The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

Etiquette Awareness — Networking Impressions

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 23, 2010

Networking. It’s what you do to promote yourself and obtain referrals, meet new people, learn about the services they have to offer and how you can be of help to them, whether you are a business owner, someone who is employed by a company, or in the job seeking market.

I would like to share some observations from a recent networking meeting I attended:

  • An individual chewing gum, mouth open, the entire time. Smacking sounds optional.
  • A nicely attired young man, white dress shirt, tie, slacks … and filthy sneakers.
  • During his self-introduction, someone mentioned a competitor by name and blatantly insulted and criticized their practices in comparison.
  • After introducing himself by professional title, an individual stated that he was there to network, “although I don’t think any of you are of the caliber and client level I typically deal with.” Ouch! You have no idea who I know or with whom I associate.
  • 8 out of 14 people introduced themselves by first name only. How do you want to be remembered? Use both of your names!
  • As a follow-up to receiving my business card at the meeting, one person put me on their email list of informational updates. Possession of my card does not constitute permission to add me to an email list; that is SPAM and it is illegal (not to mention extremely irritating).

Keep in mind that these were simply my observations; this is not a result of any actual interaction I had with these people.

Remember…

People watch people; they notice body language, they way you dress, the expression on your face and the words you speak. They form conclusions about you, how you do business, what type of person you are, often times without ever speaking with you directly.

What kind of message are you sending?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Alone But In Great Company

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 9, 2010

Last week I unexpectedly found myself with some free time after an early morning meeting so I decided to treat myself to breakfast at a small local cafe. I knew the place wasn’t fancy but the food was good and that was what mattered.

As I walked in the door, I was greeted with a “Go ahead and sit anywhere, hon” and a big smile from the woman I could see through the kitchen pass-through; the two servers were busy with customers so she took it upon herself to greet me. She immediately followed up by leaving the kitchen, where she was obviously cooking, and brought me a menu and some water.

The server came over to take my order and in just a few minutes I was comfortably settled with my breakfast and the morning newspaper, relaxed and thoroughly enjoying myself. At the same time, I was aware that it was more than just my immediate personal circumstances that were putting me in such a happy frame of mind … it was the atmosphere surrounding me.

I could hear the interaction of the servers and the other patrons as they settled themselves. It was obvious that many of them were “regulars” as they were known by name, and that “Henry” liked extra whipped cream in his hot chocolate, and that “Sarah” was going to have her usual. Not only did the servers know the preferences of their customers, but the customers recognized — by their comments — how nice it was to be taken care of in just such a manner. “She knows just what I like!”

The friendliness and mutual respect for each other was obvious and spilled over onto customers like myself, a non-regular. I received smiles and friendly comments from both employees and patrons when I arrived and when I left.

It was a lovely way to start my day!

Remember…

Do you remember the TV show Cheers … the place “where everybody knows your name?” It may be cheesy but it really does make a difference. How do you feel when you are greeted with a friendly smile and a “good morning” or “hello” when you walk into an establishment?

Give it a try — even if you are a customer, not the proprietor. Help build atmosphere!

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — May I Ask A Favor?

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 2, 2010

This week I am sharing a portion of an article written by Jacqueline Whitmore, an international etiquette and image expert, author, spokesperson and the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. I found this information to be extremely useful and a good reminder because while most people are happy to offer advice and assistance to others, the approach can make all the difference.

How To Ask For Favors, Properly

by Jacqueline Whitmore

When I am not writing or teaching, I spend a majority of my workday managing email. … Occasionally, I get an email from someone who wants some free advice. … When I have the time, I will try my best to respond to each and every email. … When composing an email, particularly to someone you don’t know well, please heed the following advice.

Greet me. An email that doesn’t contain my name gives me a clue that you might have sent this question to a multitude of experts. Dale Carnegie tells us that the sweetest sound to a person’s ear is the sound of their own name. Well, I like to see my name in print too. It shows that you have taken the time to personalize your message.

Enlighten me. In general, I will assume that I don’t know you unless you tell me how we met or know one other. Did we meet at a luncheon or a seminar? Did someone refer you to me? I meet and speak with a lot of people, as I’m sure you do too, so please refresh my memory.

Flatter me. Sometimes I will get an email that requires me to stop what I’m doing and make an effort to do a little research in order to answer the question. I am more apt to help you if you have done something to help me. Do you subscribe to my blog or e-newsletter? Have you attended one of my classes? Have read you read my book, Business Class, purchased one of my products or referred me to someone you know? If you do something nice for me, I am eager to reciprocate the favor.

