Business meetings are a regular part of most entrepreneurs’ day-to-day work lives. And often, a lot is riding on the outcome! To exude the utmost professionalism and ensure whoever is sitting across the table that you are a worthy candidate, keep these etiquette tips in mind:
1. Be Ahead of Time
Ahead of time is the new on time! It doesn’t work to just be on time anymore. What if there’s no parking, and you have to drive around for several minutes before finding a spot a few blocks away? What if there’s unforeseen traffic due to an accident on the highway? To account for these things that may make you end up being late, aim to be ahead of time. It’s better to be get there early and have some time to review your meeting notes than to rush in sweating and breathing hard one minute after your designated meeting time.
2. Come Prepared
Be prepared with meeting notes, documents you want to show the other party, and any questions you have about the possibility of working together. Sitting there racking your brain for questions when the other person asks you if you have any questions definitely won’t make you seem very professional. Do your homework and research beforehand, and come totally prepared with everything you need for the meeting.
3. Put Away the Technology
In this day and age when everyone seems to be glued to their smartphones and tablets, it’s easy to get distracted by technology. But the one time you definitely don’t want the distraction of that screen is at an important business meeting. Show respect for the other party by making eye contact, taking notes by hand, and listening attentively to what they have to say. Silence your phone and put it in your briefcase or purse, out of sight.
4. Be Positive
Use positive language when speaking to the people attending the business meeting. Definitely don’t do things like kick off your shoes or slouch onto the table. But more than that, be mindful of using positive language when describing your business. Even if someone asks you about the recent dip in your business’s sales, avoid saying things like, “That was a rough blow for us, and we’re trying to figure out what to do about it.” Use positive imagery and say things like, “We’ve come up with several ideas that will propel our business up again, and we’re expecting to execute those this month.”
5. Avoid Nervous Habits
If you’re a consummate professional, you should be aware of any tics or nervous habits you have. Try practicing in the mirror to identify them. Maybe you gesticulate just a little too much, or perhaps you have a tendency to bite your nails. These are all issues that must be addressed, or you risk making the other party anxious.
Business meetings are an expected part of any entrepreneur’s life. So make sure you’re prepared! If you have questions about small business financing, Biz2Credit is here to help you. Reach out by visiting www.biz2credit.com.