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In the world of business, the way you carry yourself can make or break a first impression. But there’s more to business etiquette than taking care not to chew loudly during a business lunch and drinking your tea in a meeting without slurping.
In fact, there’s very little written about the topic in the country and it’s something that most people take for granted. Reading through the reflections of some of the most successful entrepreneurs here, what I found was a whole lot of different rules for being successful but a common thread running through them all—lack of proper business etiquette.
We live in a time where we all talk about honouring the legends who paved the way for us, but we forget to take pointers from them. I just wanted to share some of little practices I do to keep my business life ticking along.
Rule #1: I always give my business card first
For me it’s a matter of respect. A businessman should never be the last to hand out his business card. It should always be the first. Only then will he have the chance to forge that initial contact; that connection which can lead to something bigger.
Rule #2: Be presentable
It goes without saying that the image you project within the first few seconds of a meeting can be it when it comes to sealing the deal. Therefore, it is important to be well presented at all times in business. This means clear speech, good body language, and good grooming.
Being well groomed means using deodorant, and aftershave, combing your hair and shaving every morning. This little routine will not only make you look like a great asset, but it will also ensure that clients do not form negative impressions.
Rule #3: Have good body language
Body language is undoubtedly important in any setting. In most settings, you can make a good impression with good body language, but in business, it is definitely more significant.
Make sure to stand tall, with your hands by your side, and with your head held high. This conveys power and confidence. Also, ensure that you avoid making eye contact with anyone when you introduce yourself, even if you have made eye contact with them before. It makes you look too eager, and you definitely don’t want that. Instead, you can ensure eye contact at the end of the introduction.
Rule #4: Watch your stationery
Ensure that you always have a good supply of business cards with you. If you don’t have any, it’s better you don’t make that connection. And if you do have business cards, then hand them out with the most confident and most refined movement.
The same goes for the pens you use to take notes. Generally, I always have a couple of best-quality pens in my pocket at all times. This means that I always have the most refined colour sparkle pen in my pocket at all times.
Rule #5: Have a business plan
When you are first starting out, it’s difficult to anticipate all the hurdles along the way. Having said that, it’s never too late to put a business plan together. If you have a solid plan, going into any deal with confidence will ensure you are on the right track.
Rule #6: See the invisible
The best businesspeople can see things that other people can’t. They know what signals to look for and what are in danger of being overlooked. Stepping back every now and then will not only let you control the situation better, but also make intelligent business deals.
Rule #7: Never discuss your wealth
Almost nothing can damage your business etiquette quicker than talking about your wealth or your lack thereof. If you are represented by a provider, they will negotiate what is due to you in a deal. You also don’t have to worry about it.
Rule #8: Learn to say ‘No’
One of the most important things you can learn in business is to say ‘No’. After all, saying ‘Yes’ to everything means accepting every deal, every time and this will never get you any closer to achieving your goals.
Never under-estimate the power of saying No. It is often the reason why some of the most successful people only have a handful of deals compared to the rest of the pack. However, it’s also important to strike the right balance and use your ‘No’ creatively.
Rule #9: Meetings first
It’s never a bad idea to meet your clients before a deal is closed. The reality is that they are the ones who have the money. They also have the saying ‘time is money’. Certainly, the person that has money never wants to waste their time. So, meetings are important.
Rule #10: Always have an exit strategy
It’s extremely important to have an exit strategy before you enter into any deal. You never have to divulge your plan to anyone else in the deal, but having that exit strategy in your head will ensure that you won’t be caught unawares.
You never know when you might just want to jump ship, and having that exit strategy in your back pocket will ensure that it gets executed at the first opportunity.
Rule #11: Always be prepared
Business etiquette isn’t all about being glib and suave. It also involves being prepared for almost any and every situation. Just a couple of days ago I was stuck with a client for an entire day.
It helped that I had snacks, and lots of them, on the mezzanine level of the car, which was exactly the level where we were stranded.
Rule #12: Detach yourself
Business etiquette involves being detached from the product you are selling. For example, if you are selling an environmentally friendly product, you should know more about what it’s made from than whether the client buying it is going to like it or not.
In the end, this will help you establish a position of power and respect.
Rule #13: Keep your word
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your word or your colleague’s word, it’s important that you keep your word at all times in business. If you are not able to do so, it’s better to say so immediately rather than plan to deliver at a future date.
Rule #14: Be respectful
Respect is the top-most on the list of business etiquette. It is paramount that you respect everyone—both your clients and your partners in deals. Teachers teach, students learn.
Rule #15: Keep your cool
Another important thing to remember in business is to keep your cool at all times. No matter how angry you get, never show it on your face and in your body language, with a few exceptions, of course.
Rule #16: One always for all
Lastly, remember this: always put the collective first, not the individual. It does not matter who the CEO is, you should always put the collective first. Instead of pushing ahead, you should always take the team into account first.
Business Etiquette In Bangladesh
Among the many factors that determine business success, personal etiquette and attitude play a significant role. Without a positive business attitude and proper business etiquette, your business will fail.
Business professionals should follow certain rules of etiquette while working in a business. Following are some important rules.
• Follow an order –Etiquette is a matter of respecting the hierarchy of the office. While talking to others, your seniors should be given the first chance if you are in doubt.
• Keep desk clean – Do not make a mess at the workplace. Keep your desk neat and tidy.
• Enter the room after the highly placed man has arrived and left the room before you.
• Always be courteous towards women and the old.
• Address your boss as Sir and close employees as Sir or Ma’am.
• Never ask a question if another is trying to say something.
• Never interrupt, if an important person is speaking
• If someone is talking to you, do not keep looking at your watch, or start doing something else.
• Do not take your office work to home or bring home work to the office.
• If you need to make a personal phone call at the office, inform your senior about it.
• Do not spend your time on internet during office hours.
• If someone is talking to you, do not answer the phone, do not read a paper, etc., or look at the computer.
• Do not use the Internet for personal business.
Business Etiquette In Bangladesh
Following is the list of business etiquette that should be used while performing business in any working environment.
- Minimum And Negotiable Dressing
Business attire should be appropriate to the circumstances and will vary with the setting and audience.
Color plays an important role in the business world. Men should wear dark colors while women can wear colorful outfits.
- Personal Grooming
When personal grooming comes to business environment a lot of things will affect business’ image and performance.
- Slang/Curse Words
Slang/curse words are strictly prohibited at workplace, so the business people have to control themselves in this regard while performing any business activity.
- Public Behavior
Business people should keep control on their public behavior to give a good impression to their target audience.
A business man should behave in public as if he were on duty. Business etiquette should be following at all times.
- Telephone Etiquette
Business people should control their telephone etiquette due to the nature of business.
A lot of business activity is done over the phone. Business people should be polite and honest while communicating with others.
- No-meeting Etiquette
Never attend a meeting, or interject in a meeting held by someone else, without prior permission from the leader.
- No-Smoking Etiquette
Business people should not bring any kind of smoking materials inside the premise in order to make the work environment clean and good.
- Food Etiquette
Never bring food from outside and eat it in the office. Keep your eating habits inside your home or any other public place and do not bring those to the workplace.
A business person should be clean all the time, especially those who will be in contact with clients or other people in the business.
- No-sketch Etiquette
The business people should not do any other work while working. Having a sketch book in the business environment is not considered good for business and productivity.
- Right-Hand Etiquette
Always keep your right hand clean and allow it to do the work. Do not allow anything to touch your right hand.
- Eye Etiquette
Do not look at your boss for too long or too intently. Do not stare at your peers. Gaze at the same level.
- Women-Ladies Etiquette
Always respect the ladies. Walk up to them and seat yourself. If you see a female member approaching your table or office, rise and greet her first.
- Men-Honored Etiquette
When a man or a woman of honor arrives, rise and greet him or her first. The committee will be formed in the order of seniority.
- Sit-Down Etiquette
Never do any other work while sitting at a meeting.
- Share Memories Etiquette
Do not run down others in a meeting. You will be appreciated for your ideas and opinions, but don’t badmouth anyone else.
- Salute Etiquette
Always stand up, salute and welcome the visitors in a meeting.
- Accurate Notes Etiquette
Do not write anything and make any correction while taking notes.
- Closure Etiquette
Closing any meeting is the most important part of any meeting.
- Shoe Etiquette
Never remove your shoes in a meeting. You can wear shoes during the meeting that are easy to take off.
Rules To Be Followed During A Business Meet
Business Etiquette is very important in the business environment. Business etiquette helps to keep a business place peaceful.
Follow the importance of introduction very carefully .
Always be honest in discussing any topic.
When it comes to introducing any new work to the other business person, learn it accurately and put the right emphasis on the right word.
Always listen to others. Listening is a very important part of the business place. If you don’t listen carefully, you will lose a lot.
- Fellow Work
Don’t make a mistake by calling your fellow work as a subordinate or a boss
The last rule that has to be followed in a business meeting or in a business meeting is closure.