In just about every language in the world, there are words for saying “please” and “thank you”, but there are people who seem to have forgotten them or simply dropped them from their vocabulary altogether. In business and in personal life, using those few phrases and the body language that reinforces them, adds to your success. Whether you are dealing with a client, a coworker, family member or friend, expressing courtesy and respect will take your farther faster than a speeding BMW.
A simple “Thank you for taking time to meet me today” when you greet your client or “Thank you for calling” when you respond to a phone call, makes that person feel valued. In today’s online environment, “please” and “thank you”, should have a place in your email and text messages as well even if, sadly, they show up as “pls” and thx.”
Practicing civility not only makes other people feel good, it can also make you feel good. It’s the power of positivity. As a result of you using these polite words, you will drive more business your way. And you will enhance your relationships with clients and customers.
That magic word “please” –as your mother called it—needs to be a part of your everyday language. When you ask someone to do something for you, adding “please” turns a demand into a request. When the clerk shoves a paper in front of you and says, “Sign here”, it sounds abrupt. When that person takes the time to add “please”, the interaction turns pleasant. A “thank-you” seals the deal.
Using the right words is critical, but if the body language and the tone of voice don’t match, it will do you no good. When you deal with other people, take the time to look at them, make eye contact and smile. The smile on your face will resound in your voice, and your eyes will send an important message—one that says you are focusing on the person in front of you.
Think of the times you have gone through a check-out line and the cashier has not acknowledged you with so much as a greeting, a smile or eye contact. How did that make you feel? Invisible? Unimportant? Unappreciated? If so, join the army of people who have felt the same way. Is this how you want your clients or potential clients to feel?
In the high-tech world, we need to be careful that speed and efficiency don’t replace the personal touch. Using the right words with appropriate body language and tone of voice make all the difference in the world, especially when you assess the bottom line. Once again, adding polish builds profits.
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert who believes it’s not about rules–it’s about relationships. She is keynote speaker, trainer and author of several books. Contact her at 912-598-9812 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com to find out how she can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits.