Business etiquette, you say? Yes, and it is important. I am constantly amazed at how little people know and understand about how to behave in business. Everything you do and say makes an impression, up or down.
With the help of my very savvy and sophisticated client, Dawn Bryan, an expert in international protocol and etiquette, I have learned some wonderfully helpful things about business etiquette. Here are some quick and simple tips that will help you make the right impression, the first time:
- Always return calls. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are in business, or who’s calling, always call them back. When you ignore any type of solicitation it speaks volumes of you and your brand, and it’s not positive. Interestingly enough, the higher up I ever went in business, the more calls I had returned. A few examples: Damon John, Mark Cuban, and Diane Sawyer always return calls and emails. That’s just good business. Period.
- Send hand-written thank-you notes. Email is easy, but it’s also too easy, and cold. When someone gets a hand-written note, it makes them feel important and thought of. If someone does something nice for you, no matter how big or small, send them a hand-written thank you note.
- Follow through. We make a lot of promises during our business day, but do we follow through with all of them? Likely not. So set a new trend and do what you say you’re going to do. If you said you would get back to someone by a certain date, do it. If you said “you’ll hear from me today,” then make that a truth, not a theory.
- If you are hosting a business meal, take the worst seat. It’s not about you, it’s about the company you have invited to this business meal, let them have the best seat with the best view, always.
- Do not use a speaker phones unless you ask the person with whom you are speaking if it is okay with them, and always let them know who else is in the room with you.
- If at a conference, remember that you are there as a representative of your company, so do not make any negative comments about your employer, or reveal any confidential information about them. Your behavior at meals, meetings, and after hours reflects on your company.
- Master the art of introductions: Always present the lesser ranking person to the more senior, regardless of age or gender, and name the senior person. For example, if you are introducing your intern, Daisy May, to Queen Elizabeth, the introduction would go like this, “Ms. May, I would like to introduce you to Queen Elizabeth.” If it is the introduction of a boss and client, the client always takes precedence over your boss. If your boss is David Dunning, and your client is Sarah Shuffler, the introduction is “David, I would like to introduce you to Sarah Shuffler with Pillsbury, she is a client of ours…” If it is a very formal setting, you would use Mr. Dunning and Ms. Shuffler, being consistent on both sides.
We at Astonish Media Group are loaded with great business advise, and wish you the very best of luck in your endeavors. We’d also love to hear from you if you have any great business tips!