Part 1 in a mini-series on attracting the right clients
We have all heard the expression “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression”. People will unconsciously make judgements about us in the first few seconds of meeting, even before the logical part of their brain has time to kick in.
“Perception is reality”, and how people perceive us and our business will potentially affect the business we conduct, or possibly not conduct, with them. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to overcome a negative first impression.
This is why, if you want to attract the right type of clients for your business, you need to ensure you make the right first impression.
So how can we make sure we optimise the first impressions we make on others?
Start by looking at yourself from their perspective and check these three simple scenarios.
How do you look as you approach them?
- Does your business image require a highly professional appearance where a suit and tie would be appropriate for the type of client you are looking for or is a more casual look ok?
- Before you go anywhere ask yourself what is appropriate for the room? Turning up in jeans and t-shirt to a formal black-tie Chamber event might not be the best idea, but turning up in black tie formal wear for a network breakfast meeting maybe a little over the top.
How do you look and smell when standing next to them?
- Do you look tired, dishevelled, unshaven, have too much or inappropriate makeup?
- What about nonverbal cues like posture, facial expressions (remember to smile), hand gestures, crossed arms?
- Do you have a positive and cheerful attitude?
- Do you look at them directly in the eye and show that you are interested in what they are saying?
- Does your breath smell?
- Do you smell?
What is the first thing you say and do?
- Is your introduction informative, short and to the point?
- Do you ask open questions to stimulate conversation?
- Are you actually listening or are you too busy thinking of what to say next, or worse, hogging the conversation?
- If you ask for a business card do you treat it respectfully or just shove it into a random pocket ready to be forgotten?
- Does your business card reflect the image for you and your business brand?
If people do not perceive you as being right for them they will not be inclined to build that all-important relationship with you, either as a client or to refer you to others. This is why it is so important to spend the time ensuring you present the best first impression and a subsequent consistent image that reflects your brand. Getting this correct will attract the clients you want for your business and lead to greater success.
So, what happens next?
After the first meeting there is a good chance the person you have met will look at the following:
- business card
- Company website
- Social media and LinkedIn profile
- Marketing material
If this does not match the initial professional impression that you worked so hard to give them then it will reflect negatively on you. Remember, the first impression is based on a subconscious decision, now the logical brain will be active and is looking for evidence to back up this initial judgement.
You now need to ensure your branding is consistent and backs up the way people perceive you and what you can do for them.
Simon Cox from The Appleyard has provided more information in Part 2 – Business branding: cuts like lightning or a millstone around your neck.
Michelle Spaul from Delta Swan has provided more information in Part 3: - Clarity and consistency attract and keep customers
If you want to learn more about referral marketing, attracting the right clients or setting up the visual identity of your business for success, get in touch with Peter or Simon to chat further.
Peter Gregory – 07548 250957 firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Cox – 07427 100381 email@example.com
Read another article - Having the right people around you is invaluable