Business Etiquette is there any?
Have you ever had that business situation or witnessed an event that left you thinking, “Really?” You’ve got to be joking! Has anyone looped you into a third party email conversation or forgotten that people can hear them when they are on the phone? What about those people on the train, in the quiet carriage, who have to shout to the caller ‘I’m on the train in the quiet carriage’, why don’t they just turn off their phones?? We’ve all had our fair share of bad business etiquette and I’m sure we’ll all guilty in some way.
Most people operate with an unspoken code of behaviour that determines expectations for social behaviour. While for some of us it is ingrained for others it just passes them by.
Your business or your exhibit hinges on how well you understand the importance of business etiquette. If it’s so important, why do so many forget it? We asked a few of our clients for their top tips on business etiquette:
- Keep emails short and factual. Keep things to the point don’t waffle, everyone is busy, and forcing them to sift through irrelevant information to find the point of your email is both disrespectful of their time and could lose you business.
- When entrepreneurs want to grow their mailing lists they head for the business card of the person they’ve just met and load them into their marketing list. Always ask for permission or extend an opportunity to opt out, it can preserve your business relationship.
- Always respect the time of those who help you, a small Thank You note or social media message is all it takes to cement a great relationship.
- Never send mass emails, not even if the first line is ‘sorry for the mass email’! The first place that will go is in the bin. You’ve wasted not only the time of the recipient you’ve also wasted your own.
- I love this one, ‘If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. And if you’re late, don’t bother showing up.’ This may sound obvious but never, under any circumstances show up late. I totally understand that sometimes things happen that cause us to be late and within reason they are acceptable but when you arrive late don’t go on about it, don’t blame the traffic or whatever; the real reason is you didn’t plan for all eventualities.
Today, we met with a client who was having real difficulty in creating a head line for his brochure. He knew exactly what the benefits were for his customer and why his customer should buy it. So what was the problem?
The problem was he knew too much about it. He wanted to pack as much information into the heading as he possibly could. Our advice to him was:
Don’t lose sight of your primary goal: to sell your product or service. Your writing should be more than a flat presentation of the facts. What he was doing was to let his creativity run away with him… do you do that? The most brilliant efforts will be wasted if your customers can’t remember what product you’re promoting.
Here’s a few headlines we came up with:
………….. where you want it, when you want it.
Finally, there’s a better way to ……………
Say good riddance to ……………
You owe yourself a ……………
…………… reasons you should ……………
3 Steps to getting a Balanced Stand Team
There is no greater asset to your exhibit than the team you have on the stand. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or professional your stand design is, if there aren’t a team of capable staffers who can hook people onto the stand, quickly identify the hot leads and build strong relationships then you might as well not be there.
Male and Female Staff
Some visitors like to speak to men, others like to speak to women, so it makes sense to have both genders there. This works even if the majority of your audience is almost all the same gender.
Virgin and Veteran Staff
I don’t mean young or old, or people who have or haven’t manned a stand before. I mean people who have experience of selling at shows and those that are new to it. It’s important to your business that the veterans can teach their skills to the virgins to keep your exhibit team fresh, remember people move on, get new jobs or move away. Our top tip is to pick a team who actually want to be there!
The Selling Team
So you’ve picked your balanced male and female team, some virgins and some veterans, so what are they going to do when they have a hot lead? They are going to introduce those people to the selling team. A mix of your top people from various functions of your company means you can speak to potential customers about their needs no matter what phase of the buying cycle they are in.
All your individual staff need to have the right attitude, product, customer and industry knowledge and of course a very strong work ethic. By having a good mix of the right people you’ll get a stronger team that produces even better results.
There seems to be lots of Top Ten lists for everything from ‘What to do to get red wine out of your carpet’ to ’10 things to do in the school holiday’. So we’d thought we’d join the game and come up with our 10 Top Tips for successful exhibit marketing with a list of do’s and don’ts while exhibiting.
- Make sure you set clear objectives, what is it you want to achieve? How will you define success?
- At the end of the show make sure you have a method to measure the results from the objectives you set. Did you collect those 30 leads you set out to get, how will you keep check?
- Be sure to let as many people as you can know that you are exhibiting, remember to tell them where you’ll be on what dates and at what venue.
- Train your team, make sure they know what is expected of them and tell them how you are going to measure the results.
- Always follow-up on your leads. Our office mantra is follow-up, follow-up and follow-up some more.
- Forget to check that your ideal customers will be at the show, ask the organiser for the demographics of the expected attendees.
- Design your stand just to look good, it is there for a purpose – to tell the visitors who you are and what you do.
- Leave a bowl out in the hope that people will put their business cards in, a few cards in the bottom looks really awful.
- Just sit there, don’t use your mobile phone on the stand and do not check your emails hoping no-one will notice (oophs, that’s 3 don’t in one)
- Pack away your leads with your stand assets – it’s no good collecting leads if you can’t get in touch with them.
Love it or Hate it – Exhibiting is the way to do it …
Meet More People, Get More Leads and Make More Sales
Before you dive into our blog I just wanted to say “Hi”. I’m super excited about this blog – why? Because I know how powerful exhibit marketing can be and I don’t want you to miss out.
Exhibiting is a wonderful way to meet face-to-face with your ideal customers, it’s where you can sell exactly the product or service the visitors are looking for – it’s where you bring solutions to their problems and create experiences worth talking about.
We’re here to help, inform and inspire you and the StandOut! blog is just the beginning – it’s packed with ideas and thoughts that will help you design and create an exhibit plan focused on getting the results you desire. You’ll quickly have people clamouring to buy from you every time you exhibit. And, of course make the most of your investment at the show.
Whether you’re an event organiser, a micro business, SME or entrepreneur help and inspiration is only a phone call away – we’d love to hear from you, call us for FREE on 0333 567 0205.
“Carole is a talented and professional lady with a voice of reason who sits on the Executive Board of the International Federation of Image Consultants. When I was President, she tirelessly worked on new M&AAs to modernise the IFIC ensuring they were up to date, ethical, professional and legally sound with the ability to embrace new technology and other more beneficial methods of communication. Demonstrating a consistent sensitivity and tact when dealing with resolution of complaints, Carole’s negotiation skills and empathetic personality ensures that all parties felt their case had been properly heard ensuring a win-win all around. The Federation values are Inspiration, Expertise and Success and Carole personifies all three”. Sue Donnelly