A big part of doing business well is making sure that you are polite when you do. That is obvious. But it’s more than about being polite, it is about having the best interaction you can have, right?
You want the person to call you back, to choose you, your company or your project.
There is an expression: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It’s an important one. Because whether you are a writer, hi tech innovator, filmmaker or consultant, you need every interaction to go well and to plant seeds for future meetings.
Don’t think of business etiquette – or for the Hebrew curious: כללי התנהגות עסקי
Think simply of being as effective in every transaction as you can possibly be. You have an end goal. How does it feel when someone wants something from you? Are you more likely to grant them a favor or read their script or look at their website if they are difficult to connect with, inconsiderate or too aggressive? No.
All favors are personal, at the end of the day, because we are people. And if you are setting up a meeting, on a certain level, you are asking a favor.
Here are a few simple and basic tips:
When Setting Up a Meeting
Know that we are all very busy. Offer two or three choices of times and dates. Make the meeting place convenient for the other person.
During the Meeting
Buy your listener coffee. Thank them for their time. Make time for small talk. Keep your business talk focused. Don’t go over time. Wrap up your meeting with clear goals and expectations.
Wait 2 to 3 hours after the meeting and send an email follow up, thanking the person for the meeting and saying you look forward to the next step.
If you don’t hear back in 4 or 5 business days, email again and just ask how they are and if there’s anything you can do to help move the project forward.
If you STILL don’t hear back:
In the US and EU: don’t email again for another 3 to 4 weeks. Assume you are being ignored but not totally shut down.
In Israel: email again in another week. And the one after that. And then let it lie for awhile.
You don’t want to be a nuisance. But neither do you want an opportunity to slip through your fingers.