Be specific. Not all emails are clear, concise and contain all the facts. Therefore, if your email does not contain pertinent information, I can’t give you my best answer. Make sure you give as many facts as possible without making the email too long.

Give me a deadline. If you need an answer right away, let me know. Otherwise, I will assume that your email is not time sensitive.

Thank me. Your email may require research and time on my part. If I take the time to respond, please send me an email in return that expresses your thanks for my efforts. Better yet, let me know how the situation turned out if you did take my advice. This way I will know that my efforts were worthwhile and that gives me great satisfaction.

Jacqueline offers a variety of valuable tips at her blog,

http://jacquelinewhitmore.com and her website, www.etiquetteexpert.com.

Remember…

Professionalism and a courteous approach will take you a long way when it comes to interacting with others, especially if you are asking for someone’s assistance. How you frame your request — and your follow-up — says a lot about you.

Is it the impression you want to convey?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Rude or Productive?

Posted by Corey Kaster on February 23, 2010

You see them everywhere … people walking, riding, shopping, reading, working, all with earbuds in, iPods playing.They seem happily engrossed in their own environment but what is the message they are sending — and how is it being perceived?

Whereas an iPod user feels she is tuning out the surrounding noise, focusing on her job and being productive, what is it that might lead someone to say that she is being rude and sending out the message “I don’t want to be bothered with you”?

The key word to remember as you make use of your iPod is approachability.

  • In a work environment, let your co-workers know that you are plugging in because it helps your productivity. Be clear if this is a “do not disturb” time or if questions are welcome.
  • No one else should be able to hear your music or any other sort of buzzing, humming sound.
  • No singing along, drumming on the desk or any other type of accompanying movement.
  • When talking with someone, remove both earbuds from your ears so they know they have your full attention. Removing only one earbud is a sign that you don’t want the conversation to last long or that the person is not important to you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you are likely to encounter people you know in a public space, either leave the iPod behind or remove one earbud so you can hear someone saying hello to you. It will then be a simple matter to pull out the other earbud.
  • Keep in mind that iPods are not appropriate in all locations: office meetings, professional and social gatherings or classrooms. You are there to interact with people.

Remember…

While you may have the best of intentions, it is how you are perceived that matters. Simple details, such as not returning someone’s greeting because you are so wrapped up in the music playing on your iPod can have a negative impression on how approachable you are.

Be aware that there is a time and a place for everything.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Cubicle Manners

Posted by Corey Kaster on February 22, 2010

It can be said that working in a cubicle is like working in a goldfish bowl; your words and actions are on view to everyone around. As you settle comfortably into your space, keep in mind that the cubicle next to you is someone else’s office.

  • Use your “library voice”. Loud sounds travel and your voice will project, making it difficult for your co-workers to concentrate. Remember this before making use of a speakerphone, even for voice mail retrieval.
  • The discussion of confidential matters should not take place in a cubicle; there is no privacy! Make use of a colleague’s office, a conference room or some other location where there are four walls, a ceiling and a door.Do not interrupt someone who is on the telephone, either by sign language or by lurking outside their cubicle “door”. Wait until the call is finished before you approach the person.
  • Respect the space of your co-workers. Announce your presence at the entrance to their cubicle without barging in or sneaking up on the person. If he looks busy or deep in thought, come back later. At the same time, don’t make eye contact with people if you don’t wish to be interrupted.
  • Avoid the “prairie dog” syndrome. Don’t pop up over the top of the cubicle to ask a question of someone a few spaces away. Get some exercise by walking around, send an email or use the telephone to make your inquiry.
  • Keep strong smelling food in the lunchroom! Smells and sounds of snacking can be extremely irritating to others.
  • How does your cubicle look? Excessive personal clutter and disorganized work materials can reflect poorly on your level of professionalism and attention to detail.

Remember…

The respect you show to others through your knowledge and use of cubicle etiquette provides your colleagues and the people around you with an impression as to the type of person you are.

Recognize this and make sure your are presenting a positive impression.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com


Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

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Etiquette Awareness — Social Media: How To Have Impact

Posted by Corey Kaster on February 9, 2010

To quote a colleague, “Social media is about connecting and building relationships — talking to people. Taking part in discussions gets you noticed as well as keeps the conversations going, along with the sharing of information, viewpoints and knowledge.”

