Thursday, January 31, 2013

Church Phone Etiquette - 7 Tips To Be Effective On The First Call

Proper church phone etiquette will present your church ministry effectively. A strong first impression over the phone is one of the most important keys to building your ministry. The first impression from someone who calls on the phone is just as important as the initial impression when meeting someone in person. That phone call can often lead to a progressive relationship with the caller.

Here are seven etiquette tips to help your staff be more effective:

Remember that you may be the first and only contact this person may have with your church and you are the first impressionist.

Before answering, stop any activity that be can be heard by the calling party, clarity in a call lessens the chance of mistakes and having to ask for clarity.

Answer promptly before the third ring if possible, most people hang up after the fourth or fifth ring. An unanswered phone is often a lost contact.

Let the person make their full initial engagement statement, this usually makes it easier to know where to direct the caller and helps you determine the urgency of the call.

Speak clearly in a pleasant tone of voice. A positive and uplifting voice is often just what the caller needs to hear. Often those calling a church are needing positive and uplifting conversation.

If transferring a call, explain to the caller that you are doing so and who you are transferring them to, so they do not think that you are abandoning them and will not be surprised when someone different answers.

If you have to transfer the call, and a person is on hold for any length of time, check back with them to set up a return call, if need be.

Proper church phone etiquette requires professionalism on each and every call. Maintaining professionalism on each call minimizes misunderstandings, mistakes and stressful situations. If using volunteers it is often imperative to use a written plan and checklist to follow during calls. There should be no questions as to how your church phone should be answered, the depth of information shared, and especially if it is a call of someone needing help.

The initial phone call can often lead to a progressive long-term relationship with the caller. If the first call is not handled properly, this chance is lost. The old adage that the first impression is a lasting impression certainly depends on the etiquette portrayed over your church phone.

The problem of church phone etiquette can be minimized with a small business phone system which gives the church or ministry the option to place personal greetings, replies and personalized options without the chance of an improper answer on the first call.

Rules for Social Media Etiquette

Is it me, or has the whole world gone social media mad? Ever since the dawn of Facebook, social media sites have been popping up all over the place. Social media started off as a platform for people to connect, but has turned into a business empire. Although, there are many people who do not utilize social media and refuse to utilize it, approximately 1.4 billion people use it around the world. If you want to navigate it successfully, there are rules for social media that you must follow.

Rules for Social Media #1: Do Not get too Personal

One of my biggest pet peeves is TMI (too much information). I wish there was a TMI button on Facebook that you could click in addition to the like button. Social media has turned into a diary for many people. It is great to share what is going on in your life, but there is something that is called "over-sharing." One way to avoid over-sharing is to not use social media when you are intoxicated, angry or sad. On average, those are the times when too much information comes out. Another rule to us is the grandma rule. If the item that you are about to post is something that you would not share with your grandma, then do not post it. This rule is number one for me because I recently got into a debate with someone because I deleted them as my Facebook friend. Would you like to know why I deleted them? Because they took TMI to a whole other level on a regular basis. Mark Zuckerberg if you ever read this, please consider the TMI button!

Rules for Social Media #2: Add Value

Have a purpose for utilizing social media. Don't just post, to post. Post for a reason. People want to be inspired, they want to learn and they want to be entertained. If your content does not fall into one of those categories, then it is probably not worth the effort to post it. Use various types of posts to not bore your followers. I like to cycle through a mix of pictures, videos and statements. Also, provide posts about other topics then just business. People want someone they can relate to. Mix in some posts about your personal and family life as well.

Rules for Social Media #3: No Spamming

Spamming is one of the biggest complaints among online users. For those of you who do not know, spamming is sending out unsolicited information, via e-mail or messaging. It's like when you receive a big stack of junk mail in your mailbox that was not requested by you and has no interest to you. What really bothers me is when people make connections with you just so they can spam you. I call these individuals "covert spammers." Fortunately numerous sites are getting hipped to spamming and are inputting features into their sites where you can flag spammers. Before you blast your link in a group or send someone a private message trying to sell someone something, make sure that you have the permission to do that. Spammers can be detected if they greet you and include a link at the end of the message. Also, there are numerous spammers who want to connect to discuss "business investing." If someone is asking you about money in the first few conversations that you have with them, leave the conversation immediately!

Rules for Social Media #4: Create Connections

Do not be a one man show. Social media was created for people to connect, so do just that. No one wants to follow someone who is only there to self-promote. If you are saying that you are too busy to connect, then schedule it into your daily activities. Take the time to talk with your followers and talk with new people who share common interests. People want to know that they are connecting with a real person.

There are many other rules for social media that are important to follow, but these are the ones that resonate with me. I hope that this article has been useful for you. Please share your feedback in the comment section below.

Remember follow the rules for social media or don't follow at all!

I'm headed for the top, I hope you're coming!

Wedding Planning - How To Start A Wedding Planning Business

Wedding planning business can be very successful career, if you work properly before establishing it. Many people learn the basic etiquettes about wedding planning while event planning course. If you want to get basic knowledge you can also get a course from a good institution and start up your business. Though it is a very interesting and joyful business for those, who love thrill and fun, but at the same time it demands commitment lots of energy and stress. Before starting up your business for wedding planning if you follow some important points, you can get better result in start and get good grip over your business soon.

1. First thing to start the business is to get knowledge about the latest trends in the weddings; attend all the weddings that you can; note down the different ideas, take pictures of weddings you attend; read the news papers and explore about the wedding functions of famous people. Be updated about new trends by reading wedding magazines; by this you will be able to know the interests of different people.

2. Arrange finance for your business; you can get small loan to start your new business; explore on the internet about business loans and their interest. Make an estimate how much you need to start your business. In the business of wedding planning, you do not have to spend much; it is your talent and creativity that works for you.

3. Find a good place for your office to start the business; you would not need a big office in start as your work will not be limited within your office; you would need to go out more than sitting in front of computer.

4. Make a network; explore the city and look around the market. There are many dealers who are associated with specific wedding planners and work on special discount for them; find good caterers, decorators, florist, music bands and technicians.

5. Making a portfolio is very important; people who heir professional wedding planner seek good quality and perfection in the person to rely on, so make a complete portfolio of yours; mention your qualification, achievements with some photos of the wedding you have worked in.

6. When you start your business, you need support and security to run the business in a befitting manner so join wedding planning association; you can find a local network to apply for membership to the association for wedding professionals.

7. Advertisement for your new business is very important; advertize your business; spread word for your business through newspapers and internet; offer discounted rates as introductory price.

Keep these points before starting your business, soon you will flourish in your wedding planning business and get good income.

Business Etiquette, Someone is Always Watching!

This is the time of year when I get the most requests to conduct Business Etiquette workshops. Why? Because it is right during the heart of the season when we attend the most parties and social gatherings.

I'll get a frantic call from a manager or boss who says "Oh, my gosh, you have no idea what some of my employees did in public."

Just when I think I've heard all the stories about bad etiquette, they tell me a new one. I actually should clarify that last statement, perhaps it's not BAD etiquette, it's DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER etiquette.

Proper etiquette, in business, can help people gain respect from their customers, bosses, coworkers and ... anyone else who just happens to be watching. You could be at a wedding, having a great time... dancing on a table, only to be surprised two weeks later, that you are interviewing for a job or meeting a new client who, just happened to be at the same wedding. Hmmm what impression do you think your dancing made?

Many businesses these days go through a process of inviting potential employees to social events or out for dinner, just to see how they behave. They know that when an employee is at a social function, like it or not, that employee will represent a Company's owner.

Business Etiquette runs from which fork to use, to how to meet people, to how to return email and phone calls properly to wondering if a man should always open a door for a woman. For this column, we are going to focus on social events, because 'tis the season.

Here are the top 10 most common social etiquette faux pas:

  1. The fork starts in the left with the tunes down and your pointer finger down.
  2. When you are finished eating, the indicator to the waiter is when you put your knife and fork in a triangle position on the plate.
  3. Your bread plate is to your left and always rip your bread - don't cut it.
  4. Your coffee cup is to the right, and no matter how cold you are you grip it by the handle, not with both hands around the cup.
  5. Eat soup by starting in the middle and spooning away from you. Yes, it takes longer and that is the point. Oh, by the way... no slurping.
  6. Don't crunch your crackers in your soup.
  7. No matter what, at sit down meal, no fingers even with French fries.
  8. At a round table, always pass to the right.
  9. While seated, purses should be on the floor under your seat and napkins on our lap. If you leave the table but are still eating, place your napkin on the seat of your chair, not on the table.
  10. Do not... ever ... point with your knife or fork and always chew with your mouth closed.

Okay, there you go. We have about 100 more tips but this will get you started in making the right impression at social functions because, you never know who is watching.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Etiquette For the Unlimited Access of E-Mail Marketing

Respectful, courteous and trustworthy are the three words that first come to mind when I think of business etiquette.

When you have earned the privilege of obtaining the e-mail address of a prospect, you have unlimited access to them...until they tell you otherwise. You can choose what to send in your e-mails, you can choose the time of day to send it, can choose how often you're going to send throughout the day.

