As a business guest, you could be receiving thanks for giving the host your business, opening the possibility of future business deals, or even interviewing as a potential employee. As the guest, you have etiquette responsibilities to perform in order to make a great professional impression.

Follow these etiquette rules and be the savviest business guest you can be:

• Arrive on time. If you are going to be more than five minutes late, call your host. Which leads to pointer two…
• Make sure you have the host’s cell phone number with you.
• Dress appropriately.
• Turn your cell phone to silent. Don’t leave it on the table. Don’t use it – i.e. texting, email. Using the phone at the table shows a lack of interest in the meeting. If you are waiting for an emergency call let the host know.
• If you arrive before the host, wait in the lobby or area set aside by the establishment.
• Greet the host first before greeting other guests.
• Don’t monopolize the host’s time during the greeting as they may have other guests to welcome and attend to.
• Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself to others. It’s your responsibility if the host can’t introduce you. It’s important to make your presence known to everyone, so don’t just talk to one person.
• When offered a beverage, take your queue from the host. If they’re not ordering alcohol or did not offer alcohol, don’t order an alcoholic drink.
• If your host does order an alcohol drink, then it’s okay for you to order one. Never have more than two alcoholic drinks during the business meal.
• If being interviewed as a potential employee, don’t order the most expensive item on the menu or order alcohol during the interview.
• Close your menu once you have selected your entrée. This signals to the waiter you are ready to order.
• If a time frame was set for the business meal, be sure to leave at that time. You shouldn’t linger beyond the time frame that’s been set.
• Write a thank-you note within twenty-four hours. A handwritten note will make you look world-class!
• Consider addressing and stamping the envelope before going to the meeting, then write and mail it out when you return to your office or hotel.

Always be an appreciative and cooperative guest. Keep in mind you’re not invited because the host thinks you’re hungry or thirsty!

Remember, when you act well you do well.

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