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Grooming and Etiquette

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Benita Dua Bhatia

on 16 July 2015

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Transcript of Grooming and Etiquette

Why is listening effectively important in having a good conversation?


Effective Listening

Know the industry:
Through a google search on the latest news about the industry
Keep a tab on the current highlights of the industry on Economic Times, Business Today, etc...

You may get details that will not only raise your awareness about the industry but also help you in using those details for small talks with the client.

Know your client:
Through a LinkedIn search
Through a google search
Through a facebook search

You may get details that will not only raise your awareness about the person you are meeting but also help you in using those details for small talks

Gives you more clarity for the meeting
Gives you immense confidence to do a sound discussion
Helps you pitch better
Helps you to a certain extent, to channelize the meeting in the productive direction


Small Talks


viii. DO NOT send Chain Mails.
Restrict fun forwards to the minimum.

Always insert the email ids after typing and checking the email.

vii. Email Attachments

Did you Know???

The customer makes an impression about you in the first 30 seconds

Hence...Strive to create a positive impression on every call

Can a customer who has had a bad telephonic experience with you be of any threat?

“Etiquette is the fine tuning of education” 
-Nadine Daher


Business Etiquette

While a positive body language and the right tone of voice take care of about 90% of your face to face communication; the choice of words will then ensure a power packed and highly effective communication.

c) Words

The tone is the non-verbal element or energy carried in the words.

We use this energy to interpret what is being said, so even simple messages can be misunderstood.

we tend to trust the non-verbal energy more than the verbal words being shared.

Polite and Respectful Tone
Varying Pitch
Soft but audible Volume
Relaxed Tone

b) Tone of Voice

Communicating with an Impact


When it comes to hair, Avoid:

ii. Hair

Always wear clothes that fit your body type the best

Why don’t we put as much thought in grooming ourselves???

What do you think of these professionals...

As a professional.... what do you think of

Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made; they greatly improve his appearance.

Impactful business grooming and etiquette
Speak the language the client is comfortable speaking
Be respectful of others Be Friendly but not Casual
Asking Questions
Listen Effectively
Do not Interrupt
Have good conversation starters
Make Small Talks (Have enough Knowledge to do so)
Appreciate and Complement wherever appropriate
Display Empathy

To make impactful Conversations...

Never ever poke fun at the client. This usually could happen after a long sustained relationship with a customer after a certain amount of comfort is created between both the parties.

Never crack jokes about a certain caste or community

b. Humour


Things to Avoid

Eye Contact
Using Fillers like - Hmmm, OK, Yes
Appropriate Facial Expression

How should you listen well?

It is the best source to get information about the client and his requirements
It makes the customer FEEL that you are sincere & taking him and his needs seriously
Effective listening will help in serving him better by:
Catering to his needs
Gauging topics for small talks
Asking more relevant questions to understand him and his needs better
Re-confirming your understanding of the conversation

Listening is important because


Asking Questions

Know the company:
Through the company website
Through a google search on the latest news about the company
Also for known clients, keep a tab on the current highlights of the organization on Economic Times, Business Today, etc...

You may get details that will not only raise your awareness about the company but also help you in using those details for small talks with the client.

How should you prepare for a meeting?

Why is preparation important before a meeting?


Being Prepared for the Meeting

Lastly, while doing small talks with a client always be conscious of the way you compliment or appreciate him
The appreciation should always be genuine, subtle and toned down for the best impact.
A fake appreciation has higher probability of coming across as flattery that can put the client on the back foot.

Tip 4

Also, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that while doing small talks with a client; you fiercely listen, register and retain the bits of information that he shares with you.

This will teach you what is important to the person.

Also these threads will help you in your subsequent conversations with him.

For e.g.
If in a conversation the client has happened to mention that he loves cricket, then the next time you meet him and a few matches have happened in this period; this could a topic for small talks

Tip 2

A customer not entertaining small talks could not necessarily be stuck up as a person. He could:
Be in a foul mood due to personal reasons
Take a little longer to warm up to you
He may be in the rush of getting the work done


People who don’t show inclination to do informal chat but like to stick to business. For e.g.
People who cut you short when you start topics out of the business context
People who seem in a rush to get somewhere
People who don’t seem in the right mood
People who seem reserved and display a lack of interest to chat out of work context

Smalls talks should not be done with...

