Want to know how to do business in America and fit right in? That is the whole point of these American business etiquette tips. They will help you influence and persuade people so that you can get more business done without offending others.
In order to make the right impression on others, you have to dress for success. If you are going to be making a presentation, it is best to wear a professional looking suit and be ready to be over-dressed. If you are severely over-dressed, you can always take off the jacket or a tie to match those in attendance if appropriate.
I prefer to be overdressed because it shows that you are professional and that you are respecting them because of the way you dress. It is hard to come across as serious if you are under-dressed.
Never forget the importance of a good, firm-handshake. In most cases, you have less than five seconds to make a first impression. During that five seconds, they will form an opinion of you based on how you look and your greeting to them. The greeting usually includes a firm handshake.
In other countries, a soft handshake is the normal custom because they think that you are trying to be superior or hurtful if you do a firm handshake. American business manners has the opposite view of this. In America, a soft handshake is a sign of weakness or being wishy-washy. Neither of these qualities are good for making an impression.
That first impression will be based on your dress, your greeting, and how you shake their hand. When meeting them, look them in the eye as you are shaking their hand. If you avoid eye contact, it can be perceived as a lack of confidence, or that you are not prepared.
Be respectful of other people's time. If you are making a presentation, do not go over the time that you were given. It is disrespectful of their time and you will make a better impression on people if you keep it to the time that was scheduled. If you are getting close to the end of the scheduled meeting, acknowledge it and ask them if they would prefer to keep going or to schedule another time.
Be simple and direct. Most Americans do not want to complicate things and they want to get to the point. Be direct in your presentation and in your conversation. No one likes someone that takes 20 minutes to make a point that could have been done in just a couple of minutes.
These American business etiquette tips will help you make the right impression when conducting business in the United States of America.