Whether you own it, are employed by it, or just visiting it, a business is a living creature with human attributes such as personality, hygiene, style and goals, as well as physical and emotional needs. And along with all that, a business has a perceived positive or negative disposition that can determine whether a customer will do business with you now or in the future.
Impressions are made at a very primal level, people judge everything and everyone that cross their path - your prospects are making a subconscious checklist as they walk into your place of operation.
Whether the business is publically accessible, or behind an on-line storefront, understanding the importance of making a good first impression and maintaining it over time it is often overlooked. Aside from the obvious financial shortfalls, website bounce rates and quick customers exits are a sure sigh that a poor impression is at work.
To fully appreciate what kind of an impression your business is making, you need to think like your customers. Visit the places where your customers find you with a handful of typical consumer goals and think about how your prospects would react when coming into contact with your company for the first time.
Be critical, cynical, sceptical, approachable, unapproachable... imagine and play out each scenario, then think about how you can improve the first impression and customer experience. And remember your goal is to attract your prospects to what they are looking for and to try to keep them from leaving without a purchase.
Don't give your prospective customers any reason to cross you off their list. Look at all your marketing efforts from your customers perspective and alway ensure you are making that first great positive impression.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so make sure it counts!