lunch may be a good alternative. Inc.com explains:
Their office is their territory: their colleagues may interrupt you, or they may be distracted by calls or emails. Even if they agree to come to your office, you don't want any distractions there either. Besides, being in your territory may prompt them to put up their guard. You want them at ease. You want the environment to work for you. You can control the entire atmosphere at lunch.
Of course, if they're busy, don't push for a lunch meeting. That should also be a good indicator you aren't going to get much time with that person, so don't expect to get an hour for your pitch if they're too busy for lunch.
Check the link for other ideas why a business lunch is a great way to pitch ideas.