Politics and Business

Why first impressions are everything when inviting clients to your office

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“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” You’ve probably read that oft-quoted saying before, especially if you run your own business. It’s advice worth heeding, as first impressions can form in just seven seconds, Forbes warns

First impressions are also difficult to shake off once they have taken root – so, what factors could influence how a client perceives your business when they first visit its office? 

Your reception must be easy to find

Writing for The Balance Small Business, professional career coach Mitchell York recalls when a very important customer paid their first visit to the headquarters of a business which they had worked alongside. However, the reception wasn’t in the most obvious place…

It was on the third floor of an office building where the business itself occupied the second and third floors. The customer’s difficulty in finding the reception rather spoilt their first visit to this office. 

All of your staff should consider themselves “sellers”

By this, we mean that, if a client has just turned up at the office and looks lost, employees shouldn’t just ignore them out of a belief that it isn’t their job to do the opposite. Each member of your staff should deem it their responsibility to help ensure that visiting clients feel welcome.

In the previously-mentioned instance, no-one emerged from their desk to offer help to the customer – but your staff could learn from this, especially if your own reception is awkwardly located.

Give clients something useful to do as they wait

If the person the client wants to meet at your office isn’t yet available, you can prevent this client from frustratingly having to waste their time if you leave them delicious food and drink – think the likes of fresh fruit, sparkling water and reinvigorating coffee – for them to enjoy during the wait. 

For this reason, you should consider leaving an easy-to-see and readily accessible coffee and water system in the reception area. After all, the client could be feeling parched after a long journey!

Make yourself look good to sell good

No, this isn’t about making yourself look like Henry Cavill – though you could probably learn a thing or two from how well he wears a suit. Instead, it’s chiefly about keeping yourself well-groomed and acting friendly towards the client as you converse with them clearly and concisely.

All of these little things can add up to garner a positive first impression in the client’s mind, as Talk Business makes clear. Don’t forget a firm handshake, either.  

Keep your workplace clean

One day, as you enter your office, reassess just how much of it you can see from the reception area. Does every part of the workplace in sight look reassuringly clean?

Diligently keeping on top of that cleanliness can obviously be time-consuming, but a serviced office space from BE Offices will be cleaned every day and night by the service provider, giving that space’s occupants one less thing to add to their already busy schedule.

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Sasha Duncan is a bookworm, fashion enthusiast and a consultant for Palmaira, a supplier of the best Menorca sandals Australia has to offer. She loves reading crime novels and being with her dogs, Maya and Buster.

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