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Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.

 

Training Sales Force In Business Etiquette

December 1st, 2007

 

Making a lucrative deal can involve a number of business factors, put improper business etiquette can also damage a deal. Training a sales staff in proper etiquette is as important as their sales training, according to Judith P. Bowman, founder of Protocol Consultants International, a training and consulting firm, and author of “Don’t Take the Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette.”

 

Teach sales professionals to shake hands
“Even salespeople with the best people skills make mistakes, and showing them how to make that all-important first impression is a powerful training tool,” Bowman says.

 

Bowman advises one to two “pumps” in North America are appropriate; one brisk “pump” in France and Germany; a light, lingering handshake in Latin and Arab countries; and a handshake and a bow in Japan. Handshaking should occur when meeting, greeting, saying farewell or sealing a bargain.

 

Address clients appropriately
Bowman says many salespeople make the mistake of addressing a potential new client by his or her first name, often turning a potential client off before the deal is even discussed.

 

“Urge sales professionals to err on the side of being conservative, showing respect,” she advices. “Remind them to never assume the familiar unless or until invited to do so.”

 

Seating is important
Seating arrangements at a sales call is important, Bowman says.

 

“Seating is subliminally powerful. The most important person (the client) should be seated to the salesperson’s right, while the second most important person (the manager) should be seated to the salesperson’s left,” she says. “If you are co-presenting with someone from your sales team, you should be seated across from the salesperson (and the client should be seated to the salesperson’s right) so that together, you and your sales professional can control the meeting through eye contact, body language, silent signals, etc.”


 

 

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