Tips for making a good first impression with the potential customer…

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by Tom Watson on September 21, 2014

No matter how you slice it, sooner or later you’ll going to have to stand in front of the customer and make your case as to why your company should be hired.

This doesn’t mean you need to make a speech per say, as that is not what is required of you. Your goal is to make sure you come across as a valid option for their needs. This means you need to make that all important good first impression.

What the experts say about making first impressions

There has been quite a bit written about how to make a good first impression not to mention many different studies completed by researchers. The one constant are, the results from study to study tend to stay remarkably consistent. Most results show the following:

  1. A good impression is – 55% is how you look; dress and grooming.
  2. A good impression is – 38% is your voice, language, and posture.
  3. A good impression is – 7% is what you actually say when speaking.

That is really quite amazing if you just stare at those results for a moment. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that what you say only accounts for about 7% of the impression you make. So that should put to rest all those who are worried about saying the wrong thing. Turns out that means VERY LITTLE!

The two remaining issues you need to tackle boil down to how you look / take care of yourself AND essentially how you “come across” via your language skills / your posture when meeting. Turns out “mom” was right to tell you to speak clearly and stand up straight!

Before moving on I would like to make mention of another study that was done at Princeton University. They showed test subjects a “micro-second” of video of various candidates running for public office. Only a MICRO-SECOND worth of video was shown to the test subjects on each candidate!

What they found was the test subjects could predict with a 70% accuracy rate WHO WOULD WIN AN ELECTION. That is pretty amazing to me. It should be to you too because it goes to show HOW FAST IMPRESSIONS ARE MADE. Not just impressions, but “accurate impressions”. Appearance matters! Needless to say you don’t have much time to make a good impression.

Small details can make lasting first impressions

If you plan on meeting your potential customer for the first time looking like you are headed to the beach instead of an important meeting you are in trouble. Having poor posture hurts you some more. These mistakes create the impression that you are not a professional, and probably not ready for prime time in the cleaning business.

You need to play a role, much like an actor in a play. It’s like a mini stage production in a sense and you are the lead! Dress like you are going to an important meeting. Walk with purpose and stand up straight. Speak confidently at all times while looking the client in the eye.

Make sure your business card is nice and crisp, not bent into a thousand directions from being in your wallet or purse too long. Buy an expensive pen to write with and a sturdy looking clipboard to write on. These tiny details SPEAK VOLUMES. They also play a large role in determining your success rate in getting accounts.

The good news in all of this is crystal clear as far as I’m concerned. Making a good impression is not really all that hard if you just put a little effort into it. Simply dressing well and implementing good grooming habits gives you a 55% improvement. You can do that!

Standing up straight and speaking clearly gives you another 38% boost! You can do that too! So I encourage you to make use of what all the studies say time and time again. Nothing you can do will give you more bang for your buck than making that all important GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gary September 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Wear a polo style shirt on sales calls with your company name and logo. Make sure it is embroidered. Makes an awesome first impression. And yes, key is, be confident.

2 Jim Bulkowski September 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Very interesting!

3 Tom Watson September 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Hi Jim! Yea… I thought it was worth sharing.

4 Tom Watson September 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Hi Gary! That’s what I used to do. I had some killer polo shirts made up. Made me look as good as one of those franchises!

5 gary September 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

It has worked great for me so far. Makes you feel more confident to. Which in the long run, makes for a better sales call in my opinion.

6 Teresa September 28, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Also take note at the door. I would remove shoes or wear shoe covers out of respect if you notice shoes at the front door. It does make an impression. Also it could be a deal breaker for some.

7 Tom Watson September 28, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Hi Teresa! Shoe covers would be a GREAT idea. We use them in our carpet cleaning services. Little details like that make big impressions.

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