Although it might not be so obvious in the lower levels of business, etiquette is actually quite important as one climbs the ranks of the business hierarchy. For them to think of you as a professional, you must look and act like a true professional. By not giving them a professional image of yourself, you are setting yourself up for a battle which is purely downhill from there. They will not trust you or accept you into the folds of their ranking business levels. Here are some vitally important business etiquette rules to help you make that most important impression:
The boy scouts are "always prepared," so why shouldn't you be? Do your homework before the meeting. Have numerous ideas and suggestions ready before meeting with the bosses. Even if you have to read notes or charts during the meeting, at least you will have prepared yourself well enough ahead of time to have them in the first place. And that will impress them much more than giving a half-memorized speech.
If you are not sure what to wear, always dress conservatively. Even the low-hanging pants, wild colorful shirt-wearing music industry respects (and has mane of their own) individuals who are dressed in conservative clothes. Of course, you can also dress in accordance with the culture or the business, instead. That will certainly make an impression on them. What impression? Well, it depends on what kind of people they are.
It is a sure sign of irresponsibility to arrive late for a meeting. Schedule your plans the day before, or sooner, if at all possible, so that you can even arrive early to further prepare yourself.
It's such a compliment to remember someone's name, and such an insult to forget it, no matter how good / bad you are with them. Write down the names and whatever distinguishing feature about the person and his position. Remember whatever details that are applicable to each individual's person, personality, and position.
E-Please and Thank You
It almost goes without saying that minding your manners is crucial in a business environment. "Please" and "Thank you" are both expected, as well as appreciated. And, in the case of businesses hierarchy, so is eye contact. Certainly do not interrupt unless it's absolutely necessary, but when you do speak make sure that you are clear and confident. When you listen, on the other hand, wait until the end to ask questions. You see, manners never really go out of fashion.
F-Phones On Silent, Vibrate, or Off
Hearing someone's cell phone ring really loudly, or a downloaded song suddenly blasting out of thin air, is usually quite annoying in normal situations and conditions. But it's a whole different matter in a formal business environment. You will live if you shut off your phone, or adjust it so it won't disturb you or those around you. If the call is an emergency, of course, it is acceptable to take it, but outside of the meeting room.
Making a good impression on other people is crucial to a successful business relationship, and if you respect the others, they will respect you in return.