Recently we met with a new hire for the first time for one of our long-time clients. He didn’t have a notebook or pen for the meeting. Didn’t offer us a welcome handshake. Basically told us our job “must be soooo easy” while not sharing any knowledge of online marketing or web development experience. Not a great start if you ask me… we left the meeting wondering if we should ask him out for coffee to offer some friendly feedback to this just-out-of-college-now-our-client-contact?
Waaaay back when we first started freelancing (1994), we had the most wonderful mentor (thank you Nina Adams!). She not only showed us how to always be prepared for meetings, do research prior to calls, document everything, how to handle the good- the bad- and the ugly client feedback gracefully but how to retain a balanced boundary between friendship and working together. Not everyone receives this type of leadership in the beginning of their careers, which, honestly, is a shame. However, there is one resource we suggest for all you newbies!
Things a Man Should Know About…Handshakes, While Lies, and Which Fork Goes Where: Easy Business Etiquette for Complicated Times by Ted Allen and Scott Omelianuk. (Imagine the title modified to “Things You Should Know About…” to soften the sexist title and then open the book to enjoy a playful list of how-tos.)
Wonderful chapters covering handshakes, body language, life in a cubicle and lunchtime etiquette. It was written in 2001, so some of the tech speak is dated, but you get the gist.
And above all, show everyone on the team respect by being prepared for meetings. If not, then reschedule for when you are ready. Thank you!