Business Etiquette 1. When invited to business functions look to your host or hostess for directions on where to sit. Seats at the head of the table are usually given to the highest ranking members of the party or to special guests. 2. When introducing someone, introduce the person with lesser authority to the person with higher authority, regardless of gender. The person to whom the introduction is made is mentioned first. It is also helpful to identify each person's position and provide additional information that might facilitate conversation. 3. QUESTION: Your boss, Mr. A., Vice President of Commercial Loans at your bank, enters the room where you are meeting with an important client, Ms. B. You rise and say, "Mr. A, I want to introduce Ms. B., our client from the Wick Corporation." Is your introduction correct? ANSWER: A client is considered the important person in the business arena. You would be correct to say, "Ms. B., I want to introduce Mr. A, our Vice President of Commercial Loans. Ms. B is our client from the Wick Corporation." Remember, the most important person's name, the client is spoken first. 4. When presiding over meetings wait a few minutes past the starting time and begin when you have a majority of the participants. It's not fair to penalize those who are punctual by making them wait. If any key players come in late, you can bring them up to speed with a brief synopsis of what has already transpired. 5. Identify yourself first when answering the phone. Ask how you can help and refer the caller to the proper person if you can't help them. 6. A junior executive should not be the first one to offer a business card. In the business arena, the senior executive makes the first move in offering a business card. 7. You're entering a taxi cab with an important client. You should position yourself so the client is seated passenger side on the backseat. This is important because when your client steps out of the car, he or she won't have to deal with getting out in traffic or sliding across the seat. The place of honor in the USA is the passenger side back seat whereas in Japan it’s the back seat at the driver’s side. 8. You should place your name tag on your right shoulder because during the handshake the other person’s eyes naturally follow your right arm up to your head to make eye contact, allowing time to slip another look at your name on your name tag. 9. In the business arena both men and women should stand for handshaking and all introductions. Business etiquette has become gender neutral. Women don’t have to hesitate to offer their hands first and vice versa. 10. The proper way to shake hands is to give a firm handshake with your right hand. Always stand up to shake hands and look the person in the eye. 11. When you greet a visitor in your office, you should tell him/her where to sit. Indicating where your guest should sit will make him/her feel more comfortable. 12. You're scheduled to meet a business associate for a working lunch and you arrive a few minutes early to find a suitable table. Thirty minutes later your associate still hasn't arrived. You are not obligated to wait any longer; you should order your lunch and eat. You've waited 30 minutes. Expect an apology later, though 13. If a meeting is scheduled for 9:00am, you should arrive not earlier than 8:50am, which gives you ten minutes to get organized. 14. It is appropriate to tell business associates that their zipper is open; otherwise they will be embarrassed once they realize their zipper has been open. Take that person aside and subtly advise him/her to zip up. This rule also applies to food or lipstick on teeth and other potentially embarrassing situations. 15. When receiving a business card take the time to look at it because a card is representative of the person and their business. Write pertinent notes on the card later, not in the person’s presence. 16. When using a speaker phone tell the person who called that you have them on speakerphone. Identify each person who is in the room. State their purpose in being present during the conversation. 17. A client has been waiting for about five minutes to meet with you but you're running a little behind schedule, and you need a few more minutes to finish up, so you take a minute to walk out and apologize in person and offer him a cup of coffee and a magazine. 18. You enter a coworker’s office or cubicle to chat and she's on the phone, so you leave a note saying you need to speak with her and try to get her at another time. 19. When answering phone calls, answer promptly (before the third ring if possible). Before picking up the receiver, discontinue any other conversation or activity such as eating, chewing gum, typing, etc that can be heard by the calling party. 20. When socializing at a cocktail party, it is best to hold your glass in the left hand so that your right hand is free for shaking hands, eliminating the need to switch hands at the last minute. It also prevents you from offering a wet handshake due to the condensation from the glass. 21. In a business scenario, one should hold a door open for superiors or clients (regardless of gender) simply as a matter of respect. 22. Boring though it may sound the safest topics that make for small talk and serve as icebreakers in social get-togethers are the weather, popular sports or the pleasant party setting. Even if you are passionate about issues such as improving the education scenario or uprooting corruption, do not bring them up. For all you know, the person you may be talking to might be an educationist or a local politician himself/ herself! Topics such as religion, politics, family and personal appearance and grooming are an absolute no-no. 23. Perfume, cologne or aftershave should be applied sparingly, evoking a subtle scent. Strong fragrances are often offensive to business associates and therefore inappropriate in a professional venue. 24. If you end up speaking with a phone solicitor, you can simply say “I’m sorry, we’re not interested. Thanks anyway”. Then, without waiting for a reply, quickly hang up. Do not feel guilty, and think of it as doing them a favor by not wasting their time and yours.
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