October 3, 2017

First Impressions Count

By Paul Bieber

Not like this:  One, two, three.

Like This: One—the people here look like I can do business with them; or two, the people here are disheveled and weird.  I’m going somewhere else for my shower door quote.

Are you and your people a one or a two?  There is no middle ground.  None.  You immediately inspire trust from a customer or you don’t.

If you are a one, good for you.  The shows up in your close rate on quotations.  If you are even the slightest unsure, then you are a two.

Let’s find out how a two can become a one.  And remember, the title of this blog is, “First Impressions.”  Your store can be great,  but it is the first impression of your people that makes the difference.

Everyone who has customer contact must be neat and presentable.  No spiked hair; no three-day beard; no heavy, dark make-up; no shirts or slacks or skirts with stains or rips; no mention of rock groups on their shirts.

You want your employees to wear your company shirt, with a small but noticeable logo or name of your shop.  A cheap polo shirt costs about $15, a good one about $25.  Buy each person in your front office five good shirts.  You’re spending between $20K and $30K on each person.  Another $125 won’t break the bank.  Why five and not three?  Because some people only do wash once a week and you don’t want people wearing a day-old shirt to work.

When you buy the shirts, get five different colors, and give your employees their choices of color.  Give them five more next year. 

Create some kind of uniformity in dress.  Maybe everyone wears a khaki color skirt, or shorts or slacks. You don’t have to pay for these.  Winter time, get everyone a couple of very nice sweat shirts or sweaters, also with your logo.

This concept helps build a team spirit at your shop.

Train your staff to immediately come to a customer and ask how they may be of help.  Let the customer decide if they want to look around, but then go back after two minutes and ask the customer if they have any questions.  Have the employee say something like:  My name is______.  How can I help you?  Using a first name makes every customer more comfortable.

You don’t ever want to lose the opportunity to work with someone who has come to your place of business.  Do ensure your team makes a great first impression. 

And now…here is a bet on the World Series, just for you Lyle.  We all know you are recovering from heart surgery and we do care about you, honest, but it is your baby-bear Cubs that get me.  They won last year, do they need it again?  Many of you know me as a Mets fan, but since The Mets are not in this year, then my home-town Cleveland Indians should be the team.

So, Lyle, here is a $10 bet for the Indians against the baby bears.  The loser will pay $10 to the Puerto Rican fund of their choice.  And if one or both don’t make the Championship, then the team that makes it further in the playoffs is the winner.  If there is a tie where they both end up at the same tier in the playoffs, then we both pay!

Are you ready for the action?