What image do you and your people portray to your prospects and clients? Here's a situation that happened to me recently and hopefully you'll glean useful small business ideas that will make you money instead of costing you money.
January is always a good time to grab bargains so when I noticed that two well-known blind companies were advertising 35% off their blinds, I decided to give them a call? and it was an interesting experience.
This person turned up on time which in itself is a big bonus. She was dressed in a professional way and was very efficient in her manner. I knew what I wanted and all Mary had to do was measure up and provide the quote. She was extremely helpful and pleasant to deal with. I said to Mary to call me in a couple of days as I had also arranged for another company to quote. 'No problem', she said. "I'll ring you then".
This sales rep. was totally different. He turns up 15 minutes early which is very unusual. I don't mind people arriving a few minutes earlier than the agreed time, but 15 minutes is a bit too early. He should have rung first to see if it was okay. John was obviously a smoker because the smell wafted through my front door before he walked in. That really puts me off. Not only that he was unshaven and dressed in a sloppy manner. John looked like he just got out of bed, got dressed, had a smoke and turned up at my house.
Maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to judge him, however his image gave me the perception that the company must be very unprofessional to have people like this representing them.
John had no sooner walked through the door, when his mobile phone rang. Instead of switching it off, he answered it and had a conversation for a couple of minutes with someone from his company. I thought this was rude. Wasn't it more important to focus his attention on this potential sale? He could have checked his phone when he left.
John did measure up for the blinds and provided a quote which compared to Mary's one was $600 cheaper. It appeared he hadn't included one of the measurements therefore justifying why his quote was so much cheaper.
However, I didn't bother ringing him to find out if this was why his price was much better than Mary's. I had already decided that if he's a slob then the company he works for probably supplies shoddy blinds.
Whether that's true or not, doesn't matter because that's the perception I got about the company.
What Image Do You and Your People Portray?
Image is very important. We judge people on the way they look and behave. Do you dress appropriately for your role? Do your people?
Is the image you portray professional? Does it instill confidence, trust, reliability?
Image is not just about the physical aspect of a person. The environment you work and live in also says a lot about you. So does the vehicle you drive.
For instance a cluttered environment gives the impression of chaos, disorganisation and sloppiness. Whereby a clean and tidy area portrays harmony and control.
Small Business Ideas - Points to Ponder
Do you and your people dress appropriately?
How is the telephone answered?
Is your environment uncluttered or does it look like an earthquake zone?
Your car - is it clean on the outside and inside?
Your home - is it clean and tidy?
The Final Word
So take stock today. Look at yourself first. If you're a manager, business owner or team leader assess your own people and the environment and see what can be improved, then take action.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. And it's that encounter which can make the difference between you gaining the business or losing it.
For more small business ideas see our website:www.office-organiser.com.au
About The Author
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including "How to Survive and Thrive at Work!"
To subscribe to her free ezine visit www.office-organiser.com.au
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