First Impressions

posted: Friday, November 6, 2015

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The first encounter that a potential customer has with a company begins to forge the entire series of interactions with that buyer. In today's world, the first impression that a client receives likely begins before the first buying experience. It is critical that companies show their best representations from the get-go. Searching online for the specifics of a company begins revealing to customers a myriad of information: the very nature of your business--your products, your personal ethics, the ethics of your company, your policies, your business hours, your support options, your flexibility, your pricing.

In today's market and today's busy society, there are so many options for buyers that they must begin to winnow their choices or else visit every business whose name flicks across their computer screen. It literally is information overload and the most expedient way to deal with it is to pre-qualify companies according to the specific requirement of the buyer. Internet search engines can offer generalize listings of businesses: names, addresses, phone numbers, hours; business rating sites, such as Yelp, Angie's List, the BBB offer a variety of information for potential customers, and often include reputations and recommendations. It is vital that all previous customers have great things to say about your business. As a customer, these may be helpful; as a business, they are only helpful if the people doing the ratings are fair and complimentary. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that your company's listings on the internet are complete, honest, appealing and designed to net you the very people upon whom your livelihood depends.

Once that potential customer arrives at your place of business, it is vital that your sales staff interacts with each person in a positive, professional manner consistent with the representations that are available about your business at the various sites with which you have listings.

Setting the scene for those positive encounters begins before you open your physical doors for business each day. Walking the premises with the mind-set of customers begins the process. Is your business well-maintained? Are your displays neatly arranged, complete for customer access and easily negotiated by the customer? Are you adequately staffed so that each customer is greeted cheerfully and competently by people who are well-versed in the features and benefits of their products? Does your staff possess the skills necessary to build quality business relationships with the customers who appear at the door? Are your company policies customer-friendly? Are you committed to the best service available? Now you are ready to create that very important First Impression! Once that wonderful customer begins to interact with your staff, it is absolutely essential that every effort humanly possible is made to ensure that each customer encounter meets and exceed expectations every single time! The health and life of your company is dependent upon it! Integrity, satisfaction, value and goodwill become the first impression and determine whether each customer will help your business reputation or diminish it!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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