People who show inclination to do informal chat with you. You could figure this through the cues that they display. For e.g.
Offering you a cup of coffee; displaying no rush
Starting conversational topics to involve your opinion
People who seem chatty and would like exhibiting their opinion

Smalls talks should be done with...

Whom should you make small talks with?


Conversational Skills

Say please and thank you
Know the Names
Observe the Elevator Rule
Focus on the Face, Not the Screen
Ask before you borrow
Be sensitive to other’s need for privacy
Refrain from being loud

e. Other Important Etiquette

If you have an attachment, mention it in your
email body. Preferably in the first line.

Appropriate Naming of Attachment

Short Signature

The signature to your email needs to have your full name, contact numbers, (mobile and landline) organization/ branch address and company website address

Salutations, Greetings & Signing off Contd..

For your client mails, always have a greeting after the salutation. You could use words like:
Greetings for the day!
It was a pleasure speaking with you yesterday

Salutations, Greetings & Signing off Contd..

If it’s a Senior Professional stick to Dear Mr. Last Name

For a Senior professional use ‘Dear’ followed by his last name. E.g. Dear Mr. Shah
For a client who has permitted you to use his first name use ‘Dear’ followed by his / her first name. E.g. Dear Aditi

v. Salutations, Greetings & Signing off

Do not use fancy, child like bullets.
Stick to the standard bullets.

Bullets Well Used

GOOD BUSINESS FONTS : Tahoma, Arial, Georgia
FONT SIZE : 10-12 Points

For Business Emails, please stick to your company font.
If not, please select a pleasant looking, legible font.
Ensure that the font is widely used on all computers.
Do not use multiple fonts & colors in the same email.

Better Subject Line

Subject Spelt Wrongly

Inappropriate Subject

No Subject. No Body

The subject should reflect the summary of the email. Ideally needs to be short but in order to meaningful can be as long as a sentence
Never send a mail:
With a blank subject line
Meaningless subject line- e.g.: hi, Hello, etc.

ii. Subject


Email Etiquette

Don’t get too friendly too soon
Maintain a one and half arm worth distance with the client
Do not touch the client beyond a handshake

General Meeting Etiquette

Always do a thorough preparation about the client before the meeting
Once in the meeting premises (client’s home/ office) do not speak loudly. Also be aware of your behaviour, body language and mannerisms
Remember to carry all the documents and the supporting for the meeting
Wait the client to first sit. Seek permission to sit

General Meeting Etiquette

For a client meeting; do not arrive on time but be there 10 minutes BEFORE TIME
This will ensure that you have the time to settle down, get familiar with the setting and are mentally prepared for the meeting
If you think that you are bound to get late for the meeting; ensure that you call up the client and update him so that he doesn’t keep waiting for you.

4. General Meeting Etiquette

Accepting a Business Card – with both hands

Thank the client while receiving a card from him

Ensure that you give an impression of reading it.

This will not only elaborate on the person and his profile but also give you the opportunity to comment on anything interesting about the card.

Accepting a Business Card

Give your Business Card with your right hand

Before entering for a client meeting keep your cards ready
Give your business card in a relaxed way, holding it with both your hands or your right hand
Never distribute your business card as if you are dealing playing cards

Giving your Business Card

Always carry extra business cards with you- you never know where you may be required to share them
A business card is a representation of who you are so be sure that the card is in pristine condition before you hand it over.

3. Exchanging Business Cards Etiquette

iii) Handshake using both Hands

i) Limp Handshake

Types of handshakes to avoid...

Slide your hand into the other person's so that each person's web of skin between thumb and forefingers touches the other's
squeeze firmly.

Is very culture specific

If the client is conservative; you should restrict yourself to a verbal introduction and or a ‘Namaste’

2. Handshake Etiquette

Persons of lesser authority are introduced to persons of greater authority. Gender plays no role in the order of introductions in professional scenarios.


