When you’re meeting potential customers or with existing clients for potential sales opportunities, you want to ensure you’re conducting yourself in the proper manner and practicing good business etiquette. While there are several business etiquette practices you can employ, there are a few you may want master first. Here are some key business etiquette dos and don’ts to consider:
1. Don’t Be Late to Meetings
Simple business etiquette but one that is generally overlooked is to avoid being late to meetings. Even if you have a casual or laid-back workplace culture or you’re familiar with your client, no one enjoys waiting for meetings to start or wasting time. Instead, prepare for your meeting in advance, know when it starts, and be prompt. Upon entering the meeting it’s important to understand any cultural differences. While a kiss on the cheek may be a customary way for greetings in some countries, it’s not the standard way to greet a potential client in others, including Australia. Instead, opt for a firm handshake, but take care to consider your strength. An overly aggressive handshake can also send the wrong message, including nervousness or aggressiveness.
2. Do Keep Conversations Concise and Avoid Unnecessary Details
It’s important to focus on the important details and leave out any unnecessary information that makes communication complex. Being concise and to the point is a great way to communicate concepts and ideas that are hard to understand. So, keep the conversation short and provide your audience with the information they need from the start.
3. Do Reply to All Legitimate Emails (But Don’t Try to Be Funny)
It’s a polite and professional gesture to reply to every legitimate email you receive, even if you don’t have a solution to a problem the sender may need solved. However, it’s best to leave humor for more casual emails with friends or co-workers. Your joke can be easily misinterpreted in your email, since there are no facial expressions or tone of voice to support your humor. Instead, forgo the comedy altogether and keep your business emails strictly professional.
Having the right business etiquette matters when you’re trying to get new business or even maintain relationships with existing vendors, suppliers, and customers. It may take time to master, but by putting these few best practices into action, you’ll be able to demonstrate proper business etiquette every time.