by: Jan Loyola
The popularity of the Silicon Valley way of life is doing more than just sidelining formal business wear, it’s ruining the professional etiquette of amateur sales people. The phenomenon has become so upsetting in fact, that some business owners have begun sending their employees to business etiquette schools. Obviously, doing so is not only costly for companies, but also reduces the percentage of sales that the employees could have closed had they not been spending their time improving their manners.
Business to business companies should do well to train their sales people, these employees who represent them on business appointments, to ensure that not only are they presentable but also professionally tact.
How can you train your sales people in proper business etiquette without having to send them to business reform schools?
- Establish A Dress Code – sweatshirts and jeans may be acceptable in the Silicon Valley, but for the rest of the business world, business casual is the least formal attire recommended. As for your sales people, since they are relied upon to meet with business leads and close deals, they should be accustomed to wearing formal business attire. This is especially important if your salesperson is constantly flying around the state, or internationally. Nevertheless, the best attire to wear to impress clients and make a good first impression is always the formal business attire.
- Regulate Mobile Telecommunications. When your sales people are attending appointments, they must remember to turn off their phones or put it in silent mode. Answering phone calls during business meetings is not only rude, but also implies to your business leads that they are not that important. If your sales people are the same employees who are doing the cold calling, they must resist the urge to check if the call is from another business lead. To make sure that calls from business leads are not neglected while your sales people are in meetings, you can hire a telemarketing company who offers appointment setting services.
- Social Media Use. Unless your employees are in the marketing department and tasked with social media marketing, they must be banned from using any form of social media while at work. If you allow your employees unregulated access to social networks, they would certainly log-in every few minutes, instead of spending their time being profitable assets to your company.
- Respectable Character And Professional Attitude. This is very hard to cultivate using only company rules and policies. The best way to ensure that your company is run and represented by upstanding professional businessmen and women is by making this an important criteria for hiring. If they fail in this criteria, then no amount of skills and experience will make them assets for your company.
Another casualty that occurred with much help from the Silicon Valley is diminishing face-to-face interpersonal skills. While emails and text messages are quick and easy ways to communicate, you should train your new hires to participate in more face-to-face interaction so that they are prepared when the time comes to meet with important business leads.