Having unlimited access... is it a privilege...or a curse? You know how important other people consider their time to be...including the time they may spend reading your e-mails. So how do you decide what content to send when?

The first rule is respect. Respect their time, their effort and their preferences. So learn everything you can about the person you're e-mailing. Whatever your niche, learn as much about group and individual preferences as possible. What are your competitors doing? You don't want to do what they're want to differentiate your product and yourself...and you don't want to ignore the needs and desires of your prospective clientele.

The second rule is courtesy. How can you best meet not only the product needs, but the information needs, of your prospects and clientele?

You'll need to find out what really works for them...and for you. Are you in a market where you know your clients and prospects are already inundated with e-mail? If so, be the marketer who sends fewer e-mails...with shorter...and better content.

One way to find out needs and wants is to send out a survey. Ask what their ideal level of information for your product is. Do they want to receive e-mail updates on only your product? Do they want to receive e-mail updates when you discover new and exciting information in the market? Do they want information links, or would they prefer the "Cliff Notes" version?

The third rule of business etiquette, including e-mail, is being trustworthy. You want to become a friend; someone who knows them and someone they trust with at least semi-confidential information. When they've been a customer or client for a few months, ask them if they'll share their birth date. Then when their birthday comes along, be sure to send an e-mail card, and if possible a gift. Doesn't have to be anything major, but just something that says you recognize today's "their" day, and you want to help them celebrate because they're special. And, they are. After all, where would any of us be without people who buy...and hopefully really like...our products.

In e-mail marketing, you are what you say and how you say it. It's especially important to be respectful in language and tone. The person you are doing business with may never have met you in person and may have only your e-mails and website information to decide if you're the kind of person they want to do business with.

Use good grammar and punctuation, consistent with the language and culture of your client or prospect.

Get to the point. Give only as much detail as absolutely necessary, with links to additional information for those individuals who desire it.

If you are perceived as courteous, respectful and trustworthy in every e-mail, your etiquette will not only get you you the teacher's apple, it will build a long-lasting relationship.

Business Phones 101

101 business phones are cordless phones that offer portability and versatility when compare to corded business phones. With the latest technological innovations, 101 business phones have an improved sound and security system.

101 business cordless phones offer a variety of advanced features. A digital answering machine in which digital messages are stored in computer memory chips is one such feature. The time required for accessing the message depends on the size of the chip. A few other types of cordless business phones come with an answering machine. There are audio cassette tapes in these phones to record your greetings and incoming messages.

Some 101 cordless phones are equipped with built-in caller ID or call waiting caller ID. This feature helps to identify the name and phone number associated with an incoming call. The hold feature allows you to put the caller on hold. A majority of cordless phones have an LCD screen. It shows the numbers you dialed and the call waiting ID. Base keypad dialing is a key facility that allows you to dial the phone while it is still on the port.

The various types of business phones available include single line corded phones, miscellaneous novelty phones and phones for special needs. A single line coded phone has a unique high frequency volume control. This phone is ideal for business people with partial hearing. On this phone, the words spoken will be louder and clearer. The miscellaneous novelty phones enable users to call a person by pressing the photo receiver. To activate this facility, photos of the most frequently called business persons along with their telephone numbers must be installed. 101 business phones for special needs allow you to send an emergency voice message to pagers, cellular phones, offices or higher authorities. It is ideal for business assistance, protection and security of information and can be placed anywhere that requires immediate business emergency notification.

The single line Grandstream budge tone 101 is one of the most economical choices, with a street price considerably lower than most of the competition. In spite of its low price, the BT-101 is a full featured phone that can meet all business needs.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Email Etiquette - Your Writing Matters

Everyday, I read business email done so informally, it makes me cringe. How do people expect me to take them seriously when they can't even be bothered to write their own emails in a proper way?

1. Proper capitalization

Writing out entire sentences in small letters may be acceptable in instant messaging applications, but they're downright irritating on emails. At the least, capitalizing the proper letters lets me know you have basic writing capabilities. At best, I would not have to sit through acronyms written in small letters, making me look it up in the dictionary, thinking it's an actual word. If you're not sure which letters need to be capitalized, put it through a simple writing software and have it correct your mistakes.

Don't even get me started on ALL CAPS...

2. Punctuation

Punctuations let me know when you're pausing, slowing down or changing tone. Without it, your copy reads like a never-ending alphabet soup, except it's got full words floating around. Help me out and give me a little rhythm while I'm reading your messages.

3. Incomplete messages

Just because you can understand what you've written doesn't mean I'll pick up on it too. Put yourself in my shoes - if you have the same information that I do, will you get the point? Will you understand the message without any previous knowledge?

Good Writing Matters

Emails may be easier and less rigid than business reports and academic papers. That doesn't make them any less important to write. Give them the attention they deserve.

Networking Etiquette - Respond

In order for a professional, entrepreneur or student to be proficient in networking, they need incorporate the proper tools for their agenda. Networking involves communication and development for success and achievement. Savvy individuals can develop an understanding, discernment and responsibility while interacting with others. This requires identifying common body language gestures and deciphering tones in the voices of others.

This article is one of four which reveals the proper ways of exchanging with others and building business and social rapport.

Respond Appropriately in Situations

Time and time again, it is often stately that actions speak louder than words. People follow behaviors more than they follow spoken words. Actions and gestures are highly weighted over words and intentions. While networking, individuals can learn how to act appropriately in formal and informal settings. It is highly recommended to take the time to asses their environment and the people who surround them. An individual's behavior needs to be a reflection of their status and level of influence with their career or group.

Much of these tactics rely on the individual being mature and exhibiting awareness. This results from being in similar situations often and attending events on a consistent basis. One solution to acting appropriately is being familiar with the social or business atmospheres. People should strive to be comfortable, adaptive and flexible while meeting and their counterparts. Being responsive during various circumstances can put others at ease and stimulate a willingness to connect. It also creates a structure and balance for fostering meaningful relationships which leads to introductions and referrals.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

7 Email Marketing Etiquette Tips

I got an email the other day that got me thinking. It was probably the worst looking email that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, CAP LOCK and "!!!!!!" everywhere. I thought my eyes were going to start bleeding.

But that was not the end of it. Just a few minutes later I was in a mastermind chat group and overheard 2 marketers expressing a wish for someone to address list etiquette.

Hence the topic of the day.

E-mail List Etiquette

In simple language, it is how you interact with your list. Ask yourself these questions:

How often do you email them?
What is the content of your emails?
Is everything...Sell and sell and sell?

Are you building a relationship with your list or are you bombarding them with offers?

Here are some basic rules you can use to keep your list from clicking the opt-out button.

1. Know who your audience is. You need to be able to speak to your intended audience and this means literally speaking their language.

2. At maximum Mail 2x daily. Plan out your messages in advance. If you organize an email swap in the morning, your readers will still open a newsy email in the afternoon with an affiliate offer.

3. Headlines should tell your reader at a glance what the email is about. Don't waste their time or yours trying to come up with a slick title that isn't related to your message.

4. Make URLs stand out. You want your audience to click on them, so they must be prominent.

5. Brand yourself in every message. A slogan or logo can lift your business from the ranks of struggling newbies.

6. Build a relationship with your list. Don't be afraid to reach out and be the helping hand you wish you had when you were struggling to make your first sale. Don't make promises you cannot keep, but offer the benefit of your experience.

7. Remove opt-outs promptly. Running a clean list protects you from spam complaints and other problems that can arise from sending unwanted mail.

Following these seven simple steps can turn a generic list into a band of loyal followers who trust you and like you and want to follow your guidance. Give some consistency to your email marketing campaigns and watch your list grow.

But your list is more than just the emails that you send to them. They are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. They all have one thing in common; they are all looking for a solution.

To be sure there are no guarantees in life, but common sense says this is the simple solution.

Solve One Problem

It is that easy. Tell your readers what results they will get and let them make their own decision. It doesn't matter if you are promoting a $10 plr package or a $197 training course. If you fill a need in the market you will make sales.

To provide the best service to your list, combine good email etiquette with solid common sense. Don't abuse your list or send a series of disjointed ranting about one product or another. Wrote a Blog post? Send a brief email with a link to the blog.

Build a list that stays.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Top 7 Business Networking Mistakes in Business Building

Today's business is all about relationships. Business networking is a critical strategy and tactic to build those critical business relationships. In observing business owners, executives and sales people at numerous networking events and coaching many of these same individuals, I have recognized 7 consistent networking mistakes. If you avoid these 7 mistakes, you should quickly build your business in the New Year.

Mistake #1 - No plan, no goals

Without a networking plan, you waste your valuable resources of time, energy and money. Your networking activities should be aligned to the marketing plan and specific goals within your strategic plan.

Mistake #2 - Poorly constructed elevator speech

The first 7 words that you speak when meeting a potential client, AKA as a prospect, may be the only chance you have with that individual. Your elevator speech should be a series of sentences that are linked together with each sentence "elevating" your story.

