First Impressions

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As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’…

If you are struggling to bring in the business there are lots of little tweaks and techniques you can employ to improve your first impressions through your marketing strategies and your business skills. After all, if you can't impress your customers and draw them in -- you don't have a business! Here are just a few ideas to help you ensure that your business is effective and making a great first impression.

First impressions

Your customers’ first impression of your business should inspire them to want to stay in touch and to buy from you. Just as you might like the look of a particular shop in town, your website is likely to be the first place your visitors will meet you and evaluate the potential for them to do business with you. If your website is shoddy and unprofessional, with poor quality content, your visitors can easily move on with the click of a mouse. You simply have to pay close attention to those first impressions, if you want visitors to stay and buy from you, so spend time developing your website, improving its content and ensuring that it’s easy to navigate.

If your customers call you, make sure you answer the phone in a professional manner and that your voic email also sounds professional. Try to find a voice mail service that offers various options to your callers such as, ‘press 1 to hear more about your offer’, ‘press 2 to leave a message’ and so on. This sort of service is expected these days and it gives your business a’ bigger’ feel.

Inspire trust

People want to do business with companies that are the best at what they do, and they want to deal with experts in their field. One of the best things you can do for your business is to build credibility and show you are an expert with specialist knowledge and skills and that you are eminently capable of serving your customers’ needs. This goes a long way when it comes to inspiring trust -- if your customers don't trust you, they won't buy from you.

Pay attention to your marketing tools

Just like your website and your telephone manner, your marketing materials are there on the front line making an impression for your business. The look of just one leaflet can present your brand and tell your customers all they need to know about your company and your expertise -- all in the space of a few seconds! Again, it’s those vital first impressions that can draw people in or repel them forever.

Unless you are brilliant at designing and producing marketing materials, it is well worth delegating this task to a professional as it can make all the difference between attracting or repelling potential customers. If you can't get them to visit your website or pick up the phone, you have lost a chance to make a sale.

Offer samples

If you have samples of your products or a portfolio of your work, you can make a great first impression by showing your customers exactly what you have to offer. For example, if you are a photographer, be proud to show off your portfolio of work. If you are selling a product, send out free samples or free downloads if you have digital products. Online sellers such as Amazon, know that buying online is not the same as being able to handle a book and flick through the pages in a shop -- they know how important it is to sample what they are buying. Books where you can read the contents page, the back cover blurb and a sample of the first part of the book always sell better. It is so successful that Amazon Kindle also use this format with downloadable books -- the free sample can be around 20 percent of the total book and it readers are drawn in, they will want to buy the book and read on.

Interact

Another way to create a good first impression with your audience, it is to interact with them online via video presentations, audio and webinars. It's also a good way to begin your relationship with potential customers as they will see you as they real person, not just a faceless business.