Q) I want to make a good impression on my boss in the first big sales meeting I will be attending. What should I do? How should I act?
A) To begin, you want to “look the part.” You should dress appropriately for any business situation, but it sounds like this is an important meeting. A dark, conservative suit, clean and pressed, with a freshly laundered white shirt, and a nice tie with matching pocket square would be warranted for gentlemen. Polished shoes and socks with no holes are also mandatory. Clean hair and nails go without saying. For ladies, a dark suit with perfect hosiery and close-toed shoes are the proper attire. Keep aftershave and perfume subtle.
Do not be late for the meeting. Arrive five to ten minutes early, and use the time to network with other attendees, and also to visit the restroom.
Be respectful of others in the meeting. Turn off your cell phone, or if you are expecting a VERY important call, then keep it on vibrate. You should also at least let the meeting’s host, if not all attendees, know that you might have to take a call. If the call comes in, leave the room to answer it. Also, do not get up and leave the room and return repeatedly.
If called on to contribute, do not monopolize the meeting. Let others have their turn. When others are speaking, don’t interrupt them. Raise your hand if you have to speak again, and don’t talk over anyone. While someone else is speaking, don’t lean over and whisper to the person next to you. It is rude to everyone in the room. Also, don’t divulge confidential information unless all attendees are on a need-to-know basis.
Something else you should do is to be neat. Use only the space on the table in front of you that is the width of your chair. Don’t spread out your papers all over. Keep your belongings tidy and in good order.
Even if the building allows it, don’t smoke. It may offend others.
If there is food service, eat quietly. Sip your drink silently, and don’t slurp. If there is a buffet table in the room, don’t keep going back for food. Simply practice moderation. Get what you want before the meeting begins.
Follow this advice, work hard, do your best, and your boss will remember you kindly when promotion time comes around!
Follow Carolyn Davenport at AGraciousYou.com.