The other day, I had a meeting at a business associate’s office. They are located in a regular strip mall and their signage is visible and well presented. No different than many companies in the area but when I opened the door I was surprised and impressed. The lobby area was extremely well presented; it was impeccably clean, despite the amount of people traffic coming and going. The receptionist was friendly and helpful, and you could tell that she enjoyed her job. The facilities were modern, professional and, due to the nature of the business, had a high level of security. If I was a client I’d want to do business here, I’d inherently feel that my business was going to be handled professional, competently and with respect.
In contrast, after this meeting I visited two other businesses. In the first case when I entered the business there was no one there, I couldn’t find anyone and didn’t know what to do. I wandered around the space looking for someone and finally found a person in the back that could help me. In the second case I couldn’t find the door to enter the business, there were a few signs that said use other door but where was the other door? I did eventually find “the door” around the back only to find that the business was unexpectedly closed for two days with out any explanation. I was not impressed and I’m reluctant to do business with either. In both cases I wonder how much business they lose on first impressions.
On another front, I recently visited a website of a business coach. He provided good free information through a video that I invested about 20 minutes listening to. Unfortunately the information in the video didn’t match the information on the website; particularly in the most critical part the price. The price he introduced in the video was half the price of what he was actually charging on the website. Right away he lost my trust and I wonder how many other people’s trust he has lost.
In a world of competition are you setting the right message when a prospective client or business associate walks through the door? In today internet based world many of us don’t have a physical store front but we definitely have “virtual” store fronts. Is your “virtual” store front up to date?
What is the first impression a potential customer or business associate has when they walk into your business or connect with you online (website, social Media, etc)? Have you thought about that lately? Do you monitor it?
Today, walk outside your company’s door and walk in like it is your first time. Or go to your website as if it is your first visit and sign up for your offers. How does it make you feel about the business? How can you improve things? Are you handling people “like everyone else does in your industry” or are you differentiating yourself? Does your information match? Is it current?
Remember the little thing can make all the difference between buying from your competitor or buying from you.