5 Travel Etiquette Tips for Finance Services Professionals
With financial services going increasingly global, companies are now doing business all over the world. While this presents a bounty of opportunity, it also throws up a fair share of risk, particularly when it comes to the tricky question of travel etiquette. Economies from established to emerging each have their own cultural norms and social […]
With financial services going increasingly global, companies are now doing business all over the world. While this presents a bounty of opportunity, it also throws up a fair share of risk, particularly when it comes to the tricky question of travel etiquette.
Economies from established to emerging each have their own cultural norms and social mores — make one (unintentional) error and you could land yourself in an embarrassing situation, hot water or something far more serious indeed.
Today, forward thinking companies are becoming increasingly aware of travel etiquette. As firms spend financial resource on sending their staff abroad for meetings, training and networking, they are focusing on ensuring that their employees are fully up to speed on professionalism and understanding.
After all, when deals are being signed, made or broken and contracts are based on the outcome of a successful meeting, it’s more crucial than ever that everyone present knows how to present themselves, communicate properly and engage their audience. So what is travel etiquette in the finance sector?
Travel etiquette is about understanding local customs
While some people may think that globalisation means that customs and norms have become identikit, go out into the world and you realise that really isn’t so, especially when it comes to doing business. Each and every country has its own business etiquette, and it’s important you’re aware of the intricacies of these, as even a minor slip can have serious consequences. This useful resource from travel experts Expedia gives you lots of little tips for getting business meetings right when you’re in undiscovered country. In Turkey, for example, small talk is considered important in business meetings, so don’t jump straight into business-talk!
Travel etiquette is about mutual respect
Unprofessionalism can cost you business. But professionalism can help you grow. Understanding travel etiquette helps financial service firms treat people with respect, admiration and decency. In today’s fast-paced world, such traditional values, some say, are fading out. Practicing good travel etiquette helps you forge connections with people in different countries, network appropriately and set strong standards of performance and quality.
Travel etiquette is about empowering and inspiring your employees
Upskilling your employees in travel etiquette not only minimises the risk of an awkward business meeting peppered with social faux pas, it means you’ll be helping them become rounded individuals and employees with a thirst for knowledge. Workers confident about travelling to a new country and negotiating, selling or pitching for business will feel inspired and ready to take on any challenge. This improves them as people, and it improves them as employees, giving them the skills and knowledge they need to help grow and develop your company.
Here’s five tips for travel etiquette in the finance sector:
1. A handshake is still important
We might have ditched the formal dress code, titles and everything else, but a handshake should still be considered an essential when doing business. It takes little effort and, as we all know, a little goes a long long way.
2. Don’t interrupt people
In competitive industries, interruption isn’t uncommon. But far from making you look ambitious and driven, in most cultures it simply makes you appear rude and unprofessional. If you’re ever tempted to interrupt someone when they’re part way through a sentence, think twice, and wait until they’ve finished before making your point.
3. Avoid using your phone during meetings
The rise of the smartphone means many of us now use our personal devices more or less all day. And they’re an important tool when it comes to doing business, as we use them for sending emails, making calls and more. But when it comes to a meeting, put the phone away. Even if you’re doing something work-related, it looks like you’re distracted and would rather be elsewhere.
4. Greet everyone
When meeting a large delegation of people, it can be easy to overlook a couple of individuals when it comes to introducing yourself. However acknowledging everyone is a basic sign of respect, regardless of their status or job title, and ensures you don’t look like you have a superiority complex. Respect across all levels of any organisation and is crucial.
5. Say please and thank you
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how the simple act of saying please and thank you is a dying art. Manners cost nothing, so be polite at all times.