Have you ever eaten at restaurant and looked over to the table next to you and noticed that people were fighting to pay the bill? Or better yet, have you ate at a restaurant and fought with the other party so that you could pay the bill? This is what my friends and I call the “it’s on me” philosophy.
By picking up the tab when you are out with friends, colleagues, or even potential clients, you will be appreciated. They may not always show their appreciation, but in the back of their head they know who took care of them. And if you go as far as always picking up the tab, they will want to return the favor by taking care of you.
Now, when the other party wants to return the favor, they usually will try to take you out for dinner and try to pick up the tab. But if you don’t let them pick up the tab, they will start to think of creative ways to return the favor. In many cases this could be introducing you to other people that are interested in paying you for your expertise, or they may just throw you a few business deals. Whatever they do to return the favor, your return-on-investment (ROI) will be much higher than your cost of picking up the tab.
So the next time you go out with others, try to pick up the tab when you can. You may not see a direct ROI, but in the long run you will come ahead by taking care of others.