A shabbily dressed man walks up to a desk where four very proper corporate guys await him. The new entrant extends a friendly hand – surprisingly – he is greeted with a big smile and absorbed rapidly into the brainstorming session.
The times are changing and so is the definition of etiquette. The expectations across the table are different. It might astonish you that what you thought would win you the client, just lost you one. Take cues from these little things that define meeting minutes for you.
Your Handwriting: A note to remember – if your handwriting looks like a swarm of squished worms huddled together, better not take the pains of writing things down during a meeting. What you can do instead is take a small notebook with you. Double advantage: You look more professional, you are taken more seriously.
The Bits and Bites: Your clothes might not be anywhere on their mind, but your eating habits definitely are. If you are out on a corporate lunch, be very sure about the cutlery. Mind you – it does really matter whether you place your glass on the left side or the right side.
The Grip: A hand-clasp is all that can make or break a deal. One, because it helps understand your confidence level; second, it shows how amicable you are being towards the client. Now don’t make the handshake too firm – that can send out wrong signals too. It is an offensive gesture to clasp hands extremely tightly. Just keep it comfortable.
A, An, The: Presumed to be insignificant – A, AN, THE – are taken a little too casually. Though the intent is definitely not to undermine them, most people never really bother to get their grammar right. But beware, the vocab loving folks, the incorrect usage of these three meek words can ruin the entire foundation of your future business.
The Buzz: Till now everything is growing great! All of a sudden your phone buzzes and you see your client’s expression changing from pleasure to utter displeasure. Ah! You forgot to change your ringtone from a Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ to something sober like a Nokia tone. What can possibly save you? Nothing now!
Last but not the least, all is well when it ends well. So make sure that you don’t let the agenda of the meeting hang somewhere amidst all that chatter you employ to impress the client.
Do you have some effective tips to share?