Business Etiquette

A recent discussion with a friend raised the interesting question of the seemingly complex state of modern business etiquette. It appears that cordiality and consideration are becoming increasingly scarce resources.

Business is founded on communication. Effective communication requires a relationship to exist. To develop a new relationship, an approach is required to commence the process. The recipient quite often makes this an obstacle that’s intentionally difficult to navigate.

Distilling the buoyant conversation, here are some thoughts:

  • Be polite and respectful. We’re all doing our job. Listen before saying ‘no, thank you.’
  • Accept that marketing is part of everyone’s business role, yours too.
  • “Not interested now” is no reason to feel you might not be later.
  • Bridges are onerous to rebuild once burnt.
  • You’re not really too busy, just impatient. That idea they wish to talk about, might save you a fortune sometime. Reschedule the conversation, not prevent it.

Modern society over emphasises two considerations:

  1. Self; and
  2. Now.

These two points tend to overlook the other party, because of one’s own interest.

Business operates in a continuum, not a series of discrete time intervals. Consider the benefit of having access to novel advice, ideas, or a product/service later. Particularly when you’re faced with different challenges. It’s easier to store this lead now, rather than defer until later, when you have little time to go looking for the right solution, under greater pressure.

If you’re genuinely of the opinion that the discussion, or potential relationship, is unhelpful or incongruent with your focus, then advise the instigator. Consider the ‘not interested now’ decision, as it leaves you the option for reconsideration later. That’s in your best interest and helps them too. Be clear in the time frame to assist the instigator – “might be a better fit in 3/6/9 months.”

Most marketing texts will contain the wisdom “…no one likes being sold to…” That’s a fair comment. But let’s not assume that every approach is going to be the awkward dive right into a sales pitch. As the recipient, you can guide the conversation by your own initial questions. This may help direct the originator to their intended purpose. You may find it surprising that some are just interested in what your company is doing now.

Remember the business ‘game’ is a long one. Relationships are essential to deliver success and they take time. While a new relationship might not immediately yield return, in time it may be critical. And don’t lose sight of the fact that everyone is in the game of marketing their business, you included.


Keen to improve your situation?  


Here at SER Solutions, Peter Crane has spent thirty years working with Tier One operating companies, assisting them deliver efficient capital investments, reducing waste, improving their performance and increasing investor confidence. Armed with practical experience in engineering services, capital planning, project delivery, construction management and strategic asset management within the infrastructure and resources sector, Peter offers a unique insight into operational roadblocks – and how to fix them.  

If you are interested in learning more about effective capital asset planning and management practices that could benefit the way you do business, then why not schedule a discovery call with Peter and the team at SER Solutions today.  


Contact Us

mail icon

Send Message