Business etiquette, or the art of building relationships in business, is usually targeted towards intra-workplace functions and rightfully so, because it works. Just like behavioural etiquettes make societal interactions meaningful and fruitful, Business Etiquettes do the same for more ‘professional’ exchanges.
You can think of Business Etiquette as formalized ‘common courtesy’. It fosters collaboration, promotes positivity and builds a mutually respectful environment. It brings people together, creates better relationships and presents them with opportunities to lift themselves and others around them up.
As important as Business Etiquette is for upholding a professional culture, it holds equal relevance when building customer relationships. The primary concern for every service provider is always to provide top-quality services but it is equally important for them to build meaningful connections with their clients, which can only lead to longer lasting engagements and build trust.
We, at GeekyAnts, focus on building a ‘human’ and ‘humane’ connection with the people we collaborate with. We consider them as our partners and not only build stuff for them but help them grow in whichever way we can. It has not only resulted in more business for the organization but also has helped us develop nurturing connections with the people who run the industries of the world.
How do we achieve that? Read on…
Make Your First Impression Count
The significance given to first impressions might seem overdone, but it holds great weight and truth. It is very important to nail your first impression with your prospective client to the T. The best way to do that is to Just Be Yourself. Be professional, presentable and courteous. Communication is a two way street and being a good listener is just as critical as being an articulate speaker. Even though marketing your skills as an organization is important, try to talk less about yourself and know more about them. Most often than not, clients feel left out and unheard when not given a chance to express themselves and it has a damaging effect on the prospect of partnering with them. Make sure you let the client speak about what they are looking for. Ask questions that are relevant to the engagement and try to know as much as you can about them. That will allow you to put yourselves in their shoes and really be a part of their vision.
Adapt & Balance
Adjustability is a quality that few possess and it works wonders. No one wants to knock on a door that no one answers. As service providers, comprehending the needs of the clients and being there for them is paramount. Be welcoming and lend a hand whenever you can. It is these little things that really demonstrate the ability to walk that extra mile and make your partners feel secure. Things might feel uncomfortable but the payoff is huge, as it develops a lifetime’s worth of goodwill. This also applies to how you’re communicating with them. Direct phone calls are acceptable for some but others may prefer a few conversations over Email before they can get comfortable enough to pick up the phone or have a video chat with you. Keep these preferences in mind when you approach clients and adjust accordingly.
Communicate Frequently & Clearly
No one likes to be in the dark, especially people you’re doing business with. Be communicative about everything that you do. If you have processes that you are following, communicate. If there are roadblocks and delays, communicate. If there is any ambiguity that needs clarification, do not be afraid to communicate! There is a natural affinity that is inclined towards better communicators. Make sure you use it to your advantage. Also, be coherent in your communications. Don’t use jargons that no one understands and don’t throw everything at them at once. It can get very overwhelming. Ease your clients into how you do things and walk them through the processes. Keep asking them if they don’t understand anything at any point of time and clarify if anything exists. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page to nurture a positive relationship. Oh, and remember to be courteous too.
Keep An Open Feedback Channel
Even if you’ve been doing everything right, it can all fall apart in an instant if you close up shop and start ghosting. It is vital for organizations to have an open feedback channel for clients and partners where they can put their thoughts and concerns & feel heard. As service providers, be open to all kinds of feedback. Use the positive ones to boost your confidence and the negative ones constructively. It can not only display that you have the ability to take criticism and improve, it can also showcase genuinity and make interactions meaningful and fruitful for all parties involved. Have a functional feedback channel at all times, it can bring wonderful things your way.
Be Transparent & Empathetic
People value organizations that are transparent with their work and ethics. During discussions, take every opportunity you can get to make the intricacies of things crystal clear. It never helps to be ambiguous. Even if there are legalities involved, be direct and put everything on the table. It not only promotes trust but also puts both parties getting into business in a better position to make informed decisions. Prepare well, know about what you can offer and be honest about what you cannot. It always pays off to try but be transparent about your expertise. There is a fine line between under-promising and over-promising. Tread that line with care and you will see amazing results.
By nature, business is a transaction, but it doesn’t have to be just that. Be empathetic and be human. Build trust and relationships with the people you interact with, and not their business and you will see continued success in the future. This is how we like to do business and hopefully you took a thing or two from this article that will help you have a different perspective towards business, hopefully a positive one.
Thank you for reading.