Business Manners 101

Am I loosing my mind or have people completely lost their manners. Here is my list of business manners everyone should follow that I see broken on a weekly (or in some cases, daily) basis:

  • When calling on another business, state who you are and who you work for. For example, “Hi, this is Ty from businessmanners.com, may I speak to Idiot Johnson, please?”
      • The following are unacceptable ways to call a business:
        • “Hi, can I speak to Mitch?” {followed by interminable pause}
        • “Uh, duh, uh, hey” {followed by interminable pause}
        • “Uh, Ty?” {followed by interminable pause}
        • {very long pause followed by the sound of someone FINALLY picking up–often happens with sales calls (personally, if you don’t answer in two seconds, I hang up). “May I speak to the Owner?” “May I ask who you are with?” “Customer Service” “Customer Service with whom?” “Customer Service with your Copy Company” “No you’re not.” “Ok.” Click. (This happened yesterday.)
  • When you have been asked to make an appointment before visiting a business, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT. DO NOT just drop by. This only ends in the customer being startled and thrown off guard. And if you are trying to sell something, an off guard customer is going to be ticked and less likely to buy.
  • If a business has a sign saying No Solicitation, don’t solicit. They are not going to be happy that you couldn’t even read a sign. And if a business has a sign saying “We welcome new products, but we do not accept walk in solicitations. Please call this number to make an appointment.” DO NOT solicit. Call. Call from the parking lot if you must. But CALL.
  • Do not wear overpowering perfume or cologne. Be gentle with that bottle. It cost you a lot of money…savor it! It will only make others nauseous, distracted and reluctant to meet with you again for fear of the aforementioned nausea.
  • Return e-mails and phone calls promptly. PROMPTLY. Not a week later. Not 48 hours later. Any time it is possible, return them immediately. The person on the other end likely has a schedule they are trying to keep to. Be considerate of their time.
  • When leaving voicemail, always leave your name, who you are with, phone number and reason for calling…but be succinct. Again, this is being considerate. The person getting their messages isn’t going to want to look up your number or try to figure out who you are. They may know 5 Bobs or Johns. They may even know two Bobs who work for the same company. You never know.
  • End the end, just be considerate. Treat others better than you would like to be treated.

Do you have any business manners that you see commonly forgotten??

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One response to “Business Manners 101

  1. I only have one comment…if an issue is urgent, pick up the phone and call…do not email the urgent issue.

    My husband was on a business trip and some dolt emailed an URGENT ISSUE to him that had to be resolved in like, five minutes. Well, my husband was on an airplane and when he did get to his destination, the company’s email server was down and he couldn’t retrieve his emails.

    The offending emailer proceeded to escalate the issue to my husband’s boss, huffing and puffing about how non-responsive my husband was.

    When asked whether or not he had called, he said, “No. But I sent him an email!”

    What with network issues and slow deliveries and whatnot, email delivery is iffy at times. And, most people aren’t staring at their computer screens, anxiously awaiting your email.

    Well, except for me. LOL.

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