A few days ago, our family made a trip to the local bank here in our community so that our children could open their first savings account. The piggy banks were overflowing with money due to various visits from the tooth fairy, as well as rewards for all of their good deeds around the house. What happened when we entered the bank made a big impression on me and got me thinking about how Smart Women entrepreneurs always make a good first impression.
When we entered the front door, we were immediately greeted by an energetic young woman who wanted to know how she could help us. She escorted us to someone who could help our children open their accounts. We were invited to try a beverage from their vast menu (water, coffee, tea, soda, juice and hot chocolate) and of course the children were immediately given lollipops to welcome them as new customers. (By the way, the complimentary drinks were not just for new customers. I could overhear the conversation at the teller window and they were offering this to everyone who entered the bank.)
The representative that helped our children open their accounts was knowledgeable. He answered our questions and he treated our children with respect. He spent a lot of time with us and we never felt rushed or confused about what was going to happen next.
We walked away from the experience feeling like we made a great decision to open the accounts at this bank and it was a great “first” experience in banking for our children as well.
No matter what type of business you’re in, first impressions count – a lot. People want and expect a very personal, high-touch experience. If you are a woman entrepreneur and you want to create raving fans for your business, I invite you to take an inventory of the process you use to create an unforgettable first impression.
Here are a few tips on setting yourself up for success for a great first impression:
1. You had me at Hello – What’s the point of first contact with you and your company? If it’s email, make sure you have a system in place for you or someone on your team to receive email inquiries quickly. If it’s by phone, does your message state clearly what you want the caller to do? Do you have a system set up so that you return calls within 24 hours? Here at Smart Women Smart Solutions® response time is a valuable part of laying a good foundation with our clients. Our goal is to provide “red carpet” treatment to everyone we come in contact with. Review your systems for how someone makes that initial contact with you. Make sure your system works fast and efficiently.
2. It’s contagious – Having a friendly, positive attitude from the initial point of contact is important. People want to associate or be with people who are friendly and helpful. It makes them feel supported and cared for. Several years ago, I walked into my office one day to find my assistant at the time talking rudely to someone on the phone. I was horrified! Needless to say, that particular person did not work out well, however it was a valuable lesson for me. I want to attract support team members who hold quality client interaction to the same standard as I do.
3. Plan Your Process – Create a process for your ideal client so that the first impression with you is seamless and successful. Decide now how you want the process to work and enlist your team to help you roll it out. If you are a solo entrepreneur and don’t have any team members working with you yet, I invite you to sit down and think about what you want your first impression to look like with your ideal client. This is time well spent and can mean the difference between incredible business growth or ho-hum results. (It was when I took this part of my business seriously that I began to see huge jumps not only in my income but in the quality of the clients I serve.)
Spend some time reflecting on your first impression process. I invite you to set the intention to create “royal red carpet” treatment from that first point of contact so that you too can enjoy big leaps in your income along with quality clients who rave about you everywhere they go.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2011 Joy Chudacoff
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