Always introduce:
Younger people to older people
Junior ranking professionals to senior ranking professionals
Business contacts, boss and staff to clients
Personal acquaintances and family members to business professionals when attending a business function

Introduction Etiquette if multiple people are present

Always be confident in the way you introduce yourself to the client and minimise the fillers. Introduce yourself with your name, designation and organization.
Hello Ma’am, I am Ashwini Khanna; RM from HDFC Bank. It’s a pleasure to meet you

1. Introduction Etiquette

Ask if the customer’s requirement has been met
Ask if you can help in any other manner
e.g. Ma’am is there anything else that I can do for you?
Thank him for the opportunity to serve him
Don’t bang the phone on him but put it down gently

Alls well that ends well!!

Write a message, even if the client indicates he/ she will call back

While noting down the message include the client’s name, contact details, time and date

Write legibly

Taking Messages

Placing Calls on Hold

Always press the hold/ mute button whenever you plan on keeping the client on hold.

Always, ask for permission before placing a caller on hold

While placing a call, ask the caller if it is a convenient time to talk. Only if he agrees go on...

Do not needlessly transfer the caller around. It is important to show empathy to the customer.

Etiquette during the Call...

Ensure that you have a note pad to note down key points of the call. This will help in reconfirming and summarizing the discussion

Etiquette during the Call...

Always store the numbers of your customers on your mobile phones. That way, whenever they call, answer by greeting them with their names, making them feel prestigious.
- E.g. Good morning Mr. Sharma, how can I help you today?

Etiquette during the Call...

Address the person with the right title : Mr./Miss/ Mrs. or Sir/ Ma’am
Especially with a lady always be sure of her marital status. If you are unsure; use the safe title Ms./ Ma’am
Don’t call the customers by their first names until they have asked you to do so since it could display overfriendliness

Etiquette during the Call...


1 Dissatisfied customer can take away your 10 potential customers...!!!

Promotes Positive Atmosphere
Reflects Confidence
Prevents Misunderstandings
It builds impactful positive impressions
It builds strong relationships which is crucial for professional development

Good Business Etiquette is essential because...

The etiquette of business is the set of written and unwritten rules of conduct that make social interactions run more smoothly.

Business Etiquette


How should you make your tone of voice more effective???

The tone that you use while communicating will largely convey the meaning of message; more than the words themselves.

Hence, it is vital that you lay as much focus on maintaining the right tone while communicating as you intend the recipient to understand.


Personal Spaces

a) Body Language

If the words "Go away!" are said with a play display of gestures and a positive vocal tone (even though the meaning itself is negative), the listener will likely interpret the experience as a whole as positive.

If the words “Good Morning, How may I help you” are said with a stiff body language & without any emotions attached (even though the meaning is positive), the listener is likely to interpret the experience as negative

For Example...

  For effective and meaningful communication about emotions, these three parts of the message need to support each other - they have to be "congruent“

Else majority of the times;  people will respond and believe your body language and voice tone over the words they hear.

The understanding of how to convey (when speaking) and interpret meaning (when listening)  will always be essential for effective communication, management and relationships. 

Can be allowed on grounds of medical /religious reasons, only on approval by immediate superior.


Simple, basic daywear make-up (preferably eye-liner, a light foundation (optional) and lipstick or lip gloss).
Perfume/deodorant is recommended.


vi. Make Up and Perfume

Bright flashy colored shoes or sandals

Excessively High Heels

Rubber Slippers

Leather sandals or sandals of similar material
Closed shoes
Shoes must be well coordinated with clothes


v. Footwear


Body Piercing

Body piercing, other than ears and nose
Heavy jewellery, noisy bangles, noisy anklets, etc.
Fashion tattoos


Simple, conservative and elegant


iv. Ornaments

Nail Art

Chipped nail colour

Nail polish with nail art or designs
Chipped nail polish


Well manicured /neatly cut, shaped and clean
Should not be excessively long
Light colored nail polish / base coat


iii. Nails

Hair accessories

Should be simple, clean and well cut
Should be neatly combed in place, at all times
Long hair may be tied in a bun or a plait

