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Home | Travel Trade | Advertising Info | Conferences

November 2006
Supplement to Travel Trade

also in this issue

You're Home But...

World According to Me

Your Business Etiquette?

Thank You and I'm Sorry

Who are your Customers?

10 Things Search Engines Love

Flips & Flops

Get the Most From Attending a Travel Trade Show

Host Articles
I Am Closing My Agency...
Cruise Planners
Agent Finds AVC's
How Well Will You Score?
Selected Host Agencies

auto Europe
City Escape
Travel Planners

Lead articles
business basics
tricks of the trade
flips & flops
host agency
By issue date

At our most recent Kiwanis meeting, the speaker was Cynthia Grosso, founder of the Charleston (SC) School of Protocol and Etiquette. She is a nationally known expert on the subject who has appeared on Dr. Phil, and written many articles for national publications.

Grosso provided some great food for thought for improving our business skills. A simple reality is that trust is the number one reason that people do business with us. Everything that we do during a personal interaction influences that trust. Not a big surprise was that first impressions are the most critical attribute for business success. Recent studies say that a client's first impression of you is formed in the first two seconds of interaction. That impression is based on 55% personal appearance, 38% tone of voice and only 7% on what you say.

What this means is that your gestures, facial expressions, clothing and body language will determine the success of your business encounter. We have always been told that to be successful, always look your client in the eye with a pleasant facial expression. Many, over time, start to lower their gaze, which is perceived as becoming more personal and may, in fact, enter into a person's private space, although inadvertently.

She discussed smile etiquette. According to a study conducted by Yale University, how often you genuinely smile is the number one influence you have on the attitude of others toward you. Your smile must be pleasant as it's your most powerful gesture. Successful folks always finish their thought with a smile. The study also pointed out that a phony smile is perceived as an attitude problem. Tone of voice is significant. Studies indicate that when it comes out of your mouth, your mind will believe it. Our tone of voice is the top way we show respect for others. Grosso provided a handout on handshakes  your personal signature. Her

10 rules for handshakes are:

  1. Always stand up;
  2. Face the person squarely;
  3. The handshake should be a web to web contact between your thumb and index finger to avoid the dead fish handshake;
  4. Thumbs should be straight up;
  5. Make direct eye contact;
  6. Smile;
  7. Carry papers, books, etc. in your left hand;
  8. Do not squeeze too hard;
  9. Avoid excessive hand pumping;
  10. The person who is being introduced to should extend their hand first.

As we all know, business acumen is a never-ending quest. As Cynthia stated, Polish is a skill  marketing yourself must be done quickly and well.

Russell (Rusty) Pickett is a retired career Naval officer. He has a BS from Yale University and an MBA from Charleston Southern University. As a home based agent, he founded Shellback Cruises, a cruise-oriented agency based in Charleston, SC, in 1999.


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Author: Rusty Pickett


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