Remaining Professional in Business Dealings (Part I)

Whether you are buying or selling a business, involved with a merger, or just servicing your clients, it is important to practice professionalism in all your dealings. Professional conduct is at the heart of what we do in the business world. In addition, when we fail to practice professionalism, we not only risk alienating our business associates, ultimately we risk destroying our own careers.

In Part I of this series, we will focus on three do’s in your professional dealings. In Part II, we will talk about three don’ts. Here are the three things you should always do:

Always Return Messages: In the old days when people contacted each other typically by phone, it was considered common courtesy to return messages in a timely fashion. But in our modern world of emails and text messages flying at us at a hundred miles an hour, it has become a habit of some to ignore messages from important associates particularly if you are not thrilled about what is being discussed.

While it is understandable that not every email can be returned immediately, it is good business practice to try to return messages within 24 business hours if possible. In addition, if you are traveling or on vacation, make sure to let people know with a special voicemail or an auto-response on your email.

Always Maintain a Friendly Tone: In the business world, there is just as much conflict as in your personal life. However, the way you deal with conflict can make a big difference in how successful you are. While there are times when clients or business partners do something to upset us, it is important to maintain our composure and not lose control. Keep a cool head during negotiations and everyday business dealings and you will win the favor of your clients and colleagues.

Always Stay Loyal to Those You Represent: Loyalty is important in the business world. While you may not like everything your employer or business associates are doing, the fact is that these are the people that pay your salary. Whenever you are representing your company or a client, make it a point to speak positively about them. People take notice of how you speak about others when they are not around and they are more likely to trust you if you take the high road.

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