Mistake #3 - Too busy telling

As an old mentor said "If you are telling, you ain't selling." The primary goal of the networking event is to make a friend, not to make a sale.

Mistake #4 - No tracking

Attending networking event after event without tracking the results, again wastes limited resources. Contacts, appointments and eventual sales from each networking opportunity should be tracked to determine sales to close ratio as well as client acquisition costs. This is especially true is you belong to a specific business networking group.

Mistake #5 - Talking to "Knowns"

Networking event presents opportunities to cold call in a warmer environment. Since many sales people hate cold calling, they end up talking to "known" friends instead of finding "unknowns."

Mistake #6 - Poor etiquette

Not understanding how or when to join a group of individuals talking with each other is a continual etiquette problem. Additional poor etiquette includes handshakes, introductions and even table manners.

Mistake #7 - Not being present

Many times networking attendees believe the goal is to collect as many business cards as possible. In their haste to meet that next prospect, they are not present with the current prospect. This does achieve the goal of making a friend.

By avoiding these 7 business networking mistakes, you may be able to enhance your networking activities and reap even greater rewards in the New Year.

Business Networking - 3 Business Card Tips for Making a Great Impression That Doesn't Cost a Cent

Business cards are a great tool to help you make a positive first impression. The Japanese have an elegant way of presenting business cards. They hold out the card in front of them with both hands, and hand over the card with a slight bow. It's a sign of respect, and almost becomes a little ceremony. When they receive your card, they look at it carefully and admire it. You are expected to do the same when you receive their card.

How can you use this etiquette to make a great impression in business today? You don't have to be Japanese, and the extra moments you take in handing out your business cards won't cost you a penny.

1. Compliment the card. When you receive a business card, don't stuff it into your pocket. Instead, take a moment and look at it carefully. Admire it. Find something to say, and make a positive comment. It can be about their product or service, their logo, or the location of their office. It doesn't matter what you say, as long as it's positive. In reality, you are complimenting the person who gave you the card.

2. Treat it with respect. Don't fold the card in half. Don't pick your teeth with it. Never put it into your back pocket and sit on it. Don't write anything on it without first asking permission. Instead, carefully place it in a business card holder or pocket of your jacket.

3. Don't hand out your card while you are shaking hands. When you meet someone and shake hands, give that person your full attention. Make eye contact long enough to notice the color or his or her eyes. Shake hands warmly and firmly. Smile. Say their name, and how nice it is to meet them. Then when you exchange business cards afterwards, make that a small ceremony, as with the Japanese. It will give you a way to connect again.

Business card etiquette says a great deal about your professionalism in general. It only take a few seconds, and doesn't cost a penny to show etiquette when you hand out a business card. Why not take that extra step to create a great first impression?

You are invited to use these tips to make a great first impression when networking.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lunch Etiquette

Whether you're a technician trying to repair a photocopier or an accountant going over sales figures with several sales representatives, the work day can take its toll on you physically and mentally. At some point you will need to refresh, reenergize, and refuel so that you can continue to be a productive employee. And, normally this is best accomplished during lunch. But, even though this is down time, many employees have returned from this break unable to unwind. Let's work together to have a enjoyable working environment all day long.

Don't hog the microwave oven

Depending on where you work, your lunch break may be anywhere from between thirty minutes to an hour. However, at times, you may notice that there are several people in line waiting to use this convenient piece of equipment. If you know that it will take more than ten minutes to cook your food, be considerate and ask your coworkers if they will be heating something that will require less time. And, allow them to go first. Not doing so is inconsiderate and may eat up their lunch break.

Don't discuss your coworkers' personal business

Unless they have given you permission to do so, refrain from divulging anything about your coworkers' personal business that they have told you in private. If you think the issue will or has been affecting their ability to do their job or get along with their coworkers, then and only then should you confide in your supervisor. Otherwise, you risk appearing to be untrustworthy. Furthermore, telling other employees what you know may cause them to look at your coworker in an unfavorable light. Also, other coworkers may continue to spread their business and put them in a situation in which they end up uncomfortable at work.

Don't confront your coworkers

Any matters that you have with your coworkers that are not work related should be discussed off the jobsite and after work hours. However, you still should be careful about how you approach them and what is said. You could say something you will regret or end up getting into a physical altercation. When you return to work, your supervisor can dismiss you for poor behavior if the behavior reflects poorly on the company.

Don't bring your boyfriend to lunch

A better idea may be to meet at another location instead. Many of your coworkers may be involved in bad relationships or they may not have a mate. They could become jealous and begin plotting to come in between your relationship. Rumors about the quality or the end of your relationship could run abound.

Don't bad mouth the company

Besides, leaking information that may be confidential, it is disrespectful. In the event that you have an issue that you have not been able to resolve with your superiors or coworker, consult with your employee handbook.

Basic Golf Etiquette - Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker

Sand Trap Mayhem

"Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker". It is inevitable. Sooner or later you will be playing a round of golf with someone you would prefer to impress and you will stand there helplessly as your ball goes flailing into the sand trap. Depending on the golf course, you may find yourself red faced and cursing right along with about fifty percent of the golfers on the fairway. It just happens. How you react to it and how you attempt to recover your shot is what stands to impress your golfing partners.

There's not a single individual who doesn't find themselves standing at the edge of the bunker contemplating their shot out of it. It can look intimidating no matter how many times you've stood there wondering how you were supposed to save grace in the moment.

Emotional Response Etiquette

"Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker". One of the most un-cool things you can do at this point is loose your cool. Standing there and cursing up an impressive storm is anything but impressive and makes you look like a sore loser. There is nothing more unattractive on the golf course than watching someone throw a juvenile fit over something as trivial as the inevitable sand. Rule number one is to stay calm.

Try to remember that everyone does it. Becoming embarrassed and putting pressure on yourself in order to get the shot out of there as fast and as slick as possible will only make the task at hand that much more difficult. Any golf swing taken under tense conditions tends to be a poor golf swing. Relax and approach your ball as you would if it were lying on the fairway. It is the same ball with the same destination that it was prior to landing in the sand trap.

People tend to love the sound of their own advice. While you are attempting to get over your embarrassing moment in front of your important people, understand ahead of time that you will be coached by those around you on the best way to smack the ball back onto the fairway. You don't have to listen to their advice if you don't want to, but keep a few things in mind while saddling up to your sandy golf ball.

If in fact you are particularly tense you already know you are going to have a difficult time with the shot. If you have never had to retrieve your ball form the sand you are going to have a particularly difficult time with the shot. If you have never gotten your ball out of the bunker without numerous tries chances are pretty good you may experience the same frustration. How important are the people around you? Are they potential clients or just friends you golf with?

If it is important to you to prove to yourself that you don't need advice to save yourself from the bunker then by all means don't take the advice that will be arbitrarily unsolicited. If it is more important to you to land the clients or to show that you are a flexible individual, you may want to consider their advice even when they aren't sure what they are talking about. In business golf, a potential client may take your actions on the golf course to be similar to your actions in the office. Are you a team player? Can you fix the problem without too much fuss or do you need your hand held? Are you a reasonable communicator?

While a round of golf is supposed to be a game, remember that prospective clients may be watching you closer than you think. At least considering their advice shows that you are willing to listen and can be flexible with your own thoughts. You may even learn a thing or two.

Sand Trap Etiquette

"Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker". It is frustrating to watch your ball sail helplessly into the bunker. It is more frustrating when you are contemplating your shot to realize that you are buried much deeper than you expected because someone else appeared to have been running through the bunker whacking their ball in every possible direction. How well you can hit your ball from the bunker depends on your lie, and often your lie depends on the person who was there before you. How you consider your playing space may speak very well of you if you simply implement just a few basic considerations for those who may follow you.

Don't plunk your way through the entire sand trap. Enter as close to your ball as possible and maintain your position as level with the rest of the course as possible. Climbing all over the sand trap will result in deep footprints, deeper if you are entering and exiting on an incline.

A long bunker shot is considered the hardest shot in the game. It's okay to take your time and evaluate the situation before you plunge into the sand and start randomly whacking away at the ball, even if it might relieve a little tension.

Avoid climbing in and out of the bunker along a steep incline to prevent not only the deep footprints you'll cause but creating a cascade of falling sand as you damage the lip. Some sand trap designs make this a very difficult task and in that case you may not have much of a choice, but do the best you can to leave the property intact.

Even if the individual who preceded you wasn't as kind, be sure to take a moment and rake the bunker as soon as you have completed your shot. This respect for other players goes a long way in helping other player maintain respect for the next person. It is rude to walk away from the sand trap leaving your footprints and club impressions all over the place. Alternate your strokes while you rake so that you don't end up with a huge pile of sand hanging at the lip. Try to keep the surface even and the sand density as close to normal as possible.

The USGA actually has a guideline for rake placement etiquette. Don't just flop the rake o the ground and be done with it. Chances are you found it in the right position, but double check just to be sure. Place the rake just outside the sand trap, flat on the ground, and pointing in the direction of play.

