First impressions are everything. This is as true in business as in life.
I recently had two vastly different, but similarly disappointing, experiences that illustrate how often businesses, even very successful ones, forget this simple truth.
I was recently meeting with web designers for a big project. I sent an identical email to the teams from each company, asking for specific information and a selection of time slots within a provided availability window during which to set up a conference call.
Only ONE company followed the instructions I outlined and responded with the requested information.
Only ONE COMPANY was paying attention to details.
The other companies responded with only partial information or answers that made it seem like those folks hadn’t even read the full emails.
And that made me and my team question how diligent the other design teams would be if we started working together.
Not a great first impression.
But we gave them a second chance – a chance to provide a great direct-contact first impression via the set-up conference calls.
When we got on the phone with the team that had responded the least impressively via email, the head of the company got his shot to impress us.
He chose to take the conference call while DRIVING.
This is a business call, folks!
Business Tip: Don’t take your first call with a prospect while rushing from one place to another, on a cell phone with a bad connection, while you can’t give you full concentration because you’re trying not to hit the car in front of you. Oh, and don’t be late to the call!
I’m sure, my lovely, that you would NEVER do any of the above.
But somebody did. Somebody with a successful business. Somebody who creates great work. Somebody who, despite all that, won’t be doing work for us because he blew the first impression. By a mile.
A friend and I took a spontaneous excursion to Palm Springs this weekend, to stay at a very swanky hot spot.
When arriving at the resort, we were greeted by the valet.
We were not, however, greeted by anyone else.
No one opened the heavy doors into the hotel. Once we were inside, no one asked if they could handle our luggage. The concierge at check-in took FOREVER to check us in and then gave us four different versions of how much would be placed on our credit card during our stay.
Again, not the best first impression.
Just open the damn door, folks. Really.
It’s the little things, particularly when you are first introducing yourself to someone – a date, a client, a customer – that matter.
Those first impressions, they can make or break the relationship.
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