Are you starting a new business? Here’s how to make a good first impression

Sarah Hughes

Anyone starting their own business will already know that the customer is king and are a fundamental part of your brand – they can make or break you and regardless of whether your business is consumer facing or B2B you really only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. So how do you make it count? 

In this day and age people come into contact with hundreds of brands and companies on a daily basis – all vying for their attention or trying to sell them something. So, it’s of vital importance that once you’ve identified who your target audience is to then plan how you will make first contact.

Meeting and greeting

Did you know you have just 7 seconds to make a first impression in face to face situations? *

Customers will make early decisions about you and your business at lightning speed so it is crucial to get that first impression right.

  • Put thought into your business image and your own personal presentation – Dress to impress and tailor your wardrobe to appeal to your customer base. Make sure your hair and nails are well-groomed, your posture is straight, confident and relaxed, make eye contact, smile and open with a friendly and professional greeting
  • Do your research about the customer or business you are approaching and tailor your pitch accordingly each time. Your knowledge will be appreciated and can help you to stand out
  • Personalise – Make asking for their name your first question after you have introduced yourself
  • Positive attitude – approach potential customers positively and confidently – leave any tiredness, stress, frustration or worry at the door – customers will pick up on this and it could put them off
  • Leave them with professional, informative and high-quality business and point of sale material so they can digest more in-depth information about your business and services after the meeting or interaction
  • Give them your business card or have them readily available and visible so potential customers can contact you with any questions and share with colleagues or friends. We would recommend GotPrint UK - they offer high quality, full colour offset and digital business card printing on premium paper-stocks and in various sizes.

Over the phone

  • Answer calls promptly
  • Ensure you or your employees have a professional greeting that includes a "thank you" for calling, your company's name, your name and ask a useful opening question
  • As with face to face interactions – personalisation can make a significant difference – ask them for their name and address them by it throughout your conversation
  • Think about your tone of voice – your tone rather than your words will have the biggest impact on your customers – make sure you are warm, friendly, respectful and helpful at all times
  • Ensure you call your customer back quickly if they have left a message
  • Make sure you capture all relevant information

Website and Social Media

Your website and social media page can often be the window to your business and can be one of the best marketing tools you have. It’s therefore important to make sure it reflects your business image, is appealing and informative to your target audience.

  • Make sure it’s fluent across all devices
  • Clear calls to action
  • Smooth navigation and user journey
  • Become an SEO wizard and stay up to date with changes
  • Make sure your content is fresh
  • Make sure you are capturing data and always explain to your customers why – why they should sign up to your newsletter, why they should like your Facebook page etc.
  • Check out what your competitors are doing and take on board what they do well

Supporting Business Materials

Ensuring you have high quality and informative supporting business or point of sale materials for your customers will help you to set the right tone for their whole customer experience, can be an effective and impactful way of upselling to customers and increasing their spend, help you to start building relationships, develop your brand image and give your business the edge over its competitors.

GotPrint UK provide consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses with everything from business cards to brochures or catalogues to calendars. Click here to view their range of products and decide which materials are right for your business.

*Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/only-7-seconds-to-make-first-impression-2013-4?IR=T

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.