These little etiquette tips make a big impression on those sharing the course with you and really take less than a minute to accomplish. It is better to err on the side of appropriate conduct even if you are being urged to hurry it along.

Making the Shot from the Bunker

"Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker". There are countless articles written on bunker shots and they all have varying advice. It can be very difficult to decipher good golf advice from bad golf advice. You also have to take into account that every person is different, so what may be quite effective for one person may produce a totally different result for someone else.

There are a few tips that almost every article in recent publication agrees upon. The first we already covered when we told you to relax. It is beneficial for you to relax through the entire process of the inevitable bunker shot. A tense body will prevent a natural and full swing and will also inevitably bring your head right along with the shot, causing at the very least a slice on the way out of the bunker, if you can drive it out at all.

Some people recommend not taking the time to try to set up a good shot. Sometimes the effects of a failed shot are far worse than just getting the ball out of the bunker in any form possible. This strategy is one you would have to asses while you are still contemplating the ball from outside the sand trap.

Others will tell you that if the ball is fairly high on the sand trap to simply play it like you would a shot from the fairway. If there is little sand under the ball and the shot seems basically straight forward, this may not be a bad approach. While you may not get quite the same distance or accuracy due to even a small amount of sand, you may very well find the strategy relaxes you and produces tolerable results. Again, you would have to evaluate the individual situation prior to deciding this is right for you.

If you choose to play it just like you are still on the fairway, grab a nine iron or a wedge for your shot. Keep your stance open and square the club head. Grip the club down a couple of inches to gain better control.

Regardless of how to choose to play it, don't be afraid to take a full, solid swing from the bunker. Most golfers tend to fear their swing when playing from the sand trap and often this can result in a failed attempt to even return the ball to the fairway. It can be frustrating and embarrassing to find yourself locked in the bunker swing after swing.

Even if you are buried a bit deeper in the sand, you will need a good lie in order to send your ball back into play. Again, don't be afraid to swing at the ball. Even if you can't line up a really good shot from your position, taking your time and evaluating the possibilities will enable you to find the best possible shot under the circumstances.

Find More Tips

"Maintaining Your Cool when You're Sunk in the Bunker". The basics presented here are exactly that. They are the very basics of sand trap etiquette. If you are looking to improve your golf game and find more helpful information on just about anything golf, you owe it to yourself to visit the bestprogolfguide today and check out the vast learning tools you can acquire in just one visit.

Golf is not a sport that can be picked up by just reading, however what you read can certainly effect what you do when you get out on the golf course. If you are interested in improving your game, visit bestprogolfguide today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 3 Daily Professional Etiquette Routines For the Entrepreneur

Many a time when a professional starts his or her own business, it feels so relieving that you are now your own boss and can do whatever you want whenever you want to. Although that is great and fun, it is also important to note that you have now become a business entity yourself and you represent your business wherever you go and in whatever you do.

For that reason, it is very important that you make a conscious effort to represent yourself and your business in the best of light wherever you go. Below are 3 ways you can use professional etiquette to help you out.

  1. Appear professional: Always make your first impressions very enduring impressions that will be remembered in a positive way. Being in business for yourself does not mean you must dress any how. As a professional, you must dress the part to send across the right message that will attract the right clients for your business. After all, without clients, you have no business.
  2. Be courteous - Please, sorry and thank you are just the basic ways to be courteous others. The more courteous you are to others, the more they get attracted to you and the more they always want to know more about you to see how they can be of help to you. It is only natural so take advantage of it to have it work wonders for your business.
  3. Communicate clearly: Words as we all know are words when they are well understood. It even gets complicated when a particular word assumes different meanings and that is what as an entrepreneur you need to be attentive to.

You must make sure that your communication is clear of any slogans and jargons and ensure that you use the right grammar that will make the recipients understand exactly what message you are putting across.

There are just countless number of businesses that have sent the wrong messages across because the recipients just did not understand the message in the way it was originally meant to be.

These might sound like obvious and common sense to many business owners but they are the very little things that affect the productivity and success of many businesses.
As a small business owner, if you take the pain and conscious effort to pay attention to these things in your business, it will help you to have an edge over your competitors because many of them are impatient to do these.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some Chinese Negotiation Tactics That Could Help Your Business

Well you have done some research and have decided that the Chinese market is one you want to enter with your business concept. There are some things you should do in order to prepare for your first meeting with your Chinese clients. Knowing certain Chinese negotiation tactics can really help you in your dealings with people from China. There are different forms of business meeting etiquette that you will want to make sure you have knowledge of before entering into any formal negotiation. Why is this? There are certain China business practices that if you do not know, you can come off like you are insulting potential business partners which is never a good thing. If you take the time to learn these Chinese negotiation tactics it can really give you a higher chance of success in doing business.

First and foremost, in order to achieve maximum business meeting etiquette you will want to enlist the services of some form of interpreter. It is assumed that you do not know the Chinese language which could definitely lead to things being misinterpreted or misunderstood. You want to meet with your interpreter before to not only get on the same page with them, but to go over any kind of relevant China business practices that you should be made aware of before the meeting. He will also be able to let you know of any particular industry jargon or work terms that are commonly used in the Chinese market.

Remember that it might be so that you feel there is not much progress made in your first meeting with a Chinese business professional. Do not worry because this is not abnormal in any way. Some common China business practices include group decision-making that will involve the people you are negotiating with running things by their superiors. In other words they will not rush to give you a concrete answer for anything until that had the time to run it by their bosses. Add to that that is a very important staple to the Chinese business world to develop relationships over time, this is why your business meeting etiquette and all the little things you do can have a severe impact on the success or failure of your potential partnership.

If you are expecting to visit your Chinese counterpart only wants to secure a deal you will probably be disappointed. The one very important things remember throughout the process is to not rush your potential partners. This is simply not how they do business in China and it will not be an effective Chinese negotiation tactic that you want to resort to. You're bargaining power will be resorted to nothing if you fail to comply with a very specific China business practices that are laid out for you.

Just like if someone from another country came to negotiating yours there are certain things they would need to know about your culture to get up to speed. This is all we need to practice good Chinese negotiation tactics. Your business partners will appreciate that not only do you have an interpreter, but you have trying to learn their culture to achieve the best deal possible for both sides. Remember to rely heavily on that interpreter as they can really help you avoid some huge pitfalls in your negotiations. Good luck in entering your new market and you will soon find that if navigated correctly the Chinese market is a wonderful one.

Basic Business Email Tips

Despite the immense growth of other forms of online communication like podcasting and web conferences, email remains the number activity online, both in business and personal communication. A poll conducted by Gallup showed that 71% of internet users receive and send emails at least once every week. Email usage overshadows other popular online activities like blogging, music download, facebooking and shopping.
Email communication may be simple, just compose, type and click send! Although there is extensive use of email for business communication, observance of good email etiquette is not. Here are a number of tips you should consider for effective and professional business email communication.

a) Avoid addressing sensitive issues via email - It is advisable not to address serious business issues by email. When faced with sensitive issues that may require a lot of emotion, it may be advisable to see the recipient face to face or you can simply pick the phone and call.

b) Necessitate easy email communication with customers - Customers always prefer dealing with businesses they can communicate easily with. You can necessitate this communication by making sure your business website and brochures have email addresses you can be reached with. To avoid getting spammed, you should invest in a very good anti-spam protection service.

c) Keep email records - Since the cost of email sending, receiving and storing very low if not free, you should store and archive all business emails. This includes collecting and sorting customer and business partners' emails, contacts, links and other addresses. If the list is growing big, consider using a contact management program to manage all the data.

d) React to emails the first instance you get - Many business people fail in impressing their business partners and clients because they forget to react to an email they received. There is never a perfect time to reply or forward an email, the best time is immediately you read it. Postponing handling of mail may cause you to forget, therefore, if a mail requires replying or forwarding, do it immediately. If it requires a little research or consultation, reply telling the sender that it needs a little time and that you will get back to them as soon as possible.

e) Follow all email addressing rules - When using email for business communications, you must follow rules and laws that govern the email use in that industry, state or country. The business world is becoming more and more transparent each day, but email communication should remain private and confidential.

f) The 10-second rule - Since every business entrepreneur leads a very busy life and works on a very busy schedule, they tend to overlook details in a very long email. An email with over two paragraphs of over ten lines each is easy to skip, when writing an email, it is best to break down points into short paragraphs and notes to make it easy on the user to read. The ten-second rule states that when a user opens an email, they should know within ten seconds what the email is about.

Effective email management will help better your email communication to a great extent. Once you start following these simple instructions, you are on your way to improving your business communication.

Email and Business Correspondence

Have you ever thought how much email has changed the world? Maybe you haven't... Email appeared along with the Internet and cell phones and the latter two were bigger than life themselves so it was easy to overlook email... By the way, why "email" and not "e-mail"? The printed media still sticks to "e-mail", but the inconvenience of typing the hyphen is too big and omitting it is too simple. Hence, "e-mail" is fast turning into "email". Actually, this symbolizes the essence of email: eliminating most of the inconveniences of previous types of correspondence like letters, memos and faxes and simplifying them.

