Business Etiquette Tips

February 2, 2013 | By More


business etiquette tips

Many people just look at me and ask business etiquette tips? What do you mean by that?

This is very often a neglected topic, but very important if you deal in any way with customers, over the phone, email, face to face meetings or any other kind of interaction. In general we are talking about manners, just applied in a more flexible way and related to the business world. Keeping in mind that we want to accomplish that the client buys our product or services, there are many things which can be helpful in reference to business etiquette.


  1. Tips on Business Etiquette  – Email communication and social media

    How many emails do you receive per day which you are not even reading at all? I can tell from my own experience if I do not recognize the email address or the subject I delete them 99% of the time. I am just tiered to go through all this junk. So think about this what makes you open an email?

    1. First of all don’t send an email to people who have not opted in for your service or do not buy any kind of wildly collected email data bases which are not targeted to people who have clearly indicated to be interested and to be contacted about your services or products. In other words do not spam, people will just remove you completely and won’t even give you another chance. The same applies to social media or video messaging. DO NOT SPAM the internet.
    2. Keep the contents of your online material interesting, fresh and informative, do not use offensive language or references and keep it as natural as possible so you can attract a broader audience.
    3. Combine text, pictures and video in your messages, you want to awake the curiosity of your clientele and engage them to interact with you.


  1. Apply Business Etiquette Tips during a phone call with a customer

Don’t you just hate it if you call someone and they just say “yellow”, I mean come on I want to know who the heck I am talking to and even more so when I call a company. Customer service is still king and we need to find a simpler way for a customer to reach us without the automated answering and pressing 4 buttons to finally speak to a real person and then still do not know if they reached the right department. Don’t you just noticed when a company is fairly young how much effort they put into servicing their clients and as they grow bigger and have plenty of accounts they start to lack and try to automize everything? That is a big mistake in my eyes, as client retention and mouth to mouth advertising is much easier than getting a brand new client on board. So remember these simple business etiquette tips when it comes to phone calls

  1. Regardless if you have an automated announcement or if you have a live receptionist, clearly state the name of your company and the department which is being reached. Then ask for the person’s name and the reason for their call, or how you may direct their call. That is just a simple way of being polite
  2. Listen to the clients concerns, remember each client is as important as the next, make it a company policy that each of your employees who has client contact is aware that they are being paid by these same clients, it helps tremendously to be patient and polite on the phone.
  3. If necessary repeat what the client said and assure them that they are understood correctly, remember they are calling you to have their problem solved, so provide them with a solution. The goal of an interaction with a client is that all questions were answered and they have a great experience during that phone call
  1.  Tips on Business Etiquette during Personal Interaction

This is the most important one, as this combines communication, dress code, punctuality, body language as well as the already mentioned tips above.

  1. Let’s cover some common sense here first. If you have scheduled a meeting with either a business partner or a client, then there is absolutely no excuse why you would be late. In most cultures it is a question of respect to value the other person’s time and you have to schedule accordingly and be on time no matter what. So unless you have a very good reason to be late or cancel the meeting, be on time it will make you look more professional and the person you meet with will feel much more appreciated. You want to create a reputation of being punctual and reliable.
  2. We often hear “Clothes make the men” or “Dress for success” and its true, people will perceive us as more successful, more competent and have more authority if we dress accordingly. This does not mean that you always have to wear a suit that would be inappropriate when you meet at a construction side. However keep a formal dress code and adjust it to the people you meet. You want to impress, but not always intimidate. Think about this a bit and dress the way you think or expect your customer to be. Depending on what you would like to accomplish, keep in mind you want to inflict and influence the person in a certain way, so that they will do what you want them to do.
  3. Your body language in a personal meeting can make a big difference in the way you can establish swift rapport and trust. Always make eye contact, smile as bright as you can, this always breaks the ice in a fast way and makes the person feel comfortable from the start. First impressions are vital and determine the end result significantly. If you pay a little attention to a person’s body language you can find out very fast in what kind of emotional state they are. A very simple technique to make someone feel comfortable is also to just mirror there body language. E.G if they cross their legs, you do it too, if they fold their hands you do it too and so on. Of course not in a way that it will be to obvious, the goal is to make the counterpart feel safe subconsciously.
  4. Communication starts with listening in the first place and similar to body language you can find out about another person’s agenda or state, just by listening to their words and vibe in their voice. Accept one thing as the truth and that is that you cannot win an argument. Even if you have made your point and threw it in the face of the person you wanted to tell off, how do you think you make that person feel about you? Would the relationship remain trusting or likely be damaged? You know the answer already, that is the reason why it is so important to stay calm and listen, then to speak thoughtfully in a way that leaves no questions open and at the same time is non-offensive. In modern communication, regardless if you talk to a business related person or a family member it is best to disregard your ego if you want to have the conversation held productively

These general business etiquette tips are used all over the world, most small business consulting firms nowadays teach them or at least mention them in one or another way. If it comes to International Business Etiquette, you might want to do some deeper research when you deal with certain cultures.

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Category: Management related, Starting and building a business'

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