Building Relationships: Social Etiquette and Perfecting the Art of Conversation in Business

We say it time and time again, but good relationships are at the core of good business. People want to feel personally addressed, or at the very least like you give a hoot about what’s going on. It’s all about the delivery – if you can’t convey an enthusiasm for both the project and person at hand, how can you expect anyone to engage in return?

Here at Shine, we make sure that every member of our team is equipped with the social graces to go above and beyond for our clients. After all, common courtesy is simply to be expected – it’s not an additional service!

Sam often speaks of her late grandmother and aunt as the inspiration behind Shine’s traditional values. Fondly nicknamed ‘the Queen’ by family members, Sam’s aunt was vigorous in upholding the good manners that are so frequently spared in this day and age. From relinquishing the use of electronic devices at the Christmas Day dinner table, to composing ‘garden party’ invitations in the style of Debrett, you could count on Sam’s aunt to celebrate an occasion with the upmost
of class and civility.

For Sam, good graces are ultimately a family affair. As a result, Sam prides herself on establishing a team that conduct themselves in a similar fashion. We’re here to bring common courtesy back to the table – a meticulously laid one at that!

Whilst clients may look to us to help craft the voice of their brand, we believe that the secret to talking starts with listening. Before we start preaching about who the client is and what they stand for, we all but listen to ensure we have a firm grip on precisely what it is that they’re after. Allowing people to finish what they have to say, without distraction or interruption, is how we fully immerse ourselves in the world of our clients.

Once our ears have been engaged, it is vital that we don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Listening to what a customer wants shouldn’t be a stagnant process. In fact, the art of conversation stems from partaking in a back and forth exchange. Without asking relevant and appropriate questions, we fail to look beyond our own perspective.

Keeping yourself in the know not only shows willing, but it also puts you in a better position to ask questions. Conduct your research – stay up to date with your client’s social media accounts or read articles in relation to their industry. To put it bluntly, do the leg work so that they don’t have to.

As long as your delivery is calm and approachable, asking questions needn’t be a confrontational process. Alternatively, challenging the status quo is a sure indication that you are invested in the outcome and are committed to achieving the best results for your customer.

Speaking of delivery, language plays a major role in contributing to a warm and welcoming tone of voice. Addressing people with respect and compassion is the only way we do business – good manners cost nothing, after all! It’s the simple things that people often lose sight off, so we make sure to express our gratitude in every way which we can. Please and thank you, remembering everyone’s name… you get the idea. It may seem inconsequential, but it’s the small things that matter.

Learning to speak the language of your client is another great way to show your investment. Whilst some industries may be tricky to get a grasp of, perseverance is key. It may take time, but acquiring a firm understanding of specific company jargon will enable you to blend seamlessly with the brand. That way, you can rest assured that you are communicating in a style that they can appreciate.

Beware of miscommunication and mistakes, however. Often it’s not what you say which causes offence, but the way you say it. Poor body language can deliver mixed messages. If you’re enthusiastically poised for action and greeting people with a firm handshake, people will be more likely to approach you than if you’re sat in a corner, with your shoulders slumped. It’s all about the vibe you radiate to your clients – happiness is infectious!

On that note, proof checking is essential when striving to put your best foot forward. After all, do you really want the first impression of your company to be a document filled with typos and sketchy sentence structures, all scrambled together in haste? In this modern world, the tone of an email is just as important as your face to face persona. So, before you prematurely hit send, ask yourself if you’d be willing to rock up to a job interview 10 minutes late and dressed in last night’s clothing. When you fail to prepare, this is precisely the impression you could be emanating online.

At Shine, flawless service is the rule and not the exception. We want to work alongside our clients as true partners in crime. We always go the extra mile to make sure that are customers feel protected and valued, whilst also being attentive to their needs and demands. You won’t catch us peaking at our phones or sneakily replying to emails over your shoulder (yes, this really does happen). When we’re with our clients, they hold our full attention.

And it really is as simple as that. You don’t have to be a traditionalist to apply social etiquette, and it also needn’t be a chore. Social etiquette is merely the act of gaining respect and keeping the happiness of those around you at the forefront of your mind. Even from a practical level, behaving in a cordial and proactive manner is the best way to get stuff done – who wants to work with someone who is uncooperative? Focus on emitting good vibes and the law of attraction suggests that this energy shall return in your favour…

Who are the social sticklers in your life? What tales can you recall of any past traditions? Please do get in touch and let us know the good graces that you stand by… we’d love to hear from you!