The way you present yourself at networking events, cocktail parties, and business lunches says a lot about you.  Personal public relations is extremely important in achieving the success you desire in your business life. 


Here are some corporate etiquette tips that show that you are a polished professional:


The Business Lunch

!  If you’re taking a client to lunch — you pay. The one who is likely to benefit the most from the business discussed should pay. Make arrangements for settling the bill before your guest arrives.

!  Shake hands in greeting. Avoid a kiss on the cheek.

!  Recommend the restaurant, and book a table in a good position –  away from the kitchen or restrooms. Invite your client to the best seat facing into the restaurant or toward the view.


!  Recommend food choices, and perhaps something that may be expensive on the menu so they feel comfortable with that choice, if they desire it.


!  Be guided by their choices.  Don’t order dessert if your guests are not having it.


!  Don’t order alcohol unless your guest does and don’t drink too much.


!  Don’t smoke if your guest doesn’t.

!  Don’t wave or use the wrong utensils.

Remember:  all food related items are on the left. Use utensils from the outside in, then from the top of the plate.

!  Discuss business after eating the entree.


The purpose of a business lunch is to build rapport and a relationship with your guest and to make them feel happy and comfortable with you.  It’s NOT about the food — or whether or not you actually get to eat!


Where to Sit


At the table: The position of honor is to host’s right. The second highest guest is seated on host’s left.

In a taxi, or limo:  Seat your guest in the position of honor in the back seat on the passenger side.

At your office:  Invite guests in and direct them where to sit. Guests are seated first.  It is also best to sit on the same side of the desk as your guest.


How to make Introductions


Gender does not affect the order of introductions.  In business, all introductions are based on superiority. 


Persons of lesser authority are introduced to persons of greater authority: “Mr. President, I would like to introduce Ms. Susan Mertz, who owns IMPACT! a public relations firm in Charleston, South Carolina.”


A junior executive is introduced to a senior executive:  “Mr. Smith, I would like to introduce to you Susan Mertz, from our public relations department.  Susan, Mr. Smith is our VP of Marketing.”


Clients are considered most important. Therefore, a fellow executive is introduced to a client; “Susan Mertz, I would like to introduce to you John Smith, our CEO. John, Susan is our public relations consultant from Charleston, South Carolina.”


Remember:  The name of the person of greater authority is always spoken first.




Make an IMPACT!


4 Responses to “Corporate Etiquette”

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