Success in business is often determined by how well an entrepreneur understands business etiquette. Entrepreneurs may prefer different communications styles, but by following basic business etiquette, they can find growth and financial success. The communication style that may work for one entrepreneur may not work for another. Following basic etiquette rules can play a key role in growing your business.
Five Business Etiquette Tips for Entrepreneurs:
Keep It Short and Sweet
This general rule applies to phone calls, emails and in-person meetings. Entrepreneurs find trouble when they act as though the first interaction will be the only interaction. Don’t try to introduce yourself, pitch your business, and ask for the close in one interaction. Be mindful of others’ time and attention. If small talk is a necessity, keep it extra short.
Don’t Spam via Email or Social Media
A shared email address is the equivalent of saying “welcome to my inbox.” shares their Inboxes are people’s private spaces. Are you sending thoughtful packages or junk mail? How often are you showing up in their private space? Don’t be the guest that never leaves. Don’t add anyone to your newsletter without their consent. Just don’t do it. If you are using newsletters (and you should be), set a schedule for once a week or once a month. Remain consistent with your outreach.
Oversharing details from your personal life or business is the quickest way to get unfriended or hidden on social media. Aim to share valuable content more than business details.
Be Early and Prepared
Whether you set up meetings by phone or in-person, arrive early. Live by the old saying “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” Don’t allow technology to become a crutch. If you text 10 minutes before a meeting that you’ll be late is unprofessional. Show up prepared to the meeting, no matter who called for the conversation. Bring any materials that you need to make the meeting run more smoothly. Don’t assume that someone else will have what you need.
Focus Your Attention
We all know that entrepreneur, who is so busy they can’t take a phone call or a meeting without being interrupted by email or text messages… Don’t be that entrepreneur. Focus your attention on the person in front of you. Put the technology away or put your devices in airplane mode during your meetings so message notifications won’t distract you.
If you can’t have a meeting in a coffee shop without looking over the other person’s shoulder to see who walked in the door, don’t have meetings in a coffee shop. Another option is to take the seat with your back to all the movement.
Once you’ve successfully reached out and hosted a meeting with a potential client or partner, it’s time to follow up. It seems obvious but it doesn’t always happen. When entrepreneurs don’t follow through in a timely manner, it can give the perception that the entrepreneur is flaky or too busy for the work. Send that proposal, email, or make that phone call right away. When appropriate, follow up with a personalized thank you note.
Continue to use these tips to make sure you are respecting other people’s time and attention. Proper business etiquette can make all the difference in your business’ reputation and landing your next client.