Loyal customers are a crucial part of building and growing a successful business. Consistently attracting new clients is the best way to nurture and create longevity in any industry. The first impression can make or break a customer relationship by sparking trusty and loyalty or sending them running to your competitor’s door. Since attracting new customers costs five times more than retaining existing customers, it is essential that you make the first impression a positive one to minimize the expense.
Most small businesses have limited resources to work with, making it challenging to spend a lot of money to impress new customers. We’ve put together a list of strategies small businesses can use to be sure to wow their customers and deliver a memorable and positive first experience.
1. Invest Time In Yourself
Appearance goes a long way no matter what because most individuals do judge a book by its cover. You and your employees should dress professionally, be well-groomed, and look confident. That includes not wearing wrinkled or dirty clothing, washing and combing hair, and avoiding too many piercings and tattoos depending on the industry. Judgment about whether your business is capable or not starts from the initial handshake, and if you look grungy or frazzled, they may close down before you can even spark a conversation and start building a rapport.
2. Have A Positive Attitude
A smile and good posture go a long way in first impressions. Both show you are open and ready to have a conversation, and they make you more approachable. Entering a meeting with a frown or slouching might make the customer think you rather be elsewhere.
3. Be Prepared
Greet new customers the minute they walk into your office or building with a welcome and smile. If you meet with clients one-on-one, take the time to research their company and show your knowledge throughout the conversation. When you show up prepared, customers feel valued and appreciate the effort. It is also more difficult for customers to say no when they know you are already invested before money is exchanged.
4. Listen To The Customer
Active listening is essential to understanding customer needs. Through active listening, businesses have a better opportunity to learn more about their struggles. Keep eye contact and avoid multitasking, so you don’t miss any valuable information. When they have finished speaking, repeat the key points back to assure you fully understand what they need to resolve.
5. Match Their Expectations
Some customers will want to get right down to business, while other customers will expect idle chit chat instead. Make sure you let the customer lead the conversation initially. If you are too quick to cut them off and dive in, it can make them feel like another number in your database.
6. Deliver Benefits, Not Features
Whether you sell a product or service, be sure to lead with the benefits. How will the product or service make them feel? What problem will it solve for the customer? How will their day be better? Once you painted a picture of the benefits, you can touch on the features that make them possible, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your conversation.
7. Ask For Commitment
When the initial visit or meeting comes to an end, ask for confirmation that they will return or commitment to make a purchase. If they can’t commit, you have a prime opportunity to learn what could have been different to assure their return. Listen to this feedback and offer a solution to