Let's talk about business email specifically. It is transforming workplace communication in a blink of an eye. Before email business correspondence was formal by definition. Nowadays not only email messages are less formal than say business letters, but business letters themselves are using plain English. And the fact that the same people who write email messages write business letters is one of the reasons why. It's impossible to communicate in email as if you were speaking to the person you're writing the message to and then turn around and write a letter using pompous ambiguous phrases that don't sound right. Our minds just don't function that way.

So, email has made communication more immediate, colloquial and intimate. Some people can't stomach it insisting that professional correspondence needs to remain formal. Choosing the right degree of formality for email is not an easy thing though. And the ability of email to allow for almost instant communication sounds wonderful but it can work against you if you are not careful. Email is such a convenient tool for the sender that he/she often forgets about the recipient. At the same time, email provokes the feeling of urgency in the recipient and most of us feel obliged to respond to the messages as soon as they are received. And imagine what pressure people who get 200-300 emails a day are under! No wonder email bankruptcy is becoming common. There's another extreme: some of us also become addicted to email and check it while driving, on vacation and in most unusual places.

Email etiquette rules are still evolving and sometimes we're confused in dealing with email. But the most basic rule, the one that we tend to forget is: show in your email messages respect to the person you are communicating with. Remember, you can't retrieve the sent email.

Email hasn't ousted business letters and memos. Business letters are still being used when something more or less formal should be communicated and needs a signature. Memos are nowadays very often transmitted by email but they still remain a separate distinct type of business correspondence and will in the nearest future. Faxes are merging with email and fax machines are becoming obsolete because of the Internet faxing.

One thing is for sure: email has become the most widely used type of business correspondence and has tremendously influenced all other types of business correspondence, mostly to the better.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Bible Has Its 10 Commandments: Fitness Facilities Do As Well: Gym Etiquette at Its Best

Fitness facilities are opening worldwide to offer to its members a place where they can exercise in peace, feel rejuvenated and content about their commitment to feeling and looking better. We come day in and day out to either focus on cardio exercise or resistance training, to hopefully reach our goals of either fitting in the wedding dress or looking like one of these professional bodybuilders you see in the magazines. Whatever your purpose, the one good thing WE all share in common is that commitment to a healthier life. However, for everything in life, there are the few that comes in an disturb the peaceful and sweaty feeling fitness facilities gives to everyone of us, by either screaming while pumping iron, or by not being respectful of others when it comes to the use of fitness equipment or anything else you may see them do during their session at the gym. Some get pissed but say nothing, while others might complain to management.

Obviously, the trouble makers might not do all of this on purpose, they might just not understand the laws or commandments in a fitness facility and behave accordingly. Is it a lack of education? Or maybe a lack of manners that they might have lost throughout the years of visiting different gyms and where in some location, their behavior is accepted while others, it is frowned upon. Regardless of all this, everyone shall follow commandment and abide by them, just for respect to others utilizing the same common area as you do.

So let's get started:

Commandment 1: Hydration: OK, so you exercise hard, you lose water so you need to hydrate in the fear of fainting and dealing with IV needles in your arms to hopefully bring you back to consciousness. So why get to that point when you can simply get to the water fountain and get a few sips of water and get back to your training. However, what happens when you get to the fountain and deal with someone who HAS to refill their 5 gallons jug of water prior to going to their next exercise. Yes, it is great to walk around with 5 gallons bottle of water in the fear of feeling remotely dehydrated, but come on, if you see very thirsty exercise goers waiting to use the water fountain, step aside and let them get their sip of water so you can get back to filling your gallon jug so you can cross the Sahara desert in peace.

Commandment 2: Share the use of equipment: OK, it is cool that you know your stuff when it comes to resistance training, or that you want to show off my doing several challenging exercise that make others wonder what are your secrets to be that massive. Obviously, certain time of the day can allow you to utilize all the dumbbells at once, without disturbing others. However, if you are working out at peak hours, you need to allow others utilize the weights or let them join in to your new and exciting training program. Whatever you decide, you need to share with others and not be selfish about your use of equipment while doing your sets.

Commandment 3: Be hygienic. Now, for this one, its not about sharing weights or letting others drink a sip of water, we are talking about hygiene. Would you want to lay in a puddle of piss or having to deal with someone that doesn't understand the meaning of shower or deodorant? We are not asking to come to the gym looking like you are ready for a photo shoot or anything, but make sure to look proper when you come at the gym, even though the end result might not be the same, but that is acceptable and expected. Also, when it comes to cleaning after the usage of the equipment is crucial. Put the weights back on the rack, on its appropriate space, such as 40 pounds dumbbells sits on the sections where you see 40. It's very simple. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Make an effort. Yes, you did exert energy performing the exercise, OK, I will give you that much, but you can also exert another 2 seconds of your set to put the weight back in place.

Commandment 4: Feeling comfortable in your own skin: OK, so Adam and Eve did walk around naked in the Garden of Eden and God was very specific to NOT eat from 2 trees, the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge. In the first few chapters of Genesis, we discover that there are actually two trees placed in the midst of the Garden of Eden: "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

So, as per the Bible, the serpent was sitting peacefully in the tree of Knowledge and convinced Eve to eat from the apple and share it with Adam. After that, they realized that they were naked and hid from God. They were actually ashamed of how they looked.

The reason why I referred to the bible is because when you are at the gym, you should feel somewhat prude and cover yourself up, even in the locker room. Yes, you might be proud of your bottom package, but please, cover it up. Just show some little respect to others by being a bit more modest 

Commandment 5: No use of cell phone: OK, so that might be a commandment that you will ignore. Let me be more specific here. When I say the use of cell phone at the gym, is basically not share your whole life stories to others in your direct vicinity that can listen to your whole phone conversation. If you want to share something, post of Facebook for God's sake. If you want to talk on the phone, leave the gym and talk as much as you want. However, when performing a site, DO NOT, and I say, DO NOT perform the set while sharing your Saturday night extra-marital affair with the person on the other end of the conversation. I mean, come on. Use the KISS principle at the gym. Keep it simple and stupid, like: "Yo, wasssup, I am pumping da weights, talk later dude"

Even better, why not leave the phone in the car or locker when you are headed to the gym so you won't get disturbed? However, if you own your business, sometimes having the phone on you might be crucial, especially that executive decisions might be needed on the spot. Either way, the time at the gym is a time for YOU, and ONLY you. Act like it is.

Commandment 6: Offering your help and strength: OK, so lets say you are resting from your set, you see someone piling up weight on the bar to perform bench press. Now, you are looking at the gym-goer, wondering how he can even lift a feather, but not really discouraging them from performing the set. Despite his determination and eagerness to wanting to lift the equivalent of a semi-tractor trailer, he might need a spot to perform the Hercules task. Don't just stand there and let the bar crush his thoracic cage and let him fall in the abyss of reconstruction surgery. Get up and spot the poor kid. The good part is that you might exercise a body part that wasn't scheduled on that day. Bonus point.

Commandment 7: Never interrupt the performance of a set. As you may know that already, performing a site requires concentration, effort, fear of having the weight fall on you, and strength, obviously. What is also a very important and safety issue while performing the set, is that you fail to accomplishing that task, the weights might be falling all around you, or on the feet of people being to close to you during the performance of the set. So for your safety and the one of others, do not ask anyone how many more set they have while they perform their set. Wait while they rest between set and ask questions. You'll be glad you did.

Commandment 8: Keep the singing to yourself: OK, so you've been rejected by American Idol judges or the X factor because of your terrible singing talents, I terribly apologize about that. However, you feel like YOU are talented and the judges do not know what they are talking about. So here you go, sharing your excruciating talents to the whole gym and killing a few birds in the process. When it comes to listening to music while exercising, just sing along in your head, NOT out loud. People do not want to be bothered or suffer from this predicament. If you want to sing out loud, do it while in the shower after your work-out (at home) or while driving back home. You are doing all of us a big favor.

Commandment 9: Be sociable. OK, so you just moved to a new city, being vigilant in looking for the perfect gym that you can feel comfortable in, and you become a member. We all know that the gym environment is NOT solely to exercise, and I would lie if I did say that, but you can also socialize. Yes, I said it. Socialize. Approach people, especially when you are new, introduce yourself to make new friends, help people if you feel they need help, and take initiative. The gym staff is hired not just based on their knowledge of fitness but also their social skills, their capability to talking to anyone, making people feel at home because between you and I, the gym is considered as a second home for most people. I know it is for me.

Commandment 10: Take care of the property: As in commandment 9, look at the gym like being your home. You are being careful with your own property right? You do not slam things on the floor, or the counter, or anywhere else. How pissed would you be if everyday you get to the gym, by an act of god, every piece of equipment is in REPAIR. Every body part you intent to train on that day is replaced by a sign: Under Repair. Sorry for Inconvenience. Management." I bet you won't stay member of that gym much longer. So, if everyone is being careful with the equipment, repairs will be few and far between regular maintenance schedules. So make the effort, keep it clean when you work out and avoid doing unnecessary acts that torture the gym equipment. I can guarantee the management will also be grateful. Having machines down is not always good for their image either.

