Have you ever walked into a restaurant, business, or retail store and immediately thought: “they’ll be out of business in six months, tops”? Do you think the business owner had any clue that customers had that negative reaction? Doubtful.
We all see what we want to see; and that means that sometimes we can miss some huge, glaring issues that customers will spot immediately. Often, those same customers will choose not to work with you based on this first impression, but may never tell you the reason. And that’s where things can get scary.
Here are the 5 most important first impressions to get right. If you can nail these, we guarantee you’ll see improvement in sales and referral business.
- How does your office/store/salon/restaurant look to prospective customers?
- Is your signage visible from the street? Is it modern? Does it attract attention? Does it match your brand?
- Is your reception area welcoming? Really? What kind of impression do you make to prospects with your furniture, interior signage, magazines, brochures, etc? Do you offer coffee and water to visitors?
- Do you have a comfortable meeting and/or waiting area for visitors?
- Is your location easy to find? Is the neighborhood representative of your brand image? Ie: a high-end restaurant will likely not perform well in a downtrodden neighborhood, and vice versa. A modern, high-tech business doesn’t fit well in a strip mall space.
Printed Marketing Materials
- When is the last time you REALLY looked at your business cards? Are you cutting costs on paper & printing? Your prospects can instantly identify this, and it immediately downgrades your business.
- Is your logo eye-catching? Is it easily recognizable? Does it convey exactly the message you want it to?
- Are your brochures and folders representative of your brand? Do they make people want to pick them up from a table or booth?
- If you’re exhibiting at an event, does your booth stand out from the crowd? Is it clean, organized, and does it attract attention?
Online Marketing Materials
- When is the last time you REALLY looked at your website? Is it up to date? Do you have calls to action on all important pages?
- Are your Social Media Channels branded to match the rest of your organization? Each Social Media Channel (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.) allows you some flexibility in customizing page design, so be sure to take advantage of these free opportunities.
- A visitor’s first experience with your brand, wherever it happens to occur, will help them decide whether to continue pursuing you. Make sure all of those potential ‘first entrances’ to your business are good ones.
Reviews & Testimonials
- If you haven’t ‘Googled’ your company in a while, now is the time. Check out your online reviews and social media mentions. If no one is talking about you, that’s nearly as bad as having negative reviews.
And all those things your 3rd grade English teacher warned you about.
- Typos! Grammatical Errors! Misspellings!
- I am AMAZED at how often I see simple mistakes on company websites, blog posts, press releases, email newsletters, and social media updates. If this isn’t your strongest area, then PLEASE enlist a trusted colleague to review your work for you. Your prospects will pick up on this, and it could cost you thousands of dollars in lost business.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, and it’s message is a valuable one in life. But realistically, you can be assured that prospective customers will judge your business by its cover every single time they come in contact with you.
In fact, if you think about the last time you purchased a book; you likely judged it by its ACTUAL cover: the title and cover artwork, whether it had made a bestseller’s list, and/or where it was positioned in a physical store or how many stars it had in online reviews. If you’re taking all of these factors into consideration just to make a $15 decision about a book, don’t you think your prospective customers are considering the same factors when choosing whether to do business with you?
Want some help taking these steps to improve those all-important first impressions? We’d be happy to offer you a complimentary analysis of your marketing materials and/or website. Contact us today for an intial consultation.