Details, Details

You'll be surprised by just how much the details matter when it comes to first impressions in business

Posted by Liz Taylor Feb 22, 2011

I recently met with an executive who was hiring me to speak with 80 of his team members on business etiquette. My typical process is to take the client through a “discovery call” where I learn about the organization, culture, management team, employees and areas of concern.

I asked my client to tell me the first thing he notices when being introduced to a man or woman. His response, “I hesitate to work with a woman I’ve just met if her nails aren’t trimmed and well manicured. You can tell a lot by the way a woman conducts herself in business by the way her hands look. If they are chipped, she probably isn’t very concerned about important details of business”.

Fascinated by the response I heard, I asked a few other executives the same question. Other responses include:

“If a man or woman has scuffed shoes, I’m not interested in having them on my team. Shining your shoes daily takes a couple of minutes and really has an impact on your professional polish.”

“The first thing I notice is whether or not a man is wearing a tie. I expect my employees to wear a tie and when I see a man wearing a golf shirt, it makes me cringe. You can’t expect a client to sign off on a $5m deal if his sales rep isn’t professionally representing the company.”

“I absolutely love to meet a man or a woman who confidently approaches me with a firm handshake, solid eye contact and a genuine smile.”

By nature, I’m not a detail oriented person, but many people are. People notice little details and they can make a big impact on your career. The point to this month’s blog is to observe. Look at the way your client’s, top colleagues and superiors represent and carry themselves.

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“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”

—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center

“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”

—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff

“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”

—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.

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