Manners go a long way in business. Etiquette might have taken a back seat since Skype chats replaced the traditional business lunch, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone for good. Companies still value manners.
For example, Servcorp commissioned Galaxy Research to survey 457 business leaders throughout the world. 78% said whether a prospect returned their call or not would influence who they award a contract to.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can rectify the problem of bad manners.
The Offline Rules Still Apply
The conventional rules of business etiquette when meeting someone in person still apply. I’m not going to patronize you about how you should always shake the other person’s hand and the sort of subject matter you should restrict your conversations to. You know all this.
What I am going to discuss is the etiquette of dress. If you’re weighing wearing an old suit compared to an expensive tailored one, the latter option should win out.
If we look at an article from Cheryl Conner, she illustrates that a number of independent studies have proven direct correlations between the standard of dress amongst men and their incomes. Those who dress better are more likely to have far higher incomes than those who don’t.
First impressions count for everything. When you see someone coming down the street, you’ll make a snap judgment in those first few seconds.
The email deserves a section all to itself. It’s the primary method of communication in global business in this day and age. It’s convenient and easy, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect it. We know all about the necessity of good manners in global business, so it makes sense to perfect it when it comes to the email.
Here are some top tips for maintaining good email etiquette:
- Take the time to edit your communications. Constant typos and grammar errors only make it more obvious that the email wasn’t important and a minimal amount of care went towards crafting it.
- Stick to business. Don’t get into any personal issues, unless you’ve grown closer and personal comments are made more out of politeness than anything else.
- Avoid humor. You don’t want to inadvertently offend someone. Everyone has an alternate sense of humor.
- According to Mashable in 2012, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day. You send more than you think. Try to limit your email usage to a few content-rich ones, rather than many small and shallow ones.
What is Global Business Etiquette Truly About?
How you dress and the way you email are the two key areas where people tend to slip up. Business etiquette shouldn’t be looked upon as someone scary of terrifying, though. We can’t underestimate its importance, but we also shouldn’t attempt to make it seem as if you’re doing anything different.
We practice good etiquette each day. To grasp etiquette, you need to get into the right state of mind. Show them the same levels of courtesy as you would to someone you meet in the street.
They aren’t your friends, but they aren’t someone you’re actively hostile to. Be neutral with them and advance the relationship slowly. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
How Poor Business Manners Online and Offline Can Hurt Your Company