Business meetings – the importance of savoir-vivre

November 20 2020

Business meetings – the importance of savoir-vivre

 How do people manage to successfully complete all their projects, sign any contract they want and be so popular among their clients? It certainly depends on their knowledge … but also on their manners. The good news is that you can learn the rules of savoir-vivre.

– As far as business is concerned, knowing your way around international etiquette is necessary. This is exactly what makes us and our company look professional. The best advice I can give you is to treat your interlocutor the way you want to be treated. Good and impeccable manners contribute to the image of a credible company – says Marta Kamińska from Solutions.Rent.

Business savoir-vivre: punctuality

If you’re attending a business meeting, don’t forget to take into account traffic jams and any potential unexpected situations. It’s better to arrive early than to be late, as it’s bound to have a negative impact on your image. And I guess that’s not what you want, do you?


Don’t arrive too early (e.g. an hour earlier than you’re supposed to) for a business meeting. The person you have the appointment with might feel pressured, which may negatively affect your image as well.

See also: 8 useful applications for an enterpreneur

– During the COVID-19 pandemic, business meetings and business travels need to follow safety requirements, but many meetings are still held online. It doesn’t mean you can ignore the etiquette rules, though. Good manners are obligatory during videoconferences, which includes: being on time, listening to our interlocutor without interrupting them, being kind and… looking good, even if we’re just sitting in front of a laptop camera – says Rafał Wilk, COO Solutions.Rent.

If you’re unable to be on time for some important reasons, call the people who are waiting for you to let them know. No matter what, don’t send them an SMS message or an e-mail in such a case. When you show up at the meeting, apologize for being late but don’t make excuses. Don’t rush things; instead, start with some small talk – it allows you to relax and observe how your counterparties communicate.

Business savoir-vivre: dress code

I’m sure you know how important it is to look good at a business meeting. As the saying goes – first impressions are the most important. Following the dress code helps build business relationships. Match your outfit to the circumstances. Classic clothing sets in subdued colors are the best choice for a business meeting. The most appropriate clothes include:

– for women: shirt, knee-length skirt, subtle bag, shoes that fit your figure,

– for men: collar shirt, jacket, dark jeans or elegant trousers with leather shoes.

Business savoir-vivre: hierarchy

If you’re at a company meeting, it is the person with a higher position who should offer their hand. If you’re meeting a client, they decide whether they want to shake hands. So be patient and wait for the other person to offer their hand; if they don’t do it, proceed to the conversation. 

When you’re among people in the same position as yours, the rules are the same as with social meetings – a woman offers her hand to a man and an older person offers their hand to the younger one. The handshake should be firm but not too firm, accompanied by a smile and looking the other person in the eyes.

Read also: What makes a good presentation? 

Did you know…

Business cards are usually exchanged at the beginning or at the end of the meeting if a person with a higher position suggests to do so. Pass your card in a way that allows the recipient to read it right away. If you are the recipient, take a good look at it for a short moment and then put it into your wallet. 

Business savoir-vivre: nonverbal communication

During business meetings, what you say isn’t the only thing that matters – your body language is of great significance as well. That is why you should remember to keep an open posture, which means: 

– stand straight; 

– slightly lift your head up, smile and establish eye contact; 

– feel free to make gestures but don’t overdo it.

Remember that a calm voice, precise information and composure impact how your words are perceived. Follow these rules so that your interlocutor can easily understand you. 

Business savoir-vivre: good manners

Politeness during a business meeting is of utmost importance. It is often inconspicuous, whereas being impolite makes a negative impression. Remember that you need to attract your counterparty’s attention first, and then shift it to your offer. So stand up when you greet your client, emphasize your individual approach towards your interlocutor and bring up topics that evoke positive associations during your small talk.

Don’t mix your private and professional lives and refrain from talking about personal issues during business meetings. Turn off your phone before the meeting. Focus your full attention on the people you are talking to. 

Looking for a business meeting space for your company? Click here and check what Solutions.Rent has to offer. 

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