Tag Archives: holiday greeting cards

Holiday Etiquette – So Many Questions

Posted on by

iStock_000014394928XSmallThe holidays should be a joyful time, but with so much to do, both personally and professionally, ‘tis often the season to be stressed out. There are any number of  questions that might be drifting through your mind right now. Can you skip the office gala? Should you buy the boss a gift? How do you address the envelope to couples using different last names? Who pays for the business meal? Do you need to tip your pet sitter? The list goes on and on.

I can’t cover all the issues in one brief newsletter. For that you might want to check out my e-book on Business Etiquette for the Holidays. For now let me share a handful of helpful tips:

1)    The holiday office party is a mandatory event; not one that you can skip even if you don’t want to spend another minute with people from your office.

2)    Dress appropriately for the office party. This is not the time to wear your slinkiest and most revealing dress.

3)    Limit how much alcohol you drink at the party. Remember that wine, beer and other spirits tend to loosen the tongue.

4)    Decide ahead of time how you will handle gift-giving within the office. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount of money each is expected to spend on a gift or gifts.

5)    If you invite a client or co-worker to be your guest for a holiday meal, you pay the bill.

6)    Thank you notes for holiday gifts are as obligatory as the office party. They need to be handwritten to be effective.

7)    Sending your clients e-cards is a waste of your time and effort although they don’t require much of either. Your client may or may not open your email; and if they do, they will read and then hit “delete.” A paper greeting will live on and be remembered much longer.

8)    Make sure to personally sign your printed holiday cards. Otherwise they will come across as impersonal as an e-card.

9)    When you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, take a small gift to your host. If you choose to take wine, make sure your host drinks. Flowers are appreciated, but only if they arrive in a vase that does not have to be returned. Don’t expect your host to drop everything and hunt for the proper vessel for your flowers.

10) When it comes to toasting at a holiday event, never raise a glass or drink to yourself if you are the recipient of the toast. Return the kindness and toast the person who toasted you.

Bonus tip: Smile during the holidays. It is a happy time to be enjoyed by all.

13-0811 Lydia Ramsey eBook Cover smallFor the detailed version of holiday etiquette, remember that my e-book is available to you in The Manners Store on my website and on Amazon in the Kindle Store. It’s the least expensive gift you can give yourself or someone else whom you would like to see succeed in business. The cost is $2.99, and shipping is free.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Greeting Cards: It’s That Time of the Year Again

Posted on by

When it comes to holiday business cards, to send or not to send is not the question. If you want to enhance your current business relationships, attract new customers, remind old clients that you exist and show appreciation to those who have faithfully supported you during the year, prepare to mail. However, proceed with caution and follow the rules of business etiquette. What is intended as a well-meaning gesture can actually offend when it is not done properly.

Start with a good quality card to show that you value your clients and colleagues. Skimping on your selection may be taken as a sign that your business is suffering or that your clients aren’t worth the extra investment.

Make sure your list is up-to-date with correct names and addresses. If you do this on a regular basis, it does not become a dreaded holiday chore.

Sign each card personally. Even if you have preprinted information on the card such as your name and that of your company, add a handwritten signature. The most elegant cards need your personal touch.

Take the time to hand write the address as well. Don’t use computer-generated labels. They are impersonal and make your holiday wishes look like a mass mailing. You may save time and even money, but turn off a client or a business associate in the process.

You may mail your greeting to the home if you know the business person socially. Include the spouse’s name. The card is not sent to both husband and wife at the business address unless they both work there. Whether you are addressing the envelope to an individual or a couple, titles should always be used. It’s “Mr. John Doe,” not “John Doe,” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, rather than “John and Mary Doe.”

Be sensitive to the religious or cultural beliefs of the people to whom you are sending your cards. Make sure your message is appropriate for each individual.

Mail your greetings for a timely arrival. If you find yourself addressing the envelopes on Super Bowl Sunday, keep the cards until next year and send out a high-quality note instead thanking people for their business during the previous year.

The best way to avoid the last minute greeting card rush is to have all your envelopes addressed before Thanksgiving. If you start now, you can relieve some of the usual holiday stress and can rest assured that you have taken one more step towards growing your business and building relationships.