So here we are, all 10 commandments for you to abide to when using. The Jews were the ONLY tribe that accepted God demands and requirements. So it is your turn to accept these commandments above and make sure to keep the fitness environment as safe and pleasurable as possible for everyone.

The Business of Business Manners at Meetings

In addition to a lack of business ethics today, there is also a lack of business manners. I have chosen to focus on business manners at meetings for this article. Business manners are essential to build relationships in today's business world. People, who present themselves very favorably, will maximize their business potential. I must tell you that I am very passionate about business manners and believe very strongly in the results that follow the use of good business manners.

I always stress to my clients the importance of business manners and to seeking advice on that issue and others. Well, I followed my own advice some time ago and one of the most gracious and well-mannered professionals I ever met is Pamela Hillings of Hillings Enterprises in Pasadena, California. Pamela and her mother wrote a book entitled "Manners in a Minute," which is a practical guide for proper conduct and good manners when dining in or out. Pamela has been the official Royal Court Protocol Consultant to the Tournament of Roses Queen and Court and has been referred to as the "Miss Manners of the Internet," as she has taught "How to Have Great Business Manners" through an Internet class. And I had the privilege of being one of her guest "speakers" during the course to talk about business manners. Pamela Hillings has been my guide for business manners ever since our first contact.

The potential for negative impacts is considerable in business meetings. Improve your business meeting etiquette and you will witness positive results in such forms as attentiveness, comfort, clear communications, and trust. Let's look at a few tips to ensure good business manners at your meetings, both the informal and the formal meetings.

For your informal meetings:

+ The person calling the meeting should be the most senior or the person with the most direct or urgent need in the topical area.

+ The meeting chairperson decides the time, place and agenda. The agenda and details should be confirmed with attendees in advance.

+ The person chairing the meeting must clearly state to all attendees the purpose of the meeting, the planned length of the meeting, and what the expected outcomes will be.

+ The chairperson must always start meetings on time and always respect the value of everyone's time.

+ The chairperson must keep the meeting on the agenda.

+ The chair must pre-appoint someone to record minutes of the meeting so major decisions and action points are recorded accurately.

+ The chairperson must inform those not at the meeting of any results of the meeting that will impact them.

For your formal meetings:

+ Be prepared for the meeting. Review materials received prior to the meeting.

+ Dress appropriately and arrive before the start of the meeting.

+ Turn off all mobile phones and other personal electronic devices.

+ If appropriate, have attendees introduce themselves as an agenda item.

+ Do not interrupt anyone while they are speaking, even if you disagree strongly. Wait until the proper time and be acknowledged by the chairperson to speak.

+ Sit in an assigned seat if that is the custom and if you are unsure about seating arrangements, ask.

+ Be clear and concise when speaking and be sure what you are saying is relevant to the topic being discussed.

+ Honor all requested confidences relative to the meeting.

Never underestimate the value of good business manners. My experience over more than 35 years in professional life has time and time again confirmed the great value of business manners. The highest compliment I ever received on business manners came from the person I listen to the most about business manners, Pamela Hillings. Here is what she said in a testimonial:

"I have been in the business of 'Business Manners' for over twenty years and I have never worked with anyone who is the perfect example of professionalism except for Glenn Ebersole. I have been engaged in several business dealings with him and every single time he has been detailed, punctual, polite, follows up and is extremely professional. He could easily consult my clients on an appropriate business image. ??Glenn is also excellent at communication and public relations. We worked on a national survey together and he was on top of the project at all times in terms of national exposure and contacting me. I would highly recommend him to anyone; you won't be disappointed."?Pamela Hillings, Hillings Enterprises Pasadena, California.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mobile Phone Etiquette to Increase Posture As an Entrepreneur

Mobile phone etiquette is a little out of left field today, but I want you to stay with me on this one. It's important because I'm seeing a lot of glaring issues that most network marketers and home based business owners have that need to be addressed. Mainly, it revolves around the fact that I believe we treat our customers and prospects differently than everyone else, and that's a crime when it comes to mobile phone etiquette.

Why should you care about this? Simple, because your public image and professionalism is at stake if you don't follow my rules for mobile phone etiquette!
I've categorized the 3 dis-services we do to proper mobile phone etiquette for entrepreneurs:

1) Violation #1: failing to return communication in a timely manner

Mobile phone etiquette is understanding that CALLS are the primary purpose of a cell phone. Not text. Note internet browsing. Not email. CALLS! So if your business partner, prospect, or customer calls you, get on the phone and call them back! Return every phone call, because in this day and age, if they are calling you, it's probably something that needs immediate attention.

A bad habit I see is that once people listen to voicemails, they immediately delete them with the intention of calling people back. It's almost like a trained motor response to push "7" on the dialpad. The problem is that once they delete it, they forget the number, or get distracted, and thus, no call back. Only delete messages if you have the information recorded to be used as a reminder.

Call your people back within 24 hours if you're busy. I always call back within, at most, 2-3 hours. Sorry, but if you're an entrepreneur, your business is open all the time.

For emails and texts, I apply this rule of thumb: within 48 hours. People are busy, and so are you. If you're available and not on vacation, be a professional and RESPOND!

I immediately disqualify people if it takes them 3 days to respond, unless there is valid reason (no smartphone, vacation, and family emergency are the only 3 reasons I will allow). It's a complete ignorance of mobile phone etiquette. You don't want your time to be wasted, so why waste theirs by leaving them hanging?

2) Violation #2: failing to understand your prospect's communication style

Mobile phone etiquette also revolves around something a bit more advanced: understanding your audience. As an entrepreneur, you need to understand the rhythm of doing business. One of those facets is being able to decipher the preferred mode of contact of the convesation participant on the other end of the communication. On top of that, you want to emulate your prospect's communication "language".

What do I mean? It's more than just replying to whatever is thrown at you. For me, when I receive a text or email, I immediately pick up on my person's communication style and try to emulate it back to them, while maintaining professionalism and structure.

I escalate communication to an immediate phone call if there is urgency. You should too. As a leader, you have to take charge and resolve issues in the quickest and most efficient method possible. Wasting time texting an answer when a call is faster to explain something is inefficient use of time. Remember, time is more valuable than money.

3) Violation #3: failure to confirm

I've worked in customer service for quite some time, and a habit that many people fail at is confirmation.

In terms of mobile phone etiquette, there is absolutely no excuse to fail to confirm a task, project, or request from another party. All you need is an "ok" or "got it" or "will do" to resolve the issue via email or text. This is telling your people that you are committing to getting something done, and you acknowledge that they are of concern to you.

People who fail to acknowledge generally don't get things done efficiently. It's basically saying "maybe, when I get to it". As an entrepreneur, you don't run off "maybes". It's a yes or no business. I am a taskmaster, so if you can't get something done, I will find someone who will, or I will do it myself.

Relying on unreliant people will ruin your business and reputation.


Mobile phone etiquette is merely just a list of habits that we integrate in to how we communicate with others. Just like eating dinner at a fancy restaurant, or driving, it's a result of practice and inherent integration. Take note of yourself when you communicate next time. If you are lacking in any of these categories, make it a point to rectify it. It could be damaging your image more than you think.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Meeting - Conference Etiquette

Meetings and conferences are a very important part in the daily life of a respectable businessman. Thus business etiquette during these meetings is a crucial feature and ability that you have to posses. I am going to give you a few tips right now on how to properly act during a business meeting or conference.

When you enter the room shake the hand of every single man and woman that is going to be attending the meeting. Your handshake needs to be firm and steady as to transmit confidence and strength.

Express what a true honour it is for you to be in the same room with all of them and that you are looking forward for a meeting that will yield profitable results and pleasant conversations.

Choose a seat at the table that will set you on the same level as everyone else. No one likes a cocky man or someone that acts like a boss all though he is not in that position. Unless you are management you will not seat at the head of the table. It is disrespectful and that is that.

Let every one talk and wait for your turn. A good mark of poor education is to interrupt someone abruptly while they are talking. If you have something relevant to add to the conversation wait for the one that is all ready talking to finish and then add your own idea. If the idea is crucial to the conversation and you feel the need to talk them simply apologise for interrupting or ask for permission then give out the idea after which you will give the word back to the first one talking.

ALWAYS SMILE while in a business meeting. You need to be serious and professional however at the same time you have to be pleasant.

Follow all these rules and you will be fine when attending a business meeting. Good luck!

BBQ Etiquette and Perfect Barbeques Recipes

It's a beautiful summers evening with friends gathering around and the smell of a sizzling steak is enough to make your mouth water. Barbecuing has been a way of life for years across the world all over, there's celebrations daily where a favorite cut of meat is being grilled.

Secret Mens Business

An intriguing fact is that male visitors to a BBQ pay particular attention to the meat preparation and cooking methods of the host. Barbecuing is a ritual that has to be properly observed and there's rules which all men know and adhere too. The barbecuing of the meat is the real test of a guy's metal, if he does a poor job he will lose standing in his friends eyes. Barbecuing is a skill a guy has, and he gets respect from his friends for a job well done, it's very important!

Barbecue Etiquette

It's not writing or taught but male visitors to a barbecue have a full understanding of the boundaries they must never cross.

  1. Never comment on the condition of the grill if not to a standard that's acceptable. If the grill has an appearance of one that's been worshiped, or has an elaborate setup from the norm then praise may be given.
  2. Never comment on the condition, size or the lack of tools to do the job.
  3. Never discuss the cuts to be barbequed, you are the guest so eat what's put in front of you.
  4. Never share your ideas on flame settings, temperature settings must remain with the host.
  5. Never use the two comments that are totally forbidden: It's cooked - It's not cooked enough. These comments can pollute the atmosphere and possibly make the host feel dejected.
  6. Never share your dissatisfaction if the meat is not cooked to your liking. If asked how's your meat always respond with perfect.

Men think their all experts and know how to deliver the perfect steak, never confront the host by questioning his skill at the grill.

Barbeques Recipes for a Perfect Grill

The difference between a good experience and a bad one at a barbecue is the food. A good cook will be the center piece of any barbecue and is generally discussed while sitting at the table. You don't want to be the host where food is left on the plate and guest are finishing off the starters. One vital secret for a great grill is meat selection. An example is beef should have a deep red color, not pink or bright crimson. The beef should be shinny and look a little dry, you don't want meat that's wet or sweating and sticky to touch. When you press your thumb into the meat the dent should remain for some time then bounce back.

Marbling will add to the tenderness of the meat a small rind of fat to add flavor. Marinades and Rub's are another weapon a "Top Shelf Griller" needs to have in his arsenal. Marinades will add flavor, moisture and more importantly tenderize the meat. It's also documented that marinades can reduce cancer causing carcinogens by 88%, this substance forms on meats cooked at high temperatures. As discussed above tried and proven recipes separate men from the boys when it comes to grilling.

Don't be fooled but some of the recipes you may find on the net, anyone can write a recipe in 5min that may or may not work. Meat is expensive so the last thing you want to do is ruin it by trying an unproven recipe. Find recipes that are supported with evidence on how successful they are, you can't go wrong.

Recipes that produce succulent and tasty cuts of meat will have your friends and family coming back for more. Do your homework so at your next BBQ you will receive the admiration a "Top Shelf Griller" demands.

The Last Vital Ingredient "The Wife" - Lets face it, if it wasn't for the wife the barbecue would be a complete disaster. You must always acknowledge the wifes effort as the "Vital Ingredient" is what makes a good Barbecue great.

Business Gift Baskets

Business gift baskets are an ideal way to recognize an employee's talent or to make a good impression on your clients. A company can also customize these gift baskets according to the occasion and budget. Business gift baskets can be filled with chocolates, coffee hampers, cookies, wines, champagne, caviar and so forth. Most gift suppliers also design theme-based gift baskets, like exotic fruit baskets, wine baskets, cabernet and cheese baskets, gourmet baskets, chocolate baskets, sweets and snacks baskets, and so forth.

A business house may award business gift baskets to its employees on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, or as a token of appreciation after a promotion or at the time of retirement. Some businesses occasionally send gifts baskets to their associates and clients, either to promote their products or merely as a goodwill gesture.

However, one should always follow certain conventions while sending gift baskets to clients, and take into consideration the etiquette and corporate policies followed by the client company to avoid unnecessary hassles. Some companies follow strict policies regarding gifts, wherein a company might be forbidden to accept any gifts at all, or some clients might have restrictions regarding the valuation of gifts.

Therefore, before sending a gift to the client, one should ask the client directly or contact the personnel department to find out about the limitations and guidelines followed by the company. An appropriate business gift or gift basket can truly boost an employee's morale and can also help cultivate positive business relationships.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Business Manners Apply to Interviewers As Well As Applicants

Today's job applicants are encountering a lack of courtesy that is all too common. Businesses are flooded with applicants for every opening and many are showing a lack of respect for job seekers by failing to respond to their applications.

Most employers request resumes and other documentation be sent by e-mail. Occasionally they use the old-fashioned method-the anonymous post office box. The huge volume of applications makes it seem difficult to respond personally to each one. However, the technology is there to reply to all.

Most e-mail programs have the ability to send an automatic response letting applicants know that their information has been received and how and when they will be notified of an interview or the lack of one. If the application is handled through postal mail, a generic letter can be generated and sent out with the same details. There is no excuse for leaving applicants in the dark.

Following an interview, employers continue their thoughtlessness. Applicants are told they will be contacted within a certain time, but it never happens. With the search narrowed, the number of calls or letters should be manageable. People who reach this level in the interview process deserve a follow-up. They need to know if the position has been filled or if the process is continuing.

Consider it public relations for the organization. The person who applies for the job and is treated shabbily by an organization has friends and acquaintances whom they are likely to tell. Furthermore, that applicant may one day be an influential businessperson with a long memory when it comes to choosing business connections.

Job seekers are customers, too, and should receive the same level of customer service as everyone else.

(c) 2006, Lydia Ramsey. All rights reserved. Reprint rights granted so long as article and by-line are published intact and with all links made live.

E-Mail Marketing Etiquette - Here's 8 Simple Rules That I Created and Follow Myself

Just like most things in life, there are always rules of etiquette to deal with. E-Mail Marketing is no different. You should always do your best to follow these 8 simple rules that I do, so that you assure your e-mail marketing campaign will be both successful and profitable.

Like most rules of etiquette, they are not really carved in stone. But when you sit back and think about them, they really do make sense. Here are the 8 Simple Rules of Etiquette for E-Mail Marketing that I follow and they are a good set for you to start with.

Building Your List? Tell Subscribers what to expect: Let your subscribers know what to expect from your newsletter or marketing campaign. If you are only going to send them helpful information and links to other resources, tell them that. If you plan to include promotions and special offers, tell them that too. Let them know how often to expect your messages and make sure you don't disappoint them.

Do you Offer Downloads? Help Them Understand How to Do that: If your information is or Lead Generation Magnet is a downloadable file, tell them that before they sign up with you and be sure that you offer instruction on how to download it. Nothing could be more frustrating for a novice computer user than not being able to get what they came for.

Treat Your Subscribers Like People; Not a Number: Remember, you're looking at a computer screen. So is your prospect. But when writing your messages, never loose sight of the fact that on the receiving side of that message, you are dealing with a real person. Respect that and never, ever treat them as if they are just a number on your list.

Always follow the regulations of the CAN SPAM Act: The regulations are really not that difficult to comply with. You simply have to include a valid mailing address; Your subject line must reflect the content of the message; You must make it easy to Opt-Out; Never create deceptive or misleading messages; be sure that you honor all requests to opt-out within 10 business days. Following those steps mean you will easily comply.

Keep your Messages Short: Never ramble on. Keep your messages focused on one subject. Introduce the subject in the first paragraph and get to the point quickly after that.

Always Write as if You're Talking to One Person: Never write your messages to talk to a 'group' of people. Keep them as if you are writing to one person.

Don't Hammer Subscribers to Buy all the time: Nobody appreciates being 'sold' all the time. You can build a better relationship and prevent subscribers from unsubscribing if you don't try to just sell, sell, sell. Yes, creating sales is part of the reason you structure an e-mail marketing campaign, but you don't have to include an offer in every message. Use discretion.

Always Create a Call To Action: Probably the most important part of your message. You have to tell your subscribers what you want them to do. Guide them to follow your instruction and take the action that you want them to.

Following these 8 simple rules of E-Mail Marketing Etiquette will help you maintain your subscribers and gain the overall lifetime value of your customers. These rules really aren't difficult, but straying from then could cost you more than you may ever know. Good luck!

Live, Love and Profit from Your Passion; Otherwise it's just another job!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Business Letter Etiquette

Business etiquette is fundamentally concerned with building relationships founded upon courtesy and politeness between business personnel. Etiquette, and especially business etiquette, is a means of maximising your potential by presenting yourself positively.

Writing a business letter is not simply a matter of expressing your ideas clearly. The way you write a letter and the etiquette you employ may have a significant impact on your success or failure in business.

Failure to observe correct business letter etiquette can result in you adopting an inappropriate tone, causing offense or misunderstandings, lack of clarity or purpose and hostility or soured relations.

The foundation of good business letter etiquette is 'Think before you write'. You should be considering who the letter is addressed to, how and why? This will then influence style, content and structure.

Here we cover some of the main issues relating to good business letter etiquette:

Addressing the Letter

Always make sure you have spelt the recipient's name correctly. It may sound simple, but you would be surprised at how many people fail to do so. The recipient's name should include titles, honours or qualifications if deemed necessary.

Many people use the 'Dear Sir/Yours Faithfully' formula when addressing the receiver. Although this is acceptable for routine matters it is impersonal and should not be used when dealing with those you know, queries or complaints. With these the 'Dear Mr..../Yours Sincerely' formula should be adopted.