Very well stated! And like anything else you do, keep in mind that how you present yourself on the social media platform is something you will be judged by, and once again, it is the details that will make the difference.

  • Pay attention to what others are saying on the social websites and be a part of the conversation. Remember, the most important part of any conversation is listening.
  • Yes, you are using social media to further yourself or your business but non-stop self-promotional postings are not beneficial to your followers. What information can you provide that is of value to them?
  • SPAM is a no-no! Avoid inapplicable email forwards, chain letters, texts, etc.; they are unwanted and irritating.
  • It’s not a numbers game. Building a community of friends and followers in your industry increases the possibility of seeing a return on your marketing efforts. Quality is much more important than quantity.
  • Remember, whatever you post on the internet is going to be out there for the world to see. Your comments are a permanent reflection of your identity; you are either building your reputation or diminishing it!
  • Be yourself! If social media is about building relationships, how real are they if you are not authentically you?

Remember…

The contacts, friends and followers you meet and develop on-line are real relationships and should be treated as such. Any interaction you have via a social media platform should be treated with the same respect you would a face-to-face connection.

You will be remembered for it.

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

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Etiquette Awareness — It’s In The Words

Posted by Corey Kaster on February 2, 2010

Many things factor into the impression we make on others, one of which is the way we speak; specifically, the words we choose.

Our choice of words will convey our intelligence, how well informed we are, our level of education and our respect for those around us, qualities clients and employers are looking for.

Most of us know that foul language, or swear words, are inappropriate in a business setting. But what about some of the everyday words and expressions we hear — and use?

  • “How are you guys doing?” vs “How are you today?”
  • Answering the telephone “Yeah” vs “Good Morning”
  • “I’m pissed off” vs “I’m annoyed/angry/mad/irritated”
  • “That sucks!” vs “That’s too bad!”
  • Say “Thank You” instead of “No Problem”
  • What about “You’re Welcome!” or “I’m happy to help!”

Add polish to your everyday words and expressions! There is a good chance that people won’t recognize what is different about you, but they will know that there IS a difference.

Remember…

Only 7% of the message you send comes from the words you speak but it can have a powerful effect. You may have the perfect appearance, a friendly smile and a great handshake but coming forward with the wrong expression at the right time can ruin it.

The words you choose can leave a negative — or a positive — impression that lasts.

February Customer Service Class

Customer Service: An Attitude, Not A Department …

Consumers have a multitude of choices available to them every day and they are looking for the outstanding differences: courtesy, image, service and reliability. Are you doing all you can to draw customers to your business … and retain them? Join me for this three hour class and learn how attention to details really do make the difference. February 17, 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Cost: $69.00

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Posted in Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Etiquette Awareness — Who Called?

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 26, 2010

With the advent of all of the new technology pertaining to telephones, we take it for granted that everyone has caller id. If you place a call but don’t get an answer, well, no worries, because the person you called will still be aware that you tried to connect when you show up on their call log.

Right? Not necessarily.

This may be true of cell phones, but unless the person you are calling has added you to their contact list by name, then only your telephone number will show up, and many people do not return phone calls to unknown numbers.

And what about those people who, gasp, aren’t conducting business by cell phone? Or don’t have caller id? Odd as it may seem to some of you, there are many, many people still out there who fit into this category, and while you may call multiple times, if you don’t leave an actual voice message, they will have no idea you are trying to reach them.

If you don’t leave a message, you don’t have the right to question why — or become irritated when — you don’t receive a return call.

It’s really that simple!

Remember…

When leaving a telephone message, leave a “good” one! State your name, your telephone number, including area code (making sure you speak slowly and clearly here!) Briefly explain the reason you are calling, then again, repeat your name (first and last) and your 10 digit phone number.

A suggestion: try writing down your phone number as you say it. The point of leaving a “good” telephone message is so that the receiver only needs to listen to it once to obtain all of the information.

Classes Offered In February

Want to feel more comfortable with “how” you are doing things so you can focus on the business at hand? Join me for a series of four evening classes pertaining to Business Etiquette for only $109.00 February 1 – 10, M & W, 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

  • Distinguish Yourself From The Competition
  • Communication That Matters
  • Networking With Distinction
  • Presenting A Professional Appearance

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Customer Service: At Attitude, Not A Department …

Consumers have a multitude of choices available to them every day and they are looking for the outstanding differences: courtesy, image, service and reliability. Are you doing all you can to draw customers to your business … and retain them? Join me for this three hour class and learn how attention to details really do make the difference. February 17, 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Cost: $69.00

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Posted in Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Etiquette Awareness — Reach Out With A Thought

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 19, 2010

You may buy a pre-printed greeting card for all types of occasions. There are the usual birthday, going away, anniversary, holiday, loss of a loved one, engagement, new baby and get well types of sentiments, as well as some less than expected, such as congratulations on your divorce, hear he/she dumped you, etc.

