The first impressions people get when they come into contact with your business are vital. They can help decide whether someone chooses to do business with your company or not. So, if those first impressions are weak, you need to think about how you can improve them.
Here’s what you need to know about making sure those first impressions are as strong as they possibly can be.
Do the Simple Things Right
It’s important not to forget the basics when you’re trying to improve the way in which your business deals with clients and customers. Sure, it is complicated, and there’s lots to remember. But that doesn’t mean you should stop doing those simple things right; they’re more important than many people realize.
This means smiling and being polite to the people you come into contact with. You wouldn’t want to lose a contract or a customer just because they think you come across as a little miserable. It’s not a good reason to lose out on something that could help your business. Train all your employees to speak to customers and clients in a positive and polite manner, remaining confident too.
Dress Codes are Important in the Office
The way you and your employees dress says a lot about your business and what kind of image it wants to project. If you want to project a professional and reassuring kind of image, as most businesses do, you will need to make sure your dress code matches this. A dress code should be a simple set of rules offering guidance to employees.
This is not something that is vital for all businesses. But if your employees will be seen by the public and by clients, it is very important indeed. The rules don’t have to be too complicated or over the top. You just want a level of consistency so that everyone looks presentable.
Make it Clear You Know What You’re Talking About
It’s not all about appearances though. You also need to demonstrate your business’s reliability by proving to customers that you know what you’re talking about. So, if they ask you a question, make sure you have an answer that you can give them. Why would they do business with you if it seems like you have no idea what you’re talking about?
This is something that has to be extended throughout the business. It’s no good only having one or two people who know what they’re talking about if you have a few down employees. Anyone who comes into contact with the people you’re trying to impress should have the right level of knowledge.
But Don’t Alienate a Customer or Client with Jargon
Showing people that you know what you’re talking about is not always easy though. It can often be tempting to show off with industry jargon that means nothing to ordinary people. This is not the kind of approach you want to take though. This simply serves to alienate people. Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid by not understanding what is being said to them.
It’s all about finding a way to make what you’re saying understandable to a novice while also showing that you know what you’re talking about. It’s not an easy balance to get right, but it can be done if you make the effort to find the right approach. Try out your pitch to people you know and get their feedback.
Practice Verbal Communication
You will also need to practice verbal communication exercises with your employees. They need to have the confidence to talk to customers and clients and show the company in a positive light as they do so. To do this, they need to learn and practice in a safe area where they’re free to make mistakes while they learn.
You could set up an internal group session where you all discuss the best ways to talk to your customers and practice those interactions. Only practice will help them to get to the point where they can communicate with clients and customers in an effective manner. Role-playing exercises, where one person is the customer, and the other is the employees, can be very useful.
Make Sure the First Glimpse People Get of Your Premises is Good
When someone first arrives at your business and looks at it, they instantly form a reaction. They might think it looks great and want to step inside. This is exactly the kind of reaction you should be looking for. But if your premises looks poor and shoddy, the potential client will instantly form a bad first impression. And that is not what your business wants.
You need to focus on making the premises look presentable to everyone who arrives and sees it. It could be as simple as cleaning up the building, putting up a new sign and giving it a fresh lick of paint. Or you could give it a bigger makeover by adding a new car park and landscaping the lawn outside the main office building.
Redecorate the Office
Once you have made the office look good from the outside, you must make sure that the inside gives the same impression. It’s no use creating a perfect first impression with the exterior if that all evaporates the moment the customer steps inside the office. First impression are important; but second impressions are important too!
You should think about redecorating it if you haven’t done for a long time. Office fashions tend to go out of date very quickly. And you don’t want your workplace to look like it’s stuck in the past because that won’t win over any clients or customers. Redecorating doesn’t have to expensive either. You can do a lot with some paint and a rearrangement of the furniture.
Get Up to Date
You need to be up to speed with all the latest industry developments if you want to impress clients. They want to see that your company is one that is looking to future and not stuck in the past. So, you need to make your business modern and forward-thinking if you want it to succeed and grow.
Think about how you can use new technologies to push your business in new directions. This is the best way to show people that you really want to look to the future and innovate. That technology might also help to speed up your business and make your whole framework more efficient.
Consider Your Digital First Impressions Too
The real world is only part of what you need to think about. As you should be fully aware of by now, a large part of your business’s focus should be on the internet and digital world. This is where you can make new connections with customers that could turn out to be really long-lasting.
You need your website to look professional and interesting if you want people to buy from your online store. If your website has not been improved for years, it might be time to hire a developer. A WordPress development expert could easily create a website for you that will be both modern and functional.
Seek Out New People on LinkedIn
You can impress new clients by creating a good first impression on the internet in other ways too. LinkedIn is one of the best networks for people who run small businesses. It’s a great chance to meet people who might be able to help you. You can meet investors or fellow entrepreneurs who you can partner up with.
These are the kinds of people who you should definitely be seeking out on social media sites, and LinkedIn is the best of them all. It’s a great way to stay in touch with the kinds of people who might be able to help your business to progress in the future.
Impress at Trade Shows
Trade shows act as great ways to impress people who have never even heard of your business before. They offer a unique environment that is not always easy to manoeuvre. You need to plan out a strategy to present your business and products to the people attending the trade show.
You have to be able to catch people’s attention and show them that you have something to offer. You don’t have time to deliver a long pitch, so you have to be short and snappy if you want to clinch a sale. It’s a great arena in which to practice your selling skills, so give it a try soon.
Offer a Strong Narrative
Every good business needs a strong narrative to deliver to people. This narrative will show people that your business is a little different from all the rest. The narrative should show people where your business came from and describe all the problems you faced along the way. It’s a good way of making your business human.
The last thing you want is for your business to seem cold and distant. But that’s what will happen if you don’t have this unique story to give to potential clients and customers. You can outline this narrative on the company’s website, so anyone can see it and read it.