As the next generation of the family start out in the business world, one asked “Why should I need to leave my phone in my bag?’. This conversation made me wonder – is it me who is out of touch with business etiquette or has the need to be ‘switched on’ made us too casual with common courtesy?
After researching and Googling about business etiquette, it certainly seems all of us are a little lost on what is expected these days. There is good news, here are the few things that continually pop everywhere as being the ‘must dos’ as far as business courtesy goes.
* On Time.
Even though we understand the traffic, the kids, the trains, etc, we still expect punctuality – both for the start and END of appointments. Seems we all perceive people being tardy as saying that others don’t value our time, and that other things are more important to them than we are.
The consensus is show up on time, or, preferably, a few minutes early to meetings / appointments. And, make a conscious decision to stay on schedule and finish on time as well.
Communication is the lifeblood of business and it seems we have all been found out in our multitasking. And it annoys us!
So let’s put the phone down (or away) and stay engaged when talking with someone. Listening skills are a main part of communication etiquette, so when others are speaking do not interrupt them, make good eye contact and focus on the conversation, our relationships will be stronger. When on a call, avoid the temptation to check email!
And when on a webinar, avoid going to other sites – (have we noticed that this point is even showing up in at least 1 car insurance TV ad).
* Use my name
It may sound trivial, but it seems that we all like to be called by our correctly spelt names. The power of relationships and connections comes when we make them real relationships and actually network with the person.
DO use other companies’ names. DO NOT use oblique language like “my client” or “my marketing company” — it’s so much more polite and useful to make personal references. DO thank people who’ve helped you on your website by using their name.
DO know how to spell and pronounce the names of all individuals and companies with whom you do business.
We don’t particularly like the generic messages that offers no insight into why we may want to connect with each other. So when you send out a connection request, explain why you want to connect so that person knows you are not sending them standards and have thought about the relationship and about THEM.
Stand and use the person’s name when meeting someone and/or shaking hands. Nothing irks more than when someone remains seated while being introduced and/or shaking hands.
* Honour your commitments
Avoid the stress, and embarrassment of failing to keep your commitments by assessing your ability to complete a task BEFORE you take it on. If you promise info, deliver it; if you are asked for something, provide it; if you are given a deadline, meet it. If the worst happens and you meet problems, call and tell the person BEFORE it’s too late!
Most importantly, if you want business from someone, remind them periodically of your existence; don’t expect them to remember you from one conversation or meeting.
When people know you will do what you say, when you say it, you will gain trust. So Follow Up appropriately –
There are so many more that I could list here – but I’m keen to hear what some of yours are. Why not leave a comment telling us what would you add to this list.