Business Etiquette / Selling Skills


In 2016, @ETIQhour will concentrate on the top 15 Business Etiquette Essentials every future leader will want to know. Each fortnight a new Essential has been released: Essential #15: Show genuine interest

You’ve been in that situation before when you can either see it, or you just know that the person you’re talking with is just not interested in you or what you’re saying. It’s not that your topic isn’t exciting, it’s that they’re trying to see who else is here to talk with or watching what someone else is doing. It’s rude, distracting and showing very poor etiquette.

Do you think you’d ever want to do business or refer business to this person or their company? Probably not, right! Here’s some quick and simple tips to keep in mind so you don’t become that person.

Keep eye contact—nothing tells the other person that you’re more interested than when you look them in the eye. This will also help you to ensure you’re fully ‘in the moment’ with that person.

Make an effort to truly listen to what others are saying—it’s so easy to do when you are fully concentrated on them.

Use their name—In all of your communication, written or verbal, first time or repeated, make it a point to use a person’s name. No better way to connect with the other person but also make them feel like you genuinely care.

Acknowledge special events in people’s lives—When you make the effort to remember important dates in people’s lives, such as their birthdays, anniversaries, religious holidays or perhaps even the anniversary of a loved one’s death, your efforts won’t go unnoticed, and it will show them that you genuinely care.

Listen With Interest—There is a difference between simply listening to people and listening with deep interest. Listening with interest signifies that you really genuinely care about what they are saying in contrast to simply listening because it is the polite thing to do.

Acknowledge People—When you acknowledge people, you recognize their value and importance. How about hugging your children before they go off to school? Or saying “Good Morning” to your co-workers as you walk through the office? Or saying hi to an acquaintance you see dining at another table in a restaurant. When you go out of your way to acknowledge people you will make a positive impression on them and show them that you genuinely care.

Show Respect—When you show people respect, your actions express your interest in them and your actions speak louder than words. Think about it… when people show you respect, how does it make you feel about them? On the other hand, when people DON’T show you respect, how do you feel about them?

Offer Genuine Compliments—When people take the time to offer you a sincere compliment, how does that make you feel about them? Are you naturally drawn to people who speak positively of you? When you take an extra 10 seconds to offer people a genuine compliment, your interest in them can have an impact far bigger than you know while it shows them that you genuinely care.

Ask Questions—A great way to demonstrate interest is to ask questions. It could be as simple as striking up a conversation with a co-worker about what they did over the weekend. Or perhaps asking something about the person’s family. Asking questions generally stimulates a person to talk about their interests and themselves.

Encourage People—When you encourage others, you lift their spirits, enhance their self-confidence and add fuel to their motivational fire. Perhaps more than anything you give them hope and inspiration. Wow, if simple words of encouragement can do so much to enhance someone’s life, why don’t we all do more of it? How long could it take? 10 seconds?

We are so easily distracted in this climate of increasingly short attention spans; we often can’t wait for the other person to hurry up and finish so we can move on to the next thing. Resist the lure of distraction and haste. Take the time to ask questions and show an interest in the other person’s thoughts.

Just think how differently that original conversation would have acted out, if that other person followed these tips.