There are several ways to guarantee that your next business meeting is a success. Making a good impression is key. Here are fifteen tips on how to do just that.
1. Be on time if not ten minutes early for an appointment.
2. Be aware that you will be on display the minute you enter the office, well before your meeting begins.
3. Present your business card to the receptionist. This is much easier than having to spell or pronounce your name. Plus, a nice fresh card in itself leaves a good impression.
4. Ask where you can hang your coat before the meeting.
5. Don't make any special requests such as, "May I have a double espresso?"
6. Don't eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in the waiting room.
7. If the person you are meeting comes into the waiting room to greet you, stand and make good eye contact when returning the greeting.
8. When ushered into the office for a meeting with more than one person, shake the most important person's hand first.
9. Never sit until you are told where to sit, and then place your briefcase next to your seat.
10. Never handle items on the desk or table unless you're given permission to do so. If you're nervous, reach for something in your briefcase.
11. If you initiated the meeting, have your agenda ready to be passed out. And get to your point within minutes of the meeting's start.
12. If your host must take a call while you're in the office, offer to step out of the office.
13. Don't let your meeting run over the time allotted. Stick to it the schedule, or you may be cut short!
14. Shake hands with your host when leaving.
15. Thank the receptionist when leaving.
Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (www.lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on www.Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and www.Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.