Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips, Business Negotiation April 25, 2011

Mind your manners and improve your business negotiations

Perhaps it is a bit old fashioned but it seems that manners and proper business etiquette have fallen by the wayside. As a society, we are much more casual now. Men aren't required to wear hats and women don't wear gloves, but does this mean we have to give up on behaving properly?


Allbusinesscom defines business etiquette as “generally accepted behavior, which may be open to dispute. The professional behavior may be based on custom and morality. There are social guidelines and manners to be followed in business situations when dealing with others. An example of a lack of business etiquette is when a salesperson is late in visiting a client. “


It has been said that having the proper business etiquette makes social interactions easier, since you are respecting the accepted convention for behavior. In fact, proper manners and business etiquette are crucial to the success of your business negotiations because they will influence how the other party perceives you.


A firm grasp of business etiquette is essential if you often negotiatie in international or cross-cultural settings. The San Jose Mercury News has an article about the importance of business etiquette while abroad, and interviews Scott McKain, who travels often for business and says that “he studies the customs and etiquette of each country before traveling there." The article provides other country specific tips you should check out if you are planning a negotiation abroad.

There are many resources to bone up on manners and etiquette. You could buy an Emily Post book, take a business etiquette class or check out Debretts Everyday Etiquette website.


Want to know how you stand on etiquette? USA TODAY has a quiz to help you out.


What are your top business etiquette tips? Please share with us in the comments.

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