First impressions always count. It all starts on face value. In the business world, competition is always on the high and this is why CEOs are always mindful of first impressions. They think about approachability, accessibility, credibility and the appearance of their business on a whole. Here is why it is so important.
The seven second window
This is how long it takes to leave a first impression on someone you meet. In this case you are meeting clients, so in a way treat it like a job interview. Exercise good eye contact because this will help you come across as attentive and interested. Smile to convey friendliness and have a good handshake. Introduce yourself in a clear voice. Listen well to your client’s needs first before proposing your sales pitch. Also be presentable in your appearance because you are an extension of your brand.
Usually you have to wait to meet your new client and this can leave you hanging out in the foyer. Keep in mind that the receptionist is always watching, so try and keep busy. Look around and learn about your client. They might be a fan of a sporting team because they have a signed poster on the wall. Keep that in mind when you make small talk. If the nerves make an appearance and your hands are sweating, you can wipe your hands on your pants when you stand up before shaking your new client’s hand.
Have a clean website
Customers these days are very tech savvy and will Google your business. So make sure your key messages are written clearly and concisely. Include bold lettering to maintain your reader’s attention and include lots of white space because you don’t want your text to be unreadable. Website readers read in a left to right motion so be sure to include your best key message on the top left hand corner of your webpage. They might also contact your staff so be sure that your receptionist is just as courteous as you appear. Having a virtual administrator is more cost effective. Some agencies provide administration as a part of a package, for example Servcorp Virtual Office.
Invest in a professional photo shoot because you need to convey professionalism in every aspect of your marketing collateral. People are not going to see professionalism if you have a blurry photo on your Facebook page and busy graphic design. Keep it simple and only post photos that convey your brand the best because photos can tell a thousand words.
Exercise an A-List attitude
The act in meeting new clients is just as important as your presentation. So be nice to everyone but not too overly sweet that it looks overdone. Be genuine when you greet your new clients and start straight away when you walk through the door. Greet the receptionist and employees you walk past. Greet everyone.
Have a good posture and don’t slouch in your chair. If nervous, try not to hold anything that you could fiddle with, such as pens. Also psychologically people like people who are like them. Mimic your client’s movements but subtly. When they cross their legs, wait a few moments then do the same while maintaining eye contact to keep the move looking natural.