Improve Your Customers’ First Impressions

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Good first impressions help to establish trust and convert customers. In fact, according to one study, it only take seven seconds to build a first impression. Here are just some of the ways in which you can make a positive initial impact on your customers.

Use the right body language

When meeting a customer in person, body language is important. In fact, it can often have more of an impact than the words you utter. Some of the basics include a smile, a confident posture, eye contact and a firm handshake. Try to also limit other activities – fiddling with your phone as you talk to someone may come across to them that you are disinterested.

Dress presentably

How you dress is also important. Not all jobs require dressing formally (in fact, overdressing could make you come across a little too conservative), however you should always keep a tidy appearance such as not having any creases or stains on your clothes. Messy hair, dirty nails and stubble can also be off-putting to many people.

Improve your telephone manner

If the first time you interact with customers is on the phone, having a good telephone manner could be vital. Small details such as giving a warm greeting, remembering the customer’s name and speaking slowly and clearly can make people warm to you.  Some companies go so far as to outsource phone answering companies such as Ivy Answering to give a good impression on the phone. Having little interference on the phone is also important – when it comes to mobile phones, choosing a provider with the best signal could be important.  

Keep your workplace tidy

If a client’s first impression is likely to be a visit to your workplace, you want to make sure that your workplace is tidy. A lack of cleanliness can cause customers to immediately lose trust by showing that you’re careless and disorganized. Keep on top of tidying so that your workplace is always presentable – hire a cleaning company if you have to. Also make sure that your workplace is not in disrepair – a faded shop sign or a faulty automatic door is not going to create a good first impression. 

Make sure your website looks professional

When it comes to attracting customers online, your website is often the first point of contact. This needs to look professional so that customers know you’re competent digitally. You can build a website yourself, but if you want to guarantee a professional look you may be better off hiring the services of a website development company such as Cyberfrog Design. Aspects such as SEO could be important too for ensuring that your website has high rankings (this will make your company look more popular) whilst positive reviews and testimonials could also help gain trust online.

A Speaker’s #1 Weapon

public-speaking

Public speaking is the #1 fear of adults, but why? Up until a few years ago I dreaded speaking in front of an audience myself. Most people aren’t born with the gift of public presentation and as an introvert it can cause a lot of anxiety just thinking about it. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make better so every opportunity to get up in front of people and speak, you should take advantage of. Confidence builds over repetition, but the one technique that elevated my speaking ability literally overnight is called The Memory Palace.

Essentially it’s a visualization routine to help you memorize your speech. Think about it. If there’s one aspect that stands out about great speaker, it’s their ability to not use notes. I always believed speakers who could orate without referring to an outline were superhuman. But with this technique not only do you give your audience the illusion that you have a fantastic memory, but your body language exudes confidence that is memorable.

Not only has it helped me become a better speaker, but it also cuts down on prep time because you’re remembering stories associated with images rather than reciting words written down on paper. When speaking only you know if something was omitted. You can always play off the fact a point was forgotten because no one else knows what you intended to say. There are many ways to plot your talk, but here’s what works for me:

1) Storyboard your ideas on paper in 4 equal quadrants

2) Organize your thoughts so the story flows

3) Add visuals (screen images and/or props) to enhance your message

4) Rehearse at least 3 times before you present

5) Smile and have fun speaking!

The formula of 70% presentation and 30% content has worked for me. Once I jot down my ideas, I shift my focus towards what clearly communicates my point to the audience. Your message is directed towards the crowd, not you. Stop preaching and start sharing. Body language plays such a huge role in the absorption of a presentation, so smile, make eye contact and slow down. Public speaking is becoming a lost art with the rise of technology, so if you want to stand out professionally learn how to become a great speaker.

If you want to improve your speaking skills, here’s the video that transformed me!