Yesterday we talked about the best career for workers associated with a virtual network, but what about the old school business professionals? We’re talking about work done on paper, meetings done in person, and beginning / ending all business-related discussions in a firm handshake. You don’t need to be “old” to appreciate this type of business, and sometimes it’s the best way to get things done. These methods show professionalism, and make clients feel better about doing business the right way. New age business practices are also great, but there is nothing like handling day to day priorities as a true old school professional would. These simple methods will never go out of style. Virtual communication will always be an acceptable form of business in some situations, but others require “old school” tactics.
1.) The Thank You Note
Nothing says class and professionalism quite like a hand written thank you letter. It’s an excellent touch, especially in positions that deal with sales or direct client interaction. Even if the handwriting is a little shaky, it’s an excellent touch. Sending an e-mail is also an acceptable solution. We wouldn’t call it “old school,” but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The art of the thank you note is important to understand in all levels of business. Sending a personalized letter is something that most people will appreciate.
Every person should learn how to properly shake hands. Typically a strong handshake is associated with manliness, but this sentiment couldn’t be further for the truth. It’s important for both genders. A strong handshake shows confidence, and people will remember you because of it. It’s all about respect, and this is a great way to show people how serious you are. In business, first impressions are crucial, and this is your first line of defense against gaining a negative reputation. Be firm and make eye contact. Proper hand shaking will never go out of style.
A true old school businessman is always punctual. Time is money, and a client or colleague should never be left waiting. No time should be wasted during the work day. Electronic communication has made cancelling or rescheduling meetings easy, but back in the day business professionals did not have this luxury. You were either on time or late. Being on time is important because it proves your reliability and dedication. It’s something that people will notice. Being habitually late just looks bad, and will hinder your career advancement potential.
4.) Distraction Free Meetings
In today’s workplace, people have the technology to stay connected. As a result, meetings have become more of a time for workers to multitask. A lot of companies are starting to ban technology from meetings to garner full participation from employees. Meetings are important and it’s beneficial to ensure that everyone is participating and listening. Put the technology away and give management your full attention. Most of the multitasking that happens during a meeting is not urgent. Address it later.
5.) Face to Face Interaction
Until recently almost all business was done face to face. Sometimes it happened over the phone, but face to face interaction was simply more effective, especially for sales. Today a lot of deals are made via the internet, but there is nothing like an in-person meeting. It’s a more successful way to win clients and new business. For the smaller deals, virtual communication is sufficient. But for the bigger deals, always try to make it happen in-person. Even the most technologically advanced companies still meet their clients directly for important deals, and it’s no secret why they do it. Put a face to your name whenever possible.