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Business Etiquette: A Little Consideration Goes a Long Way

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You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so how do you want people to remember you and, by extension, your brand? By putting forth your most professional and appealing traits, you create a perceived image not only of yourself but also of your business. Whether it’s in person or through digital communications, you can improve the way you come across with these social niceties and business etiquette tips.

Embrace Email Etiquette

In order to be successful in today’s digital world, you must master the art of the email. Keep these tips in mind to get your message across without annoying your audience:

  • Set the tone: Start with a pleasant greeting: “Hi, (Name),” is usually the most appropriate, as opposed to “hey.”
  • Avoid the dreaded reply-all: Always ask yourself whether everyone on the email chain needs to be included in your response. Decluttering a person’s inbox is one of the easiest and most considerate forms of business etiquette.
  • Thorough yet succinct: As Kevin from the NBC sitcom “The Office” famously asked, “why waste time say lot word, when few word do trick?” Can you get your point across in 10 words instead of 20 while answering every question and keeping it professional? Your audience will appreciate it.
  • Don’t make “thank you” part of your automatic signature line: If you want to thank someone, take the time to type it into your message. It likely doesn’t make sense in every message you send and comes across as insincere if it’s there by default. Typing your closing salutation makes it more authentic.
  • Proofread: Take the time to reread each email before you hit send to correct any grammar or spelling mistakes. Typos undermine your professionalism.

Sharp Social Skills

The world is opening back up following COVID-19 related shutdowns, so it’s the perfect time to dust off some of those interpersonal social skills. Here are a few to keep in mind, whether you are meeting in person or virtually:

  • Respect other people’s time: Whether it’s a meeting or a deadline, there is no better way to get off on the wrong foot than lateness. Leaving people waiting without any kind of explanation or apology is rude. If you are unavoidably late, reach out as soon as possible to apologize and make amends.
  • Pay attention: It’s easy to forget people’s names in business meetings, so write them down. Use names when addressing someone to acknowledge their presence and build a working relationship with them. Show cues that you are listening (a nod, a smile) and avoid interrupting.
  • Send handwritten notes: Thanking a client or recognizing a milestone through email is like ending a relationship with a text message: it’s a bit impersonal. When you take the time to write out a thoughtful note and send it through old-fashioned snail mail, you come across as more sincere and genuine.
  • Put your phone away: If you are having a business meeting or lunch, keep your phone out of sight. It pulls your attention away from the person or people in front of you and gives them the impression you have something more pressing to do. If you are expecting an urgent message or call, let them know that upfront and apologize that you may need to respond.

Need more help developing your company’s brand? Contact us today to find out how we can take a holistic approach to help you establish your brand in ways both large and small.