Once a certain level of familiarity is reached it is not considered bad etiquette to use phrases such as 'Kind Regards' or 'All the best' at the end of the letter.


If the content of the letter is sensitive, personal or confidential it must be marked appropriately. Marking the letter 'confidential' will suffice in highlighting this fact. If you only want the letter read by the receiver without the interception of a secretary or PA, mark it as 'Private', 'Personal' or 'Strictly Confidential'. If you have received such a business letter it is good etiquette to reciprocate and ensure that all future correspondence is kept at that level of confidentiality.


Proper business letter etiquette requires that a consistent and clear approach, combined with courtesy, be employed. As a rule of thumb, aim to keep all business letters formal in style. Even when the receiver is familiar to you, it is advisable maintain a certain level of business etiquette as the letter may be seen by others or referred to by a third party in the future.

However, this does not mean you should use long or uncommon words to express yourself. This merely looks odd and makes the letter unreadable. It is best to read a letter first and consider whether you would speak to that person face to face in the same way. If not, then re-write it.

Letters should be signed personally. It looks unprofessional, cold and somewhat lazy if a letter is left unsigned. However, having a secretary or PA sign on your behalf is not considered a breach of business etiquette.


Humour can be used in business letters but only when the writer is completely positive the recipient will understand the joke or pun. From a business etiquette perspective it may be wise to avoid humour. This is because firstly, the letter may be read during a crisis, after receiving bad news or on a sombre occasion. Any other time the humour may have been appreciated but under these circumstances it may dramatically backfire. Secondly, the written word is open to misinterpretation. Your sarcastic or ironic remark may be taken the wrong way. Thirdly, it is possible that the letter may be read by a third party who may deem the humour inappropriate and pursue a complaint of some sort.


Good business letter etiquette calls for letters to be responded to promptly or within certain guidelines. This may normally be considered as 5 working days. If this is not possible then some sort of acknowledgement should be sent either by letter, fax, phone or e-mail.

Always use reference numbers or clearly state the purpose of the letter at the top, for example, 'Re: Business Letter Etiquette Enquiry'. This allows the receiver to trace correspondence and immediately set your letter within a context.

When replying to points or questions the proper etiquette is to respond in the same order as they were asked.

Managing Conflict

Letters are often an arena for conflicts or disputes. Even in these circumstances there are rules of business letter etiquette that should be adhered to.

If you initiate the dispute then, 1) Explain and set out your case simply and clearly to the most appropriate person, 2) Offer information that may be required by the other party to help answer questions, 3) Indicate a time scale by which you expect a reply or the matter to be resolved.

If you are receiving the dispute then 1) inform senior colleagues who may be affected or who may be able to offer assistance, 2) Submit all replies in draft form for a senior colleague to check, 3) Stick to the facts and the merits of the case and do not allow emotions to become involved, 4) Be polite, patient and courteous.

Using business etiquette in all matters and especially in business letters will ensure you communicate effectively, avoid misunderstandings and maximise your business potential.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Business Card Etiquette for International Businessmen

In a globalized world, international businessmen require more than certain skills and knowledge in their corresponding financial or commercial branch, but also the basic understanding of customer's local culture to avoid frustration, misunderstanding and even potential embarrassment.

Whether a company or any independent professional, should research not only to get cheap international plane tickets to make the trip more affordable, but also acquiring basic facts about regional culture and etiquette, including business cards.

If you are involved in international business, then you need to keep up with your client's country values, norms, behaviors, and even everyday facts including art, food, fashion, architecture, etc. The more you learn about your clients' nations, the more opportunities to close successful deals. However, any solid relationship begins by recognizing the importance of learning the proper etiquette.

Business cards are usually the first thing that any customer or prospective client will get from you, so you should make sure they cause a positive impression on them. The way they perceive you from the beginning will leave a lasting impression in their memory, giving them right from the start the impression whether to create a business relationship with you.

As an example, getting cheap international plane tickets to attend a meeting abroad is fine, but your cards must reflect you are not trying to save costs. Every nation has different idiosyncrasies, but general business card etiquette encloses the guidelines to make the best impression on current and potential clients.

Becoming a successful businessman or businesswoman is easy if you simply read a little bit about customs and practices of the region where your partners, co-workers and clients live. Knowledge is generally the best guidance, pointing you in the right direction for creating international lasting business, fulfilling both intentions and expectations coming from each partner involved.

Furthermore, business card etiquette is only one aspect of great importance when it comes to international exchange of business cards, because unlike America or Canada, in other countries, business cards have very different meanings, and not only a convenient way of capturing essential personal or businesses details.

This way, business cards in the United Kingdom are relaxed and involve just a little ceremony. Keeping the cards clean and presentable, even if carried in a pocket, but in Japan, business cards are exchanged with great ceremony and they should be kept in pristine condition, given them with only one hand and always received with two hands.

Getting cheap international plane tickets save money. Invest that money in quality cards that speak by themselves about your business, and include in them your title, university degree or any other honor, if you have any, because many countries all over the world place emphasis on status and hierarchy.

With different approaches, business cards are considered as a representation of the owner, consciously or unconsciously, so make sure to apply what the proper business etiquette demands in every region where you move.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Email Etiquette - Make Your Subject Line Do Its Job

If you work in an office you no doubt use email every day as a primary means of communication. Too often, though, people are frustrated because they don't get replies to their emails. Little do they know their messages are going in the junk file unread!

The deciding factor as to whether your email is opened or deleted is often the subject line. So it's in your own interests to write a subject line that entices the reader to open and read your message.

So what makes an enticing subject line? Two things:

1. It leaves no doubt as to the subject of the email.
2. Readers understand what's in it for them.

A subject line like "Budget figures" is too vague and not at all enticing to the reader. What about the budget figures? Are you sending them for my information? Are you asking me for my figures? Do you want input of any kind from me? Must I do this now?

All these questions lead to confusion in the reader's mind, and a confused mind tends to do nothing.

Here's an alternative subject line to consider: "Your budget figures required for President's report by Friday morning, Maria". Doesn't that change the picture right away? It does, because it meets both criteria. It expresses exactly what the message is about, and why Maria needs to pay attention.

Suppose I send you an email message with the subject line, "Monthly Sales Meeting." The meeting is always held on the last Wednesday of the month, and today is only the second Tuesday. I'm busy, so I'll probably decide to leave this message for now and read it later -- and of course that can mean not at all!

But suppose I say instead, "Change of time and date for this month's sales meeting." That sends quite a different message? After all, it's in my interest to show up at the right time for the meeting and I'll want to change the note in my schedule, so I'm going to open the message right away.

It's a good practice to put in your subject line at the end, after you're satisfied with your message. Your important messages will be read and answered, instead of consigned to the trash.

10 Rules For Social Media Etiquette

Just as there are proper ways to behave in person, there are etiquette rules that govern social media. Whether you're poking someone on Facebook or posting on a website forum, when you learn how to master social etiquette, you will be more successful in your electronic communications.

Keep emails short and to the point.

With inboxes being flooded each hour, a concise and informative email will be easier for the recipient to read and respond to.

Know the forum in which you are posting.

Spend time getting to know the personalities of the forum, the purpose and goal of the participants and how you can add value to the community with your comments.

Be accountable.

Whether you are texting, posting or emailing, take credit for your opinions and communications rather than hiding behind generic names. Anonymity tends to bring out the worst manners in people, so keep your integrity by sharing your name or ID.

Keep business and personal media accounts separate.

A social networking profile should be strictly one or the other. Business associates and clients should not be allowed to see your bar-hopping photos from last weekend, nor should your friends get hit up with sales pitches each time you communicate. It's a common mistake to share too much information via social media outlets. Create two if you must, but keep them separate.

Don't invite out of the blue.

Do not invite friends or connections to join your social network site randomly. When you contact someone you vaguely know, provide them with some context on how you know each other and why you want to be connected. Are you creating a professional network or are you looking to reconnect with former high school classmates? Be clear, polite and state why you made contact.

Realize that when it's out there, it's out there.

From a sarcastic comment or a rude joke to embarrassing pictures, once communication has entered electronic form, it is preserved for all to see. If the correspondence is not something you could stand to see printed on the front page of your local paper, you'd better not send it.

Avoid SPAM.

Irrelevant email forwards, chain letters, texting or Tweeting for no reason and even frequency of posts or communications can all be considered unwanted and irritating. Because everyone is overloaded with social media messages, be sure that you are just saying what you want to say and not wasting anyone's time.

Avoid the negative.

Whether it's commenting to a negative post on your blog or joining in a flame war, simply do not engage. It doesn't change anyone's mind on the topic and it detracts from the actual message.

Be genuine.

Don't try to invent a personality or identity that isn't a true reflection of you. Because social media is all about building relationships, it does no good to establish contacts when you are not acting as you.

Use your real voice.

Don't let social media get in the way of real voice-to-voice communication. Whether you use social media more for personal or business, never underestimate the power and authenticity of a real conversation. Clients want to hear from a real person, as will your friends.