One of my favorite expressions is “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” With so many consumer choices today, it has NEVER been more important to make that first impression a good one!
I want to begin by saying that in my dealings as the President of The Kindness Revolution™, I have the opportunity to interact with literally dozens of businesses on a weekly basis. In that role, I am contacting many of them for the first time for me. Some would be well served to do a little inventory as to how they look from the consumer side. I’ll have more on that later.
Let’s begin by discussing the ways that your first impression is made. You may be surprised at the options…here are the most frequent ways a prospect is going to experience you for the first time.
- Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook)
- Telephone call
Let’s take them one at a time from a first impression standpoint.
I would like to encourage you to review each of these options as if you were seeing them for the first time. Generally, the formula is this…you have fifteen seconds to make a good first impression. The rest of your time is spent either confirming that first impression or changing it.
- Your Website- Most consumers are going to look at a prospect’s website before they contact or do business with a company. You should assume that to be the case with you. From a first impression standpoint, ask yourself a few questions. Does your website stand out from your completion? Does it reflect who you are, your culture, your strengths, your values? Or is just a statement of the business that you are in? If so, you might appear as a commodity. A professional, personalized website is a great marketing investment.
- Social media- Most agents have three social media platforms…personal Facebook, business Facebook, and LinkedIn. It is not unusual for a prospect to check you out on all three, and each should have a different look.
Your personal Facebook page is where you can show your family, your love of the Cowboys, and what you did during the summer. I would suggest that you minimize your religious, political, and social views unless you feel the unswerving need to share them. I personally know of numerous individuals who have lost business due to their radical expressions of feelings that were in conflict with some of their clients. I would suggest that you be both careful and thoughtful in this regard.
Your business Facebook page is a unique platform. Many businesses have a business page, post on it frequently, and are not aware that virtually no one is seeing their posts. Putting posts on a business Facebook page does NOT insure that it is going to be seen; a business Facebook page must be promoted either by boosting posts or promoting the page otherwise. Posting that this is a good time to get your roof inspected and being seen by your family and staff is a waste of time. In my experience, most businesses have a business Facebook page because somebody in marketing has said “You must have a business Facebook page.” A business Facebook page without engagement and conversation does not make a good impression.
Regarding LinkedIn, this is where you want to be professional and business like. This is where you need to appear as if you were in the job market because…you are! You are applying for the job of my insurance agent! LinkedIn should be seen as your online resume.
- Telephone Call- Once you have passed the online impression test, you want to get a phone call from your prospect. Consumers want to hear a brief, enthusiastic, understandable greeting. They don’t need to hear that it’s a great day at your business or any other cutesy comment that doesn’t help them get to whom they want to speak to.
Remember…you get one chance. Be sure to make the most of it!
Ed Horrell is the President and Founder of The Kindness Revolution™ and author of the best-selling book of the same name. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.