Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sign of the Times "Blackberry Etiquette"

Remember in college when you spent good dollars to get a good education and every day during class, there was always the forgetful student(s) who forgot to turn their cell phone(s) off. It was a distraction, the teachers would lose their pace and tried to regroup. Sometimes the ring would make everyone laugh. This etiquette or lack of is experienced in the business world with our new technologies. The next time you go out keep this in mind. Situation: business meeting, or board meeting, or just hanging out with friends and see what happens when a phone rings. In a business setting, there are several options and indicators to look for; If you are making a sales call with a prospective client you can get a wealth of feedback during the meeting, chances are the phone will go off, either yours or theirs. Observe what happens if their phone rings, and also think what do you do when your phone rings. Most often people forget to turn their phones off, including you. Most often people just say excuse me and take the call. Wow, I usually try to end the meeting quickly and excuse myself; why?, because this person does not fit the criteria of a good client; yes that is harsh, but believe me it will save you lots of time later on. Have you ever had a client, friend or colleague that you always want it to fired. Yes, everyone has one or two of them. If, in a blink of an eye you say, this persons values a phone call more that concentrating on the business at hand, then most likely this will be a person you will want to fire eventually. Save yourself a lot of grief and just do it then. If you get that gut feeling, just do it. Now, let's say your phone went off, what do you do? do you think they will hire you or do business with you, if you excuse yourself and take a call? this sends a message that the caller is more important than they are. Now with blackberries you get to take a look when someone calls, texts or leaves a message. I always have mine on the vibrating mode. I tend to ignore it until the meeting is over; sometimes they ask you? aren't you going to answer that? I respond, not now, you are more important to me at the present time. Additionally to increase effectiveness, get to the important calls right away after the meeting and leave less critical messages for later. My favorite is the meetings when you see the praying mode, yes the one that you see people on a praying posture, usually texting someone back. Wow that is also a no no. With technologies comes a new way of doing business. Go to your favorite Starbucks and observe, it is rewarding.