When it comes to business, marketing and sales, you really have only one time to make a good first impression. However, there is absolutely no reason you cannot make a good impression time and time again. By repeatedly shining, you cement your client relationship (new or existing) and repeat business will come your way.
Let’s see how you can show your business brilliance – repeatedly:
1. Be quick off the mark
When it comes to response time from an enquiry, you need to have a business which is ‘on the ball’. Your systems and processes should mean that almost as soon as an enquiry comes in (phone, email, social or app) you respond straight away.
I myself might be on a coaching call with a business client, however, my phone has setup quick texts so I can send the call to message bank with a text saying “Thanks for calling. Sorry I’m on another call – can I call you back in about ½ hour?” This does three things.
Firstly, the caller knows I’m aware of them. Secondly, they feel like I actually care about their enquiry, and thirdly, they don’t need to keep calling around (my competitors) because I’ve said I’ll get back to them.
2. Keep promises
I’m a big one on this. If you make a promise, be sure to keep it.
If your memory isn’t 110% then write it down immediately. You might use a notes App or simply send a quick email to yourself to action something. Prospective new clients (and existing clients) get disappointed when you promise one thing, but don’t follow through.
You do yourself no favours as it leaves a sour taste in people’s mouth. However, when you do follow through and action a favour, promise or request, then people are impressed and you’re showing a little of that business brilliance.
3. Perception is everything
Perception comes about from a number of ways. It’s how we are perceived by others – which might come from our online profile, how we present, what we say, how we say it and many other aspects. For example, in Australia, if your business sells less than $75K you have the option to not register for GST.
To me, if I see a business is not GST registered, it immediately tells me they are small. If you want to be perceived as a bit larger, then you want to register for GST. You may also have a few different business emails, including support@, admin@, sales@, finance@, as well, of course, your name@.
4. Don’t be too available
Another part of perception is your availability. Remember back at the beginning of this article I said to be prompt and efficient. That is one thing. Being too available has a counter effect. Think about your medical specialist. Getting to see your specialist often means waiting months.
In fact, if they have a cancellation and you get the opportunity to get in earlier, you jump at it and rejig your schedule to make it happen. Many think, the longer the wait the better they must be. I’m not saying make clients or prospects wait months, but if someone says “can I see you in an hour?” your response should be (even if you are free) “I’d love to, but I’ve already got a couple of appointments today. I can see you the day after tomorrow at 2pm or Friday at 9am. You’re being available but not immediately too available.
It’s about a balance. Remember if you are too available, people will wonder why you’re not busy and what’s wrong with your service. However, too hard to too far off and people will go elsewhere. It truly is about finding balance.
5. Turn up and turn up prepared
Whether you are going to a networking event or you are attending a sales meeting, be prepared, be presentable and be on time.
I often go to networking events, get talking to someone and ask for their business card. I’m not impressed with excuses like “ran out” or “left them in the office” or “my dog ate them” (ok that last one was made up, but you get my drift).
We should all turn up with our tools … even if that’s as simple as business cards. When we go to business meetings we should have done our research and Googled the business, checked out its website and looked up the business owners on LinkedIn (and ideally all).
I recently had a meeting with multiple business owners, but before that meeting I got the full names of all the owners, so I could “check them out”. Being prepared puts you in a better stead, gives you background information and stops you from making a basic blunder or asking silly questions.
6. Utilise templates
Another way to shine and show your business brilliance is to utilise templates for any repetitive tasks. Whether that’s an initial enquiry response email, onboarding email or my proposals template. I have documents, emails and templates which were created very well, good time taken to get right and then used time and time again.
This provides you with showing your business off well regardless of how busy you are. Systems which streamline your processes, allow you to be (and appear) efficient and which save you time and resources is always a win-win-win for you, your staff and your clients.
A well-organised business which is efficient, effective and which utilises technology, systems and is proactive makes for a business which will shine in the eyes of all who have contact.
Yes, you have only one chance to make a great first impression – but there is no reason you can’t make that great impression – time and time again!
Which of the tips above will you focus on improving this week?
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