Business Etiquette: What You Need to Know
The old statement, common sense isn’t so common, is unfortunately true even in the business world. While every entrepreneur may have begun their business with a great idea, the knowledge and know-how of running a business may be completely foreign to some.
The professionalism, marketing strategies, and overall day to day operational handlings of a business can be unknown factors and skills to the creative mind. Often times, the visionary may simply have the idea or the vision, but lack the business skill set in making the vision come to light.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the visionary could have the business know-how but still lack the professionalism that’s needed to conduct daily operations.
No matter which side of the spectrum you may fall on, here are the basics.
Introduction: always introduce yourself using your full name and stand when you are being introduced as long as you’re able.
Hand Shakes: a strong, firm handshake has the ability to set the tone for a meeting so be sure to make a good first impression.
Active Listening: whether you are communicating with a client or potential investor, always listen to understand and not listen to respond. If you are able to actively listen, you are in turn able to effectively communicate.
Don’t Interrupt: although you could be filled with excitement, remember not to over talk your guest, client, or potential investor.
Meetings: if you are scheduled to attention a business meeting, arrive early and prepared. If you arrive on time, you’re already late.
Remain Polite: always remember the words “please” and “thank you” will often go a long way. In written correspondence, always create responds that are both polite and inviting.
Attire: the dress code for our society is drastically changing, however, your business attire should remain reserved and conservative no matter how society changes.
Behavior: cells phones are a distraction. Don’t allow the distraction of a cell phone to blow the opportunity. Give your undivided attention, always.
Follow Up / Thank You Notes: if a situation calls to send thank you notes, be sure to send these out individually.
Table Manners: salt and pepper are married, do not push away or stack dishes, and most importantly, remember, the host always pays for the meal.
Be Responsive: create active communication channels where you are responsive to all clients, potential clients, or other individuals who try to reach you. If you are not strong in this area, consider hiring an assistant or secretary.
Show Interest: your eye contact shows how trust worthy and attentive you are so don’t be afraid to make it.
Timeliness: in all areas, time matters. Your response time, your recovery time, your promptness, no matter the lane, know that this is extremely important. Especially as it relates to customer service.
Although the points were many, don’t forfeit an amazing business opportunity because you lack etiquette and professionalism.