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    BUSINESS ETIQUETTE STILL MATTERS

    When you’re looking for ways to reach your customers, your most important asset is right in front of you—your people.

    They interact with your clients, either directly or indirectly. If they are willing to endorse a product or service professionally and sincerely, it speaks well for the brand.

    By the same token, customers gauge a company by observing its people. Are they happy? Do they look professional? Are they well-trained? Do they have the right attitude? In short, your people are the best ambassadors you will ever have.

    So, how do you ensure your people are enhancing your brand when they interact not just with customers but with the world at large?

    We asked our resource person on business etiquette, Pauli Antoine, who has extensive experience in image consultancy and entrepreneurship, for some tips on how to ensure that our team practices good business etiquette and how to groom them to be better frontline brand ambassadors.

    Inculcate your brand specifics

    Let’s begin by knowing more about the brand—how it started, the ups and downs, the milestones. Get everyone in the loop and up to speed on what is going on. Keep an eye on reviews about your people, products or services. Set up closed group discussions for your internal employees and find out what their concerns are. Set up events for different age groups (e.g. marathons, yoga, etc) where they can interact with each other. When your people are well informed, they are empowered.

    Cultivate their eagerness and liveliness

    Let’s ensure that everyone is aware of and in-synch with the company’s mission, vision and core values. Let’s cultivate eagerness in the tone of their voice and the liveliness in their eyes. This starts with how we treat them—the employee must feel integral to the success of the company and know how crucial their roles are.

    Further techniques include training, and maintaining a positive workplace attitude. Using positive reinforcement and a friendly atmosphere, we can ensure that things feel lighter, and work becomes lighter as well—hence we perform with ease and confidence.

    Ensure that they look presentable and professional

    Let’s make them look good and professional. When they look good, they will feel good about themselves, the work they do, and the brand they represent. During training, simulate situations to bring out that confident stance, that purposeful walk, a firm yet warm handshake, and that meaningful smile.

    And finally, let’s put together well-defined social guidelines so they can speak freely and share their personal opinions, within reason, in person and online across social media networks.

    Antoine will facilitate a workshop titled “Business Etiquette 101: Professional Guide to Projecting the Best Image of your Company” on Nov. 15, 2017 at the Inquirer Academy.

    The workshop aims to guide professionals to be able to project a professional image that will be the best representative of their company image. Some of the topics included are managing impressions, visual poise, business dining etiquette, and social media presence.