It really does start as you walk in the door of a prospective customer or even supplier, how you are dressed, your manner and attitude.
It doesn’t actually matter what you think you look like but its how other people see you that counts.
Image has always been important to most of us but as a small business the image you portray can really make or break you.
You represent your company!
Would you go to see a million dollar investor wearing torn jeans promoting high quality products? If not why treat any other client any different – it is respect and the worth you place in their business.
If going out for a first date, would you wash your hair and pick something flattering? (men can comment here too! !) – depends on whether you wish to impress or not, if not why go? Ok be yourself and no pretence is essential but show your best side!
You are your brand.
Its great to have a slick and professional logo but presenting an ‘unbothered’ , ‘can’t get up’ persona wont really help your sales figures. Vice versa – the sharpest suit, the best haircut and shave, with tatty business cards and literature in bits will produce very similar results.
Branding starts with you, but branding must include everything the client sees or hears about your company – it is his ‘experience’ of you and your services.
Make sure you are proud of your business cards – if you have to apologise for them in any way – throw them now! It is essential all contact numbers are up to date and viable. Don’t offer a card with a new phone number scribbled across it!
Leaflets and brochures should be pristine, you need to show you care, you need to show you have put good money into promoting your business and you believe in it. Tatty unprofessional design says “I’m trying this out and haven’t spent a lot in case it goes pear shaped!” It doesn’t have to cost the earth but a “did-it-myself-print-job” is noticed by any self respecting business potential! If not why do you want him as a client?
I hear it all the time, you want to work with bigger businesses, one man bands are too small! However a one man band who wont pay out for decent literature is not going to win the contract over someone who shows his own faith in his own company. They may not be as good, as competitive or as big even as your business but they look the part.
Although a smile is an essential asset, it wont win you business on its own, polite confidence, pride and self esteem backed by quality products and sales material will beat it hands down.
Read my other blogs on branding…