Business etiquette is not a new thing, some people are taught it at University, others learn it through family businesses. If you’re starting up on your own, it can be hard to know what to do if you aren’t well versed in the language of business etiquette.
Here are a few lessons we should all learn . . .
1. How are you is better than hope you’re well
When writing an email, a question is always better than a statement. Saying “how are you?” gives the impression that you are willing to open dialogue, while “hope you’re well,” is very closed and gives the impression that you’re more interested in the subject of your email or asking them for something. Make sure your overall email etiquette is polished before you hit send (and check for typos!).
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2. Always introduce others
Whenever the opportunity arises, introduce people. Even if they already know each other, it makes you look professional and makes people feel valued.
3. Be aware of your language
It’s not all about super formal email etiquette anymore. Depending on who you are emailing, “Hi,” is better than “Dear,”. You can also expect emojis to land into your inbox sometimes. I know many business etiquette lists say absolutely no emojis, but quite often they land in my inbox since people are more prone to shoot emails off from their phone.
It always depends on who you are emailing, a potential client or partnership would not appreciate informal language and emojis in the introduction or pitch email, but if you get to know them quite well you can drop the seriously formal language. Follow their lead and remember you can be informal and professional.
4. Always knock
Don’t walk into someone’s office without announcing your presence. It’s quite rude to interrupt people’s work and makes them feel like you don’t respect their work space. The exception would be if you know the occupants well enough to waltz in.
5. Don’t be aggressive with your business cards
There’s nothing worse than someone who gives business cards out to everyone they meet, it’s actually not very good etiquette. You should give your card out to people you’ve had meaningful conversations with, and make sure to ask for their card too!
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