Stick to neutral colours like black, brown, cream, beige, white
Avoid loud colours like red, yellow, orange, pink, purple etc. Since they look very casual


Belts to Avoid

What not to wear - Coloured Pants

T-shirts unless worn under another blouse, shirt or suit.
Tight fitting slacks or pants including jeans, track / exercise pants, shorts, bermudas, dungarees, leggings and lycra tights
Tank tops, sweat shorts, midriff tops, shirts and T-shirts with offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons or slogans, halter tops, strap tops and mini-skirts, sun dresses, beach dresses, strap dresses / skirts with slits above the knee level.
Indecent (plunging necklines) or garish sari blouses
Clothes of transparent / see- through material
 Avoid faddish clothes and bright gaudy colours

Unacceptable Clothing

Stick to pastel or self coloured shirts like white, black, baby pinks etc or shirts with thin vertical stripes
Cotton and satin shirts both look equally formal over trousers and skirts
Avoid bold prints, checker patterns or loud designs
Wear collared shirts. Shirts with a plunging neckline are a complete No-No


Western Formals

Better Choice

Should be well draped and pinned neatly in place.
Stick to the Indian way of draping and avoid the Gujarati or Bengali way.

Avoid bold and flashy colors which hit the eye like florescent green, hot pink, etc…

Avoid Chiffon, Crepe, Georgette, etc… which are transparent and therefore do not look professional.
Also avoid wearing saris with heavy work, heavy pallu or heavy borders. This will make you look over dressed for work

Sari blouses
Should be modest with high necklines and the length not less than one inch above the navel.
Should have sleeves

a. Saris

Indian Formals

i. Attire

Make up
Perfume / Deodorant

HDFC Grooming Standards for Women

Overall Cleanliness
Make up

Components of Business Grooming

This means, they will have formed an opinion of you (positive or negative) on the basis of your appearance and dressing sense.
Understand that...

You need to know what looks best on you and shop accordingly.

Grooming well doesn’t always mean buying branded clothes, footwear and costly accessories.

Hence, unlike what most people think, grooming well can be very inexpensive.

Myth Busted...


And.... Her?



People form perceptions on the basis on how well a professional is groomed and carries himself
Thus your appearance constantly influences the opinions that customers, colleagues, vendors and other professionals have about you
Grooming well at Workplace is Important because...
Does Grooming Impact your Image???
You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset. 

Tom Hopkins 
Business Grooming
Communicating with Impact
Business Etiquette
Conversational Skills
Topics to be Covered

For smoother conversations, it is the best to have enough information or knowledge on the subjects that you would want to do small talks on with the client.
This will help in establishing a great connect with him.

Tip 3

It is important to be able to gauge which clients are interested in doing small talks. This is highly dependent on the person, the situation and his comfort levels with you

The usual things people like talking about is things that they are interested in or that are important to them like; children, profession, hobbies, etc...

Tip 1

Never force a customer to do small talks. Not only will you have annoyed him but this could also lead to strained business relationships. Always take the hint!

Smalls talks should not be done with...


For small talks to be effective; one needs to be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.
If it is not heartfelt; it could appear fake.

Remember people can easily identify if you’re really interested or are doing it forcefully.

Out-of-business chats that you have at the start, during or end of a conversation which help in building a connect with the other person.

As the word wrongly suggests, small talks need not be always be short/ small conversations.

Small Talks are...

Small Talks
Better Preparation for the Meeting
Asking Questions
Effective Listening
Things to avoid

Core of Conversational Skills


Table Etiquette

Email being sent by mistake.

Learn to compress attachments. If you have to send something heavy, check with the recipient.

Do not send Heavy attachments.
People HATE their mail box being blocked.

