How Does Your Business Look and Sound?

Everyone knows the value of first impressions, yet as business owners, we often take our first impressions for granted. So let’s make sure we follow marketing basics. We often lose our objectivity when it comes to grading our own operations. There is a big reality to accept and to face: In today’s world, bad first impressions, whether inside your location or from a phone call or website, usually lead not only to lost business but also to lost customers. Spectrum, as a marketing company, strives on your behalf to bring people into your business. It’s up to you to convert them to clients, maximize what they buy from you, and to create a lasting impression that yields referrals, repeat business and establishes a solid and loyal customer base.

We suggest that you conduct an evaluation of all aspects of what your customers and potential customers see and hear during their experience with your company. It seems basic, and many people give themselves an “A” grade in all categories when the reality is usually different.

Small changes can yield big results.

Start with your web site.

How does it look visually? Does it answer customer questions? Does it direct people to the store or to make a buying decision? Are your current special offers listed? Even if you can’t immediately change things, at least determine what you want to change so that your team can begin the process and complete your objectives during the year.

You know how your people should be answering the phone, but do they?

For example, do you have a brief greeting script that all those who answer the phone must follow? Is it friendly? Do you offer thanks to people for calling? Beside all phones should be notes which show directions and hours as well as current sale information. Here is a fact: whatever you do now, no matter how good it is, you can do better. As you coach your staff to be better phone people, the improvements you make will spill over to all of the customer contact that they have.

What about your location?

Is the first thing people see a sloppy bucket of ice melt and cigarette butt can? Is the entryway rug so dirty that it was last cleaned during the Carter administration? Look up. How bad is the ceiling? Move inside and look around. Do you have sales information visible for people who walk in? This means any combination of window clings, wall clings, counter cards, table tents, banner stands, ceiling danglers and other point-of-purchase displays. If you have them, are they current and well designed, or did you have someone make a sign at home that says, “SALE” in red letters on a poster board?

In today’s market, people are drawn to special offers.

Consider what you see when you go into a big box store. If your place of business does not have anything to draw attention to a special offer or new product, or something that you wish to feature, then you are missing an opportunity. You are also not giving your place of business the look and feel of a thriving business. Serious customers like to buy from a serious business. Cleanliness and order is a must, but just as important is the information that you display for customers to see and use to make buying decisions. There is no substitute for being the best you can be on all levels. It usually doesn’t cost anything to make a better first impression, and for a small investment, you can make a much better, more professional presentation!

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