There’s no room for being unprofessional in business
Identifying and embracing habits which make you look more professional will help you stand out in the crowd. It’s very likely you’ve been on the receiving end of extreme unprofessionalism at some point in your life. Whether it was the salesperson who rolled their eyes when you asked a straight forward question, or the flight attendant who rudely snapped at you to hurry up and take your seat, there is no excuse for unprofessional behaviour on the job or in business.
If you want to stand out as a small business, you must demonstrate the utmost level of professionalism at all times. The importance of professionalism can’t be overstated. Being professional boosts customer confidence and it enhances your reputation and trust.
Here are 13 simple habits which make you look more professional:
1. Be on time
Not only does being on time yourself demonstrate professionalism, being on time shows you respect other people’s time as well.
2. Always be clean, neat and well presented
First impressions are vital. New research suggests it takes only one tenth of a second to form an impression of someone on first meeting.
First impressions are vital. Click To Tweet
3. Show confidence
Being confident in what you do communicates a positive message to your clients. It show you’re knowledgeable and reassures people you can help them. It also shows you believe in the value you’re offering.
4. Be authentic
It’s common advice in entrepreneurial circles to ‘fake it ’til you make it’. While it’s important to demonstrate confidence, you must also remain genuine to who you are. People are generally pretty good at sensing a phoney and can spot bullshit a mile away.
People are generally pretty good at sensing a phoney and can spot bullshit a mile away. Click To Tweet
5. Be truthful
Honesty is the foundation of trust. An important part of portraying professionalism is being honest and truthful in everything you do.
6. Deal with problems quickly
Nobody can escape problems. You’re going to mess up here and there but making mistakes is not what makes you look unprofessional. The important thing is to deal with problems efficiently. Always take responsibility, apologise for the mistake and find your customer a resolution as quickly as possible.
You're going to mess up here and there but making mistakes is not what makes you look unprofessional. Click To Tweet
7. Show you care
Every person wants to be valued, cared about and shown respect. These things are basic human needs. In your dealings with your customers, showing you care always goes a long way.
8. Demonstrate integrity
Do what you say you’re going to do. When a customer has chosen to spend their hard earned money with your business, the very least you can do is honour your word.
9. Show discretion
No-one likes a blabber mouth. Respect your customer’s privacy and keep the conversations and interactions they have with you confidential. There’s also no need to bring your personal life into your business. Your customers don’t need to know about your wild partying or personal problems.
Respect your customer's privacy and keep the conversations and interactions they have with you confidential. Click To Tweet
10. Respect boundaries
Your clients are not your friends. The boundary between business and friendship, especially in service based businesses can be murky, but it’s important to find the line and stick to it.
11. Be open to learning
No business owner is ever immune from needing to constantly grow, develop and improve. Enough said!
12. Look after yourself
You don’t have to be a walking billboard for a health and fitness company, but if you can’t look after yourself, why should a customer believe you’re going to look after them?
If you can't look after yourself, why should a customer believe you're going to look after them? Click To Tweet
13. Get results!
Nothing screams professional like getting clients results. Especially when you do can do it over and over.