Forming opinions about people and sharing those impressions with others is something
we all do. When asked what you think about someone, our minds recall that individual’s energy,
appearance, voice, facial expression, courtesy, written communication, and spoken words.
Fortunately it’s in our power to convey the image and effect we desire. Here are some pointers to
present your most polished and professional self.
1. Call people by name.
2. Answer your phone with your first and last name.
3. Change your office voice mail daily or weekly noting date and accessibility. Let callers know
when you’ll call back or who can assist in your absence.
4. Know and remember one personal detail about others such as family, alma mater, hobby, pets,
sports, and interests.
5. When conversing in person, focus your eyes 100% of the time on the other person’s eyes.
6. Before ending a call or a meeting ask, “What else can I help with?”
7. E-mail signatures should include all of your contact information on both originating and reply
messages. This confirms professionalism and accessibility.
8. Know and use the preferred communication channel (phone, e-mail, text) of your clients and
9. Never speak ill of competitors. You’ll be the one that looks bad.
10. Advise clients of the status of outstanding, pending, or changing issues. Better to take the
initiative than to receive a call asking “what’s going on?”
11. Clothes should be age appropriate, well fitting, clean, and pressed. Avoid clothing that is
suggestive or too casual.
12. When greeting a person, be the first to extend your hand for a handshake. If seated, stand to
13. Acknowledge coworkers with a smile and hello when passing in the hall or in the break room.
14. Your LinkedIn profile is what comes up when someone googles your name. Be certain to maintain
a complete, error-free profile that includes a professional picture.
15. Speak grammatically correct English. Do not swear and avoid slang.
16. Be on time for all meetings. Take a seat at the table to show interest and commitment. Avoid
sitting in chairs along the side, if possible. Turn off and put away all electronic devices.
17. Keep your workspace uncluttered, clean, and appropriately decorated.
Emily Huling, CIC, CMC, helps the insurance industry create top-performing sales, service, and
leadership organizations. She is the author of Selling from the Inside, Great Service Sells and the
audio program Service Selling Supercharge. Contact Emily at 888-309-8802, www.sellingstrategies.
com or firstname.lastname@example.org.