The Power Of Appearance / Perception Of Success
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, you have probably read that phrase at least a few dozen times in your life. And although first impressions are very important, it is far more important that you maintain that great vibe throughout the duration of any relationship you would like to continue nurturing, whether personal or professional. You want people to perceive you and your business as reliable, professional, friendly, approachable, efficient, and valuable. All these attributes are impossible to fake.
Take your office space for example: does it convey professionalism? Do you have a place to hold a board meeting? Can you host a webinar? If you work in a coffee shop or from your home office the answer to those questions is clearly NO!
Remember that your clients and prospects will be sizing up your business from the very first contact and for the entire duration of your relationship with them. Imagine two different scenarios:
- A potential customer finds a company online through their website which hasn’t been updated since they first had it made about 3 years ago. After some navigating they find the company’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org , they then shoot them an email requesting a meeting. The company responds by suggesting they meet at the coffee shop they usually work out of. The day of the meeting comes and they are ready to amaze their new prospect with their excellent product, but it is also an unusually busy day at the coffee shop, it’s very loud and full when the client walks through the door. The customer was a bit late because the coffee shop was very hard to find. The company buys the prospect a nice cup of coffee (great customer service) and they have a nice meeting, even if everyone feels a bit overwhelmed with all the noise around.
- This same customer is of course shopping around to get the best deal so he also sets up a meeting with another company. He found this company also through their website, which seems to be up to date and is easy to navigate. The site is very informative and helpful, while also conveying a sense of in-depth knowledge of their niche. This customer needs something very specific so he easily sets up a meeting with a salesperson who invites them to their office, which is located in a well-known building. When the customer arrives he is welcomed by a friendly receptionist with impeccable presentation who directs them to where they need to go. They are then directed to a fully equipped meeting room. There are comfortable office chairs, a robust table, an lcd screen, a smart board, snacks, coffee and water, and also a very interesting brochure on the table. The meeting itself is excellent and very informative.
If both companies sell the exact same product, and their salespeople are equally great at their job, which company seems more professional, more valuable, more reliable, and more likely to get this customer’s business?
Make sure you take advantage of the power of appearance and stay in control of how people perceive your business.