A bad first impression will lose you more business than any other factor!
Despite this – business owners spend almost no time time cultivating a great first encounter with their customers.
I don’t mean a personal impression here – eye-contact, firm-handshake, punctuality etc… – rather, the far more important impression people have of your brand when they are first introduced to it.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”
– Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon
In an online world, people are constantly forming opinions about your brand and deciding whether to spend their money with you. It happens while you are busy working with another client, while you are on holiday and while you are sleeping.
These people, ‘potential clients’, are making judgements based on factors you may have put very little thought into, which is very dangerous thought.
In fact, every single touch-point you have with a potential customer, will contribute to their opinion of you and help them decide whether they trust you and whether you are the right fit for them and their needs.
Spending time perfecting these touch points and refining the experience your audience has can transform a business.
What is your brand saying about you behind your back?
It takes just seven seconds for someone to form an opinion about your brand. It is now harder than ever, thanks to the multiple touch-points available online, to establish when those seven seconds are going to happen and where they are being formed.
You can’t leave any stone unturned.
Complete the following exercise to plug any gaps that may have been overlooked in your business and ensure every first impress is crafted to perfection. You’ll find it will make a big difference:
1) Write down all the places a potential customer could encounter your brand.
Your list should be at least 15 items long. If you really think about it, it could be much longer. Here’s some to get you started:
- Business card
- Print material / leaflet
- Website (primarily your landing page but review every single page)
- Email signature
- Voicemail message
- Company van/car (if branded)
- Office/gym/meeting room
- Social media content
2) Ask yourself the following two questions about each of the items on your list.
a) If I was to look at this objectively through the eyes of my potential customer – what impression do they make about my brand?
- Is my voicemail warm, welcoming and enticing to leave a message?
- Is my uniform ironed, unfaded and still looking new?
- Is the branded company van clean without any damage or rusting?
- Does my website look professional? Can people find all the information they need quickly and easily?
- Do the links on my email signature send people to useful information
b) What change could I make that would improve the perception this item creates about my brand?
3) GET TO WORK!
Prioritise the changes you have identified by answering these questions– starting with the one that receives most exposure and reaches the most people. Now get to work implementing!
Any time crafting a killer first impression is time well spent.
Run the above audit regularly, do it thoroughly and do it well. You won’t regret it!