I’m sure many of you are familiar with etiquette when it comes to dining. However, did you know that there was a thing such as business etiquette? Similar to dining etiquette, these unwritten rules of behavior can help you not only close the deal, but also leave a great impression on potential partners/customers. From online communication to interpersonal communication, being aware of unwritten rules can help you represent yourself as professionally as possible.
So in honor of National Business Etiquette Week (June 3-9), I would like to highlight six unwritten rules that will help you excel in all business settings as a small business leader:
- Use professional salutations. When building new relationships, it’s important that you keep your initial greetings professional. As such, it’s recommended that you limit the slang and keep it as professional as possible. For example, instead of “Hey Mike, ” try “Hi Michael” in your first email. Be willing to alter as the relationship continues to flourish.
- Limit exclamation points, abbreviations and emoticons. Keep the email light but not too light that it’s full of additional marks. It can be taken as too jovial when the goal is to be professional.
- Double-check the subject line and the email recipient. This one is simple. Double-check everything to alleviate mistakes!
- Come prepared with talking points. Be sure that you have an objective for every meeting. This can be accomplished by doing your research to find out who will be in the room, what their goals are and what you hope to have accomplished. Also, it is recommended to come prepared with questions to ask, but not with the goal of dominating the entire question and answer section. Leave room for others to contribute as well.
- Silence all electronic devices. Simple, but very important! There’s nothing worse than a phone consistently going off in a business meeting.
- Arrive early. Being early can help you get a variety of things in order such as parking/transportation, menu options and spacing options. These are all unwritten rules that can help you gain bonus points for your meeting.