First impressions are critical to your success in business. This is not more true than when the economy is in a state of flux as it is now.
A favourable first impression helps your brand establish trust with prospects and makes it more likely that someone will call and inquire about your product and/or services. A negative first impression, on the other hand, ensures fewer calls and is more likely to spread.
Many put a great deal of care and effort into first encounters. But here’s a secret few people know about first impressions. First impressions do not necessarily happen on the first encounter. It is far more likely that people will encounter your brand up to 7 times before a first impression actually registers. Someone may have seen your ads or vehicles driving around town for weeks but is suddenly impressed by a conversation with one of your employees. Perhaps you’ve given someone your card or brochure but their first impression of your company is based on their visit to your website.
You really don’t know when this impression will be made or what or whom will make it. Which is why it’s so important to manage your brand identity and reputation across multiple “touchpoints” and ensure every person and position on your team is making the right impression in all their encounters.
Our friend, Jeffrey Scott, recently shared Ten Ways to Make a First Impression. He’s allowed us to share some of his ideas with you here. Enjoy!
There is more than one way to make a first impression. With the economy in a state of flux, I am advising all landscape professionals to re-energize their customer service focus, and ensure they are not taking clients nor prospects for granted. In the past you could write your proposal on a napkin and get the client to say yes. It’s now time to assess and upgrade your approach to selling, branding, and first impressions.
Checklist: 10 Ways To Make Better Impressions And Separate Yourself From The Competition
Update your website and branding, with current people, blog posts, and inspiring photos. Use the "story brand" concept to ensure it's client focused. If your site is 2-3 years old, it may also be outdated regarding the newest technology (chat features, auto pay, etc.).
Enforce your uniform branding and look (including hats your people wear). Instill pride in your company look; and make sure it is not old fashioned!
Answer phones by people who are trained to be polished, pleasant and customer focused. Answer with a live voice even if you outsource it, and set up appointments timely to qualify the prospect.
Keep truck's clean, neat-looking, branded and in good repair. If I peeked into your trucks cabs and back, would they look tidy?
Show up to appointments on time, by aiming to be 5 minutes early. This means schedule enough time between appointments, which means qualify them carefully first.
For the rest of Jeffrey’s ideas visit his blog here.