Having a solid first impression of your business is vital to long-lasting relationships with customers. The keys? Confidence, clarity, and customer-orientation.
You often have only a split-second to make an impression with your customers. Although that can be nerve-wracking, it can also help your business. By having a solid first impression, you can forge a connection with your potential clients and point them towards purchasing.
Whether you’re headed to a trade show, a conference, or a networking event—or just pitching your services—focusing on an unforgettable first impression will serve you well. Even a small, 2-minute interaction can leave people interested in you and your offering.
Here are three things to think about when meeting new potential consumers.
Confidence: Having confidence is essential, and a lot of this comes down to body language. Make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and stand tall. Avoid speaking softly or mumbling. You want to give the impression that you’re incredibly comfortable with your business and are able to lead conversations. Don’t dilly-dally around with “Well, it’s hard to explain, but we do a lot of different things here …” Speak directly.
Clarity: If you don’t already have an “elevator pitch” of what your company does, now’s the time to craft one! You should be able to summarize the products or services you provide in just one or two sentences. Categorizing your business can seem overwhelming, but think about what you usually do and how you usually help clients. You don’t need to give a laundry list of all of the services you provide and all of the things you’re qualified to do—keep it simple. It’s also important to be specific. Saying that you’re a “consultant for small businesses” is super broad. How do you help small businesses? What’s your area of expertise?
Customer-orientation: At the end of the day, everything must point back to the customer. Even when you’re explaining what your company does, it should be a response to a need your clients have. For instance, instead of saying “we make websites,” consider saying “we craft websites for clients who are looking to up-level their businesses and increase their profits.” Including the clients in your elevator pitch will start the gears turning in their heads. It’s counter-intuitive, but when you’re talking about yourself, you’re really trying to talk about your clients and connect with them.
Example: “My name is Maria Smith, and my company is Smith Creative. We empower creative entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through social media consulting so they spend less time stressing out and more time marketing efficiently.”