We all know that first impressions count. This is something that we are told from a very young age. Even as children, we know that those first few minutes with someone could end up defining our relationship. You might think that this is restricted to your personal relationships and connections, but first impressions are also extremely important in the business world as well. A good impression on your client could help you seal the deal and ensure that they sign with you and your company, and not one of your competitors.
But once you have your very own company, you need to be continually focusing on your first impressions. After all, your business will always be in the spotlight so people will continually be exposed to it. You can’t simply show off your best side whenever you have a meeting with a potential new client!
So, as you can see, your business first impressions are one of the most important aspects of your clients. Do you think that yours could do with some improvement? Here are some great ideas on how you can shape and improve your business’s first impressions.
Have A Professional Wardrobe
People will make their first impression of you and your employees within seconds. You won’t get much chance to wow them with your words so you need to try and wow people with your clothes. Because of this, it really is worth investing in your clothes and building a professional wardrobe. It’s also necessary to bring a formal dress code to the office so that all of your employees are just as smart as you. That way, there will be no weak link in your whole team of staff. Of course, your company might not suit a completely formal dress code. For instance, many startups choose to go with a smart casual dress code for their employees. If you choose to go down this route, you might like to bring in some guidelines to help all of your employees decide what is fitting for the office. For example, many companies that employ a smart-casual dress code often tell their employees not to wear anything too informal, such as sneakers and tops with spaghetti straps.
If you run a company which will have customers and clients on site regularly, then you need to train your staff so that they are able to offer fantastic customer service at all times. You can’t afford anyone slipping up as that could result in one of your customers posting a very negative review online, which could be quite off putting to potential new customers and clients. If you think that your staff could do with a bit of improvement with their customer service skills, you can always offer them some extra training. It’s possible to give this kind of training yourself, as you won’t need to go into too much depth on the subject. Alternatively, it’s worth thinking about hiring a specialist customer-service training specialist who you can outsource this to. That way, you won’t lose too much of your own time, and you can be happy knowing that your employees are getting all the knowledge and skills that they need to deliver the best possible customer service to all your clients.
Keep A Neat Office
Not only do you need to ensure that you and your staff are all well-dressed and on your best behavior, you should also try and maintain a neat and tidy office space. Clutter can be very off putting and it also gives off quite a bad impression. Just think about it – if you aren’t able to keep your work space clean and in order, how will you be at managing all of your various jobs and projects! That will be just one of the many negative thoughts running through your clients’ minds when they visit you and find your office in disarray. So, you need to try and keep on top of any mess and clutter that starts to develop. Ideally, you and your employees should each ensure that your own personal work space is tidy at the end of each day. That way, you aren’t faced with a mess when you return to the office in the morning and aren’t too distracted by trying to get things clean again. It’s also necessary to hire some professional cleaners to come into your office and clean it on a daily basis. If you rent your office space out, then the building management might provide cleaners as part of your rent. If not, you should be able to find a local company to come and clean your space for you. Most cleaners will come in the evenings once all of your staff have left, but some will prefer to come early in the mornings to get the office ready for your arrival. If you have a preference when you would prefer your office to be cleaned, you should speak to your chosen company to make sure they can accommodate you.
Don’t Forget Your Office’s Exteriors
Strangely, many entrepreneurs and business owners take good care of their office interiors but completely ignore and neglect the outside and exterior of the building. It’s important that you take good care of the outside area, though, as this will be the first part of your office that any customers and clients see. Even if you rent your office and the building management are meant to take care of the exteriors, you might need to carry out a bit of work just to make sure it is up to your standards. You might want to get a pressure washer so that you can keep the exterior of the building as clean as possible at all times. If your clients turn up and see a dirty and stained building, they may not want to venture inside! It’s also a nice idea to maintain any flower beds and grassy areas on the office’s property as they can give off a very welcoming and pleasant first impression to visitors.
Watch Your Social Media Platforms
Of course, first impressions can now happen when we aren’t even present. That’s all because of tech and social media. Now that many businesses have Facebook, Twitter, and all manner of other social media platforms, there are many customers and clients who will make their first impressions of your business based solely on your posts and updates. Because of this, it’s important that your whole social media team know that they need to be highly professional with everything that they publish online. It’s not just their posts and updates that will help to form people’s impressions of you – the way they interact with followers and reply to comments will also reflect who you are as a company as well. No matter what the public throw at them, even if they are sent some very nasty messages or tweets, they should always be professional in their replies and never overreact.
Always Be Prompt
In the world of business, being prompt will certainly take you far. After all, no one wants to be left waiting for you at a meeting! So, make sure you work on your time-keeping skills if you currently struggle with them. Turning up on time is a mark of respect for who you are meeting, and they will really appreciate you doing so.
Don’t Use Phones In Meetings
Another really important tip that you need to take with you to all your meetings is that you should never use your phone. When you are taking part in a meeting or conference, you should always give the speaker and those around you your full attention. If you are constantly distracted by your phone and checking your messages, you will come across as very disrespectful, and that won’t reflect well on your whole company and work. In fact, some clients might find it so off-putting that they cancel their contract with you, or they refuse to renew it once it comes to an end.
If you are constantly sour-faced and a pessimistic, you will find that no one wants to do business with you. That’s because this poor attitude won’t reflect well on your company, and it could really sour people’s first impressions of you. So, if at all possible, you need to make sure that you are always positive. You should be positive about yourself, your company, and your work. This will really help all of your clients believe in you and trust your company. And your positivity should rub off onto your employees, which will help to create a really great working environment for everyone in your business. It will also rub off onto your clients, and you might find that they speak in very high regard of your company, which will help you get more and more clients through word of mouth. So, remember – the glass is always half full!
Hopefully, following all of the above tips and pieces of advice will really help you make the best possible first impressions!