Inappropriate Naming of Attachment

Use Spell Check always. The computer will help you if you help yourself.
its & it’s | their & there & they ‘re | your & you’re

vi. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation

Long Signature

Slightly informal mail with a professional touch

Terrible Email

Using Sub Bullets

In order to structure data; use bullets

iv. Bullets and Numbering

For business emails stick to company’s standard font type and size
Be consistent with the font through the mail

iii. Font

Great Subject Line

No Subject at all


Keep your emails short, concise and clear

While leaving:
Thank and appreciate the client for his time and inputs.
Ask him if there is anything else you could do for him

General Meeting Etiquette

Always carry a note pad and a pen for the meeting
Let the client know in advance that you will be making notes through the meeting
While making notes, maintain a good eye contact with the client. If there are more than 1 person, make a good eye contact with all of them; most with the decision maker

General Meeting Etiquette

Before entering the meeting; keep your phone on silent mode (not vibration mode)
Do not fiddle with your mobile – check messages, reply to messages during the client conversation
If you must make / attend important calls; seek the client’s permission before you do so

General Meeting Etiquette

Place the card on the table in front of you through the meeting. For professionals who are poor at remembering client names; the card can serve as an instant reckoner

Once you accept the card keep it in a planner, notebook or business card case. Never place the card in a wallet that will be put in your back pocket

Accepting a Business Card

Incorrect way of giving your card

Give your Business Card with both your hands

Ensure that your business cards are in good condition – not dog eared, torn or with creases / stains
Avoid handing more than one card to a client. Treat your card as a brand and not a flier

3. Exchanging Business Cards Etiquette

iv) Overpowering Handshake

ii) Bone-crusher Handshake

Shake hands with a woman firmly but gently. A weak handshake may be unimpressive while a strong handshake may unnecessarily talk macho.

Handshake for her


A good handshake displays...

Before extending your hand, introduce yourself
Pump your hand only 2-3 times
Shake from your elbow; not from your shoulder
Never shake a sweaty hand

Handshake Etiquette

If the client hasn’t mentioned, ensure that you know the right way of pronouncing a client’s name else politely ask him
RM: Could you please pronounce your last name for me?
Client: Though it is spelt at Sean; it is pronounced as Shawn

1. Introduction Etiquette

Introduction Etiquette
Handshake Etiquette
Visiting Card Exchange Etiquette
General Meeting Etiquette

Meeting Etiquette


Meeting Etiquette

Appropriate closure of phone calls is critical to customer satisfaction and his perception of YOU and the bank

Hence... Always end the call on a positive note

Did you know???

Verify the caller’s name and phone number by repeating the information

Take the complete responsibility to deliver the message promptly to the concerned person.

Taking Messages

Placing Calls on Hold

Thank the client for being on hold

Never leave a customer on hold for longer than one minute

Placing Calls on Hold

Return to the line periodically. Ask callers if they want to continue holding.

Indicate how long the delay could be

Offer to call the person back if the wait will be long

Placing Calls on Hold

If you need to keep the client on hold for over 30 seconds; tell him/her that you will call back and do so
If you must however put him on hold beyond that:

For faulty connection, network issues or background disturbance on either sides always insist on calling back.

Etiquette during the Call...

Always call back a customer as per the time committed to him.
For an incomplete task that could take longer; call the customer as per the committed time and update him on the status.

Etiquette during the Call...

Speak clearly and loud enough

Use enough fillers like hm-hmm, yes sir/ma’am etc. through the call

Show respect with simple comments and responses such as “Thank you,” “ I appreciate your help,” and “Please.”

Etiquette during the Call...

Pronounce their names correctly.
Nothing annoys a customer more than his repetitive wrongly pronounced name
If unsure ask the customer how his name is pronounced

Speak politely at all times

Etiquette during the Call...

Greet the person enthusiastically as below:
Pick up the phone within 3 rings for a landline. For a call on the mobile too; answer as soon as possible
- A smile on the face while talking translates in a warm and friendly voice
Greet the caller with orienting information and offer for assistance. Do not prolong the introduction unnecessarily
Greeting of the hour: Good morning/ afternoon/ evening
Company name: HDFC Bank
Your name: I am Benita
Offer for assistance: How may I help you?

Well Begun is half done...


Telephone Etiquette

Telephone Etiquette
Meeting Etiquette
Introduction Etiquette
Handshake Etiquette
Visiting Card Exchange Etiquette
Email Etiquette
Table Etiquette

Components of Business Etiquette


Is good Business Etiquette important?

