Dressing for success is very important when trying to create a first impression. But ultimately, it is your product or service that your prospect is going to buy. This begs the question, “What are you doing to help others create a first impression of your product?”
What does your prospect’s first contact with your company usually look like? Is it in a face-to-face meeting at a networking event? Is it the result of a web search? Is it through a referral? or is it from a direct-mail campaign? The answers to these questions are important in determining how to help your prospect’s mind create a first-impression worthy of the product or service that you provide.
Let’s take a look at each of these scenarios:
Businesses that serve local consumers often meet in person at networking events. Inevitably, the question is asked, “What do you do?” The response is almost always a short verbal summation of the products or services offered and transfer of business cards.
The prospect’s mind immediately creates an impression of what you do and files it away to be soon forgotten. Several months later, your prospect runs across your card and cannot remember why he kept it, so he throws it away.
So, what happened here? It is very difficult to use verbal communication to develop a memorable impression of what you do. A well designed brochure or flyer would have been a perfect presentation tool for helping your prospect’s mind create a memorable and accurate first impression. It may give them a reason to keep your business card or even visit your website.
In the newspaper industry there is a term called “the fold.” The fold is top half of the newspaper when folded in half. It is the space that would be visible when placed in the news stand; therefore, it is considered the highest valued space of the newspaper.
So, what does the fold have to do with a website? When a user clicks on a link from within a search result, he is taken to a webpage within his browser. Anything that is initially visible upon page load is considered “above the fold.” Any content that requires scrolling is considered “below the fold.” Your visitor’s first impression of your company will be created above the fold.
Users that are visiting search engines are looking for answers to their questions and are considered “mission focused.” They will move quickly through each listed result and won’t dig deep into websites to locate answers. Therefore, it is important to present the solution to the problem that your product or service provides clearly and prominently above the fold.
To professional sales people, referrals are not an accident or after thought. They occur as a result of carefully nurturing relationships over time. Chances are that the referrals that you receive are from those that know you best and have developed a positive first impression of you. They enjoy sharing their positive experiences of working with others. That story becomes the new prospect’s first contact with your company.
So, why not give the referrer the best tools possible to share the story. In fact, how much more effective would the story be if after telling the story the referrer said, “In fact, I happen to have a an extra copy of their brochure sitting back here. Why don’t I give it to you?”, and then gives the prospect the brochure? Once again, the brochure will serve as an effective tool for creating a first impression that truly matches your offering.
Direct Mail Campaign
So many companies have turned away from direct mail postcards as a tool for marketing. As a result, those that are taking advantage of direct mail are seeing less competition and very affordable package deals that are getting amazing results.
Direct mail campaigns are faced with many of the same challenges that face those getting traffic from search engines. The reader quickly scans the postcard to determine if it is an item of interest and then tosses it in the trash if not. So the front of the postcard has to quickly create a positive first impression.
A professionally designed postcard can go a long way toward creating a positive and accurate first impression. They will be far more likely to take the next step whether that be to visit your website or make a call.
So, there you have it, four great ways to help your prospect develop a positive and accurate first impression of your company.
Sooner or later somebody will ask you, “So, what do you do?” Don’t get caught off guard. Help them answer the question and develop a first impression that is consistent with your offering.
Are you prepared to help your prospects create a positive and accurate first impression of your company in when you make first contact?
I would love to hear your thoughts and how you help prospects develop a verst impression of your company in a first contact situation.