I recently heard a very experienced salesperson say meals make no difference in getting seniors to attend seminars. In fact, the higher-net-worth seniors will come without a meal.
Maybe so, but research by psychologist Gregory Razran indicates that a great meal may give you a valuable edge.
Political legislators and lobbyists have known for years when there is an important decision to be made over an issue, out comes the silverware. In fact, fund-raisers often entail dinners hosted by political organizers who are able to get an incumbent or candidate to address the audience. An interesting twist is often these dinners cost $500 to $1,000 a plate. Yet, the true value of the dinner is to preach to the converted, therefore, wrangling out more money.
Razran termed this the “luncheon technique.” He discovered that people become more fond of ideas they experience when they are eating. In Razran’s experiment, his subjects were presented with political statements to which they had evaluated previous to the meal. At the end of the experiment, he discovered certain viewpoints had gained favor in his subjects’ approval. Those were precisely the ideas that were discussed while they were dining.