Read aloud the below statements with emphasis on the bold word



Nonverbal Communication (Body Language)
Tone of Voice

Any Face to Face Communication involves...

First instance
Immediate supervisor should verbally point out non-compliance. To sensitize the employee a copy of code can be provided to him / her.

Second instance
Formal counseling to the employee by immediate supervisor

Third instance
Issuance of a formal Memo, by the immediate supervisor to the employee in consultation with HR & Regional Head / Functional Head.

Action for Non Compliance

Strong perfume
Gaudy or heavy make up


Athletic Shoes

Floaters and plastic/rubber slippers
Excessively high heels
Bright flashy coloured shoes or sandals
Bells or similar shoe accessories
Athletic shoes


For Western Formals

Unacceptable Nail Colours

Chipped nails

Short hair

Only on Saturdays, smart casuals are acceptable:
Full length denim trousers
Semi formal blouses and tops

Saturday Wear


Tucked out Shirts


For skinny women wear boot cut trousers that will give the impression of wider hips. Wear lighter colors like cream, light grey and beige.

Plump women should wear pencil fit trousers which go a little above the ankle to give the illusion of slimmer legs. Wear dark colors that hide the flab like black, navy blue, dark grey, etc... Use pin strip trousers to your advantage.
Short women should wear straight cut trousers which go a little below the ankle giving the image of longer legs and that adds a few inches to the hight. Wear dark colors.

It is all about the fits


Salwar Kameez

Perfume / Deodorant

HDFC Grooming Standards for Men

You may be an excellence professional; but if your appearance cannot translate it, you’ve lost half the battle.

Understand that...

99% of the people will form an impression of you on the face value that you exhibit.
Understand that...

They think grooming is not as important as other elements of business like - knowledge, skills, attitude
They do not know the ways to groom well
They are pressed for time
They are under the impression that grooming well, will cause a dent in the pocket
Most people don’t groom well. Because...

Share your experiences....

Have you judged/ misjudged people by the way they dress up or carry themselves?

And them?




Some of the sole perceptions that people can form from your appearance are...
Business Grooming
Not for HDFC Bank
Do it for your Own Good

For your Growth, Progress and Job Satisfaction
Active v/s Passive Participation

Welcome to
Interactive Workshop on Grooming & Etiquette


Sorry if you were Bored. Thank you if you think this has been of any use.

Never challenge or contradict the customer’s beliefs

Spiritual Gurus
Judicial Issues

a. Topics to Avoid

Arial, 13 Points

Times New Roman, 12 Points

Flowers in Hair

Faddish Hairstyles

Plaits and Buns

Longer Length hair

Prefer the below colours

Belts on a formal Attire

What not to wear

What not to wear - Dresses

What not to wear - Capris

What not to wear- In-cut Sleveless

What not to wear

Tucked In Shirts

Suits in basic colors. Preferably in black, dark brown, navy blue, beige or very light shades.

Formal shirts, formal kurtis and blazers with formal trousers or skirts. Shirts and kurtis should extend not less than the hip line.

Trousers should be of full length and skirts should reach at least 2 inches below the knee.
Suits in Basic Colours

Saris for the Corporate Look

For Indian Formals

Badly fit Indian Dresses

Kurtas to Avoid

Dupattas: Should be pinned in place or draped suitably so as not to distract or disrupt one's activities.
Side slits of the kurta should be of a reasonable length and not too high.
Salwar or Chudidaar: Should the ankles. Salwars should flair up at the feet.
Sleeves: Avoid sleeveless kurtas
Kurta Length: Your kurtas should preferably be of knee length
Color: Choose sober and subtle colors with decent patterns

Dresses to avoid

Saris to Avoid

Times New Roman, Point 13.5, Black

Arial, Point 11, Blue

Better words


I can’t open your account till you give me these documents

I am busy now, call me tomorrow Sir for more details on this matter

Please call the customer care number to solve this issue; I won’t be able to help you.

Words we used

Choice of Words

Avoid the below colours

Ask if in doubt

Phone on Silent
Non-vibrating Mode!

Have FUN, please!

Participate Actively

Listen Keenly

Gentle Reminders

Make Notes

Full transcript