It has been said that it is important to always make a good first impression and you only get one chance to do that. After that opportunity passes, you will play catch-up in having your clients believe in you. You only rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression so you have to make the best of the opportunity.
In business, the first impression begins with the first contact a potential client has with you. Whether it is on the telephone or in-person, the first time a client has any type of dealings with your company can help him for an instant opinion. Unfortunately, for many business owners, they are not the ones holding the key to the first meeting. It could be hindered by the receptionist who answers the phone or the maintenance man who is supposed to keep the front sidewalk clear of litter.
If they are not all on the same page in making your new clients feel welcome, you are fast approaching the point of being too late to make that good first impression. Even if the prospective new client gets into the office with no trouble for the first meeting, do not keep them waiting. While five minutes may not seem like a long time, but it could give the opinion that you do not think that person is important to your business. If they feel they do not matter to you, they will not believe you matter to them.
It does not matter what industry you are in or what type of work you do, there are many others that can provide the same service or product. The new client wants to be comfortable knowing that you are going to say what you will do and then do what you say. If you make the client feel uncomfortable or make them wait, they will probably seek another place to park their business.
If the new client feels good about doing business with your company and strikes a deal, that is only the beginning. That first impression can be ruined by bad follow up and not delivering on your promise. If you can do everything right, that first impression can translate into the best advertising you can hope for – word of mouth. It is a commonly accepted theory that if you make one client happy they will tell five others.
If you do not treat them right they will tell two of their friends, who will tell two of their friends, and so on, until business quits coming to you. There is no shame in doing what is right for the customer. After all, if the clients quit coming to your door, you may as well lock and stay at home.