In this article I am going to share with you basic etiquette tips that will set you apart from your competition. These tips are simple, easy to implement and you can incorporate them into your lifestyle right now. With a little practice, you will master them in no time.
"Good manners are just a way of showing, other people that we have respect for them." Bill Kelly, Blast from the Past 1999
1. A business meal is for eating first and discussing business matters second. Business should either be discussed before the meal arrives or near the end of the meal.
2. Return all phone calls. Phone calls and voice mail messages should be returned within 24 hours. If you don't have an appropriate reply, call and set up another time to communicate.
3. Always be on time. There is no such thing as being fashionably late in business.
4. Don't say the words I'm sorry if you missed what someone said to you. Respond with "I beg your pardon." I'm sorry is said as an apology or to offer sympathy.
5. When someone does something nice for you, always send a thank you note or card. Send a thank you card/note, even if you don't get the contract or make a sale. When you send a thank you card/note you are solidifying the relationship, and keeping your name and face in the person's mind.
6. RSVP, respond if you please. When you receive an invitation that requests you to RSVP, it simply means to confirm.
7. Never interrupt. Let people finish what they are saying before adding your comments. Interrupting others is a sign of poor etiquette and lack of social skills. If you want to come across as egotistical, you can do so by constantly interrupting. Tip: count to twenty before speaking.
8. Defer to customers, clients and prospects. They are the people who keep you in business. When you defer to others you show respect. Deference is an act of high regard and respect. Put another person's interests first is part of good client/customer service.
9. Don't assume you can address others on a first name basis. Address others using an honorific ( "Mr.", "Ms', "Dr.",) with their last name. Refer to them by their first name only if you have been invited to do so. Using honorifics and last names displays class and sophistication.
10. When a customer flies in from another city or country, meet them at the airport and drive them to the office yourself. It makes a great first impression.