Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Business Meeting Etiquette

            No matter the type of office environment you work in—formal dress or casual, customer or data orientated, there are certain unwritten rules for etiquette and behavior on a daily basis. When you’re in a business meeting however, those standards are raised slightly, more so if it is a meeting with people outside of your workplace than if it’s a meeting among staff members. Here are some things people tend to overlook.

For a meeting with a client, you may want to consider dressing up a little more than you usually do. If your workplace dress code is casual, think about wearing khakis and a polo shirt or for women, a satin blouse. Wear loafers or black sneakers or dressy flats. You never know how dressed up the other company’s people will be—they could be in business suits--so making that extra effort shows your professionalism and respect for their business. You are recognizing the significance of the time they took to meet with you. If your company’s dress code is already very professional, take extra care to be sure your hairstyle is polished, your makeup and accessories are not too over the top, and that your shoes are free of scuff marks. Guys, make sure your collar is neat, your tie is straight, and your fingernails are clean. Little details can go a long way, especially with a person you are meeting for the first time.

Show up on time. If the meeting is in your building, stop what you are working on and get situated in the conference room at least five minutes before the scheduled start time. If you have to leave the office, make sure you have clear directions and account for traffic and parking time. Bring a pen and notebook (or laptop) with you in case you need to take notes. If you are in charge of presenting, test your equipment and open your files ahead of time to ensure everything will work correctly.

Don’t chew gum or eat food or candy during the meeting—it can wait. Drinks are ok as long as you’re careful and quiet with them. (However, if food is served at the meeting, then by all means, feel free to partake). Use the restroom before hand and silence your cell phone. Introduce yourself when the opportunity comes and make eye contact with the person in charge of the meeting. Smile and be cheerful and interested (even if you’re really not). Ask questions and address concerns without interrupting anyone. Be sure to tell them it was nice to meet them before you leave. Keeping all these things in mind may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a huge difference. Make it happen!
© 2012 eMarketing 4 Business LLC