Why Formal Doesn’t Equal Professional in Business

Formal does not equal professional in business“Manners are sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.” – Emily Post

What do you think of when you hear the word “formal”? Do you see visions of a suit and tie, someone who addresses folks by Mr. and Ms., maybe even someone who is a bit…stuffy? Now think of the word “professional.” You might think of someone who is great at what they do, gets projects done on time, and is always courteous. In business, having manners isn’t so much about following a strict set of rules; it’s about making the other person feel comfortable and doing a top-notch job.

In fact, being overly formal can be just as offensive as being too casual. Clients could interpret your aloofness as coldness, disinterest, or even condescension. Even something as simple as addressing customers can turn into a faux pas. Say you receive a call from a new client by the name of “Pat Jennings.” It can be difficult to distinguish gender over the phone, especially if they’re on a cell phone or speakerphone. One slip up — “How may I help you, Ms. Jennings?”…”Oh! My apologies! Mister Jennings!” — can ruin a sale.

The next time you meet a new client or chat with an existing one, follow their lead. If they introduce themself as “John,” go with that. If they prefer “Mr. Smith,” say, “Pleased to meet you Mr. Smith!” Match their tone and pace, and remember: being cheerful and friendly will help put everyone at ease and make a great impression for your company!

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.