60-Second Guide to Making a Good Impression

3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's been said before, but this is one maxim that bears repeating: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

In just 60-seconds,we'll show you how to make a first impression to get the business you're waiting for.

0:60 Business Image is Important
In business, image is crucial to success and as a small-business owner, everything from the way you greet clients to your style of dress reflects directly on your company. If this seems unfair, consider for a moment how closely people identify themselves with life's smallest details. What about the car we drive? The paper we use for correspondence? And, the way we decorate our office?

0:46 Take a Moment to Assess Yourself and Analyze Your Image
Take a minute to assess yourself. Do you dress according to the standards of your industry? Are your clothes professional? Is your hair neat? What about your car? Are you in a field where you're likely to be judged by what you drive? A realtor wouldn't want to ferry clients around in a '72 Ford pickup with torn seats and a broken muffler, but a landscape artist could drive it to a work site and nobody would bat an eye.

0:20 Make SureMarketingMaterials Reflect Your Image
When you assess yourself, take a look at your marketing materials as well. In fact, you should put marketing materials on the front lines of your image-building efforts because they often serve as your prospects' first introduction to you. Obviously you want to use high-quality paper, but have you considered using gold or silver embossing on your letterhead or business cards? Treat everything you do as gold, and your clients will, too.

0:11 Project a Professional Image
Of course, there's no substitute for true professionalism. Treat the following suggestions as a code of behavior. Have someone proofread every piece of written material before it leaves your office. This means correspondence, proposals and marketing pieces. Always be pleasant and helpful when answering the phone. People like to do business with happy, positive people.

0:03 Position Yourself for Success
Give referrals when you can't handle a job. People will respect your honesty and consideration. Offer a high quality of service and/or product. Do the job you promised and don't let your customer down. Never disparage the competition. It doesn't look good and it could backfire. When a client or colleague runs into a snag, assist them. Heroes are not forgotten.

Brought to you by SCORE"Counselors to America's Small Business"

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