Basic Business Etiquette

by on September 30, 2011

Business etiquette varies dramatically from country to country, state to state, and especially from business to business.  However, here are some basic business etiquettes that you should fall back on if you are not sure of the specifics for the person or people that you are meeting.


A simple etiquette during an introduction is to base it on rank.  The person with the lower rank (position) is always introduced to the higher level position and not vice-versa.  Higher ranking businesspeople include clients, senior executives and distinguished guests.  In an organization, everyone is introduced to a client or customer (rather than the client introduced to the employee).

When introducing a peer from another company to the peer in your company, always name the person from outside your company first. While introducing an older person to younger one, it is common to name the older person first.  All guests, unless they are dignitaries or elderly are introduced to the guest of honor.  When introducing yourself to someone, give your first and last name.

Gender Etiquette.

Men and women treat each other as colleagues when together in business.  In other words, it is not necessary for men to help women with their coats, carry packages,  step aside for women to enter elevators first, or pay for lunch.  In business, whoever gets to the door first opens it; traditional manners are reserved for social situations.

A man should walk on the outside, when accompanying a woman which means that he should be walking closer to the curb.  Also when ascending an escalator with a woman, a man should always allow the woman to precede him.  He should go first when descending an escalator with a woman. The man should precede the woman when going through a revolving door.  At a business luncheon with a woman, a man should offer to seat her by holding her chair.

Shaking Hands.

While shaking hands the “web”, between your thumb and first finger should meets firmly with the other person’s. A handshake should be a handshake; eye contact should be made as you shake hands.  You should wait for the elderly or the disabled to initiate a handshake.


Usually the response to an introduction is, “How do you do”, and “I’m pleased to meet you”.  Things like “Pleased to know you” should be avoided as you cannot be pleased to know someone you have just met.  When being introduced to someone you should always stand as it shows respect.  Some information should be included while introducing two people.  A conversation can start if some extra information is included in the introduction, like their occupation, their family, mutual interests or how they know each other.


While introducing two people, if you not sure, ask: “Do you know each other?”  If someone looks hesitatant when introducing you, go ahead and introduce yourself.  Habitually it is difficult to remember a person’s name until you know something about them.  Anyone can forget a name; even someone they know very well.  Some information should be added when introducing yourself.  People can be suggested to introduce themselves if they are not sure of the names.  If you forget someone’s name as you are introducing him or her, it is okay to admit.  Be calm and straightforward and say something like, “I’m having trouble recalling your name” or “I remember meeting you but I am not recalling your name”.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you brush up on your basic etiquettes of business and can add to your business success.

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