But there are times when a pre-printed message doesn’t express your sentiments adequately, or there simply isn’t a card to cover the situation, such as “I’m sorry you ran you car over the curb during the recent snow and are now facing a $2,200 repair bill.”

It’s even more difficult when you don’t know how to — or feel comfortable — expressing your concern or empathy. So often times, you may simply let the occasion slide by, feeling slightly guilty but tell yourself that your voice won’t be missed.

And perhaps it won’t be missed but it certainly might have been welcomed.

When you learn that a friend or colleague has had a bit of misfortune, reach out and send a good thought their direction. You can do this via a telephone call, email, a handwritten note card, even a posting on facebook. The point is to make the connection. If you don’t know what to say, it’s ok to say that! The point of reaching out is to let the person know that you are thinking of him and whatever the situation might be, from a car problem to a death in the family, you wish him well.

While your action will not change the situation, your thoughtfulness and consideration will be appreciated.

Remember…

Mother Theresa once said “People might not remember what you said, they might not remember what you did, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”

Classes Offered In February

Want to feel more comfortable with “how” you are doing things so you can focus on the business at hand? Join me for a series of four evening classes pertaining to Business Etiquette for only $109.00 February 1 – 10, M & W, 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

  • Distinguish Yourself From The Competition
  • Communication That Matters
  • Networking With Distinction
  • Presenting A Professional Appearance

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Customer Service: An Attitude, Not A Department …

Consumers have a multitude of choices available to them every day and they are looking for the outstanding differences: courtesy, image, service and reliability. Are you doing all you can to draw customers to your business … and retain them? Join me for this three hour class and learn how attention to details really do make the difference. February 17, 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Cost: $69.00

Pre-registration required through Clark College, Vancouver, WA

Register here

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Posted in Business, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Etiquette Awareness — Let Me Make It Convenient For … Me

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 13, 2010

Customer Service, as defined by Wikipedia, is providing service to customers before, during and after their purchase to enhance their level of satisfaction.

But at whose convenience?

  • The grocery store employee, who retrieves the carts from the parking lots but piles them up so they block the doorway rather than distributing them evenly between the two entrances.
  • The account billing staff, where the voicemail greeting is friendly and courteous and promises a return call within 48 hours.
  • The store clerk on the other end of the phone, who asks the customer to hold why she chats with her fellow employee about her after-work plans.

The key word is CUSTOMER, as in customer takes priority. It is the customer that can make or break a business. The customer has a multitude of choices out there and is looking for the outstanding differences, which is not necessarily price point.

Courtesy, Service, Reliability

Do you return calls promptly, as in the same day? In 48 hours I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, but I’m sure I won’t be in a position to talk about my simple billing inquiry — that’s why I called now! I understand that you may have to get back to me with answers to my question, but at least take the time to find out what it is first!

Are you friendly? Do you make it easy and welcoming for me to do business with you? Or do I literally have to shove things aside to get in your door? (Or figure out how to contact you from your website.)

Do you follow through on what you say you will do, and in a timely manner? Will you not get sidetracked by other conversations or details when you are dealing with me? Can I count on you and know I will walk away from our transaction feeling good about our association?

As your customer, I need to know I come first.

Remember…

The large red Easy Button. Probably everyone has seen the commercials put out by Staples. “That was easy.” They are referring to getting what you require, when you need it, without any hassle. They are referring to excellent customer service. It’s a great idea.

Do you have one? More importantly, do your customers think you have one?

Please feel free to send me any of your

etiquette or customer service questions or stories!

Previous editions of Etiquette Awareness

may now be viewed at my website,

www.jodiblackwood.com

Jodi Blackwood

Business Etiquette & Customer Service Specialist

Speaker & Seminar Leader

“Etiquette is about polishing your approach,

not changing who you are.”

mailto:jodi@jodiblackwood.com

360-798-4912

www.jodiblackwood.com

Share This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Posted in Business, Etiquette Awareness | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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