It may not seem like a big deal, but how your new or potential clients interact with you initially will make a big impact later on.
Think about it this way...how do the businesses you love make you feel? When you walked into that boutique did they greet you? When you showed up for your massage appointment did it feel welcoming or like you were just another number?
I'm guessing you enjoy many of the places where you spend money because they make you feel appreciated. I don't mean they leap over the counter and go bananas each time you walk in the door, but you also don't get the feeling you are bothering them by being there.
The initial feelings you get from a business translates to how much money you'll want to spend there, how often you'll want to return, and how likely you'll be to recommend them to a friend.
So if you aren't "wowing" your clients in the first few minutes, you are leaving money on the table. And we certainly don't want that!
So here are some easy suggestions for you.
I realize not every business is exactly the same, but the heart of these tips is really what counts. You may need to tweak the specifics for your business, or contact me and we can brainstorm.
Make your business feel welcoming.
If you are strictly an online business, make sure your website and social media seems inviting. Make sure your face is on there somewhere and that you look approachable. And make sure people can navigate your site easily. Feelings of frustration will make them want to look elsewhere. If your business is in person, make sure it is clean and uncluttered. Make sure signage is clear and easily understood. Give the space a welcoming feel. If your customer is feeling overwhelmed or confused by your layout, it won't set the right tone.
Welcome each client when they enter.
On your website this could be as simple as an image of you and a simple welcome message or a tailored popup. If you have a physical space where you are welcoming clients be sure to say "hello." I have found at farmers markets and craft fairs business owners are notorious for sitting behind their table and waiting for people to come to them. This is a huge mistake. As people gravitate to your space, be sure to smile and welcome them in. And be on your feet if at all possible. If you offer a service, be sure you schedule yourself well so that you aren't scattered and can give your client your full attention when they arrive.
Give them your attention as you interact with them.
Let's say you own a coffee shop and your interaction with each person is only a few minutes. Make sure that in those few moments, while you are taking their order, that your full attention is on them. Train your staff to wait for moments when they can get your attention so it won't interrupt your flow with customers. If you absolutely have to step away, even for a second, be sure to politely excuse yourself. If you offer a more personalized service, like massage, be sure to remove anything that would cause distractions. Your phone should be on silent and if you book one client right after the other, be sure clients waiting on services have a separate space to wait.
I guarantee you this is a lot more than most people get anywhere else. People are used to feeling like they are just another customer being shuffled along. They aren't used to personal attention and feeling special unless they are at a really high-end establishment. That simply shouldn't be the case. Even if you are buying a latte for $4 you deserve to get great service.
And don't forget, someone may just be browsing now, or make a small purchase, but that doesn't mean they aren't on the cusp of spending more money with you.
Don't make the same mistake I mentioned here, which literally cost a local business over $100 I was willing to spend with them.
Making great first impressions with your clients doesn't have to be difficult or cost a ton of money. As you can see, it just has to be intentional and practiced. I guarantee it will make a big difference.
Is there something you already do that sets you apart in terms of good first impressions? I'd love to hear about it!
Be sure to comment below or join my Facebook community and tell me over there.