Book: Proverbs 23
“Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. They are always thinking about how much it costs. ‘Eat and drink’ they say, but they don’t mean it. You will throw up with what little you’ve eaten, and your compliments will be wasted.”
Throughout history, eating a meal together has been a social activity. It is a time when everyone around the table is on equal footing as they all have to eat. Many business deals have been made because of the social time around food. Sales reps will often bring a box of donuts or a box of chocolates to long standing customers just to keep up the strong loyalty.
A generous acquaintance of mine was on a lengthy sales trip and was able to bring along his wife. He stopped into a business where he was not yet a client and invited the owner out for supper with his wife. He did not expect to get an order this time through but rather start to build a positive relationship with the company. Both couples enjoyed a great evening together at a restaurant. The two ladies especially enjoyed their chat and found much common ground. The next day my acquaintance was surprised to receive a large order from the owner. When questioning it the owner said, “On the way home from the restaurant last night, my wife said to me, “You make sure you put an order in with these people as they are good people.” So he did.
On the other hand I have heard of stories where a sales rep went into a client’s with some kind of gift. After not receiving an order, he walked back out with the gift. Yes, he was a little on the stingy side! How would you have felt if you had bitten into one of his donuts and then he ripped what was left out of your hand and left because you did not give him what he wanted? You wouldn’t feel good about his gift. You need to be aware that some people will try to buy you by giving gifts. They don’t want to give it to you, and don’t even want to build a relationship except they know they have to if they are going to get what they want.
Be careful about spending time with stingy people even if they are rich and have lots to give. For some they are counting the financial cost of everything they do with you instead of just enjoying your friendship. You will find that if you are generous and spend time with generous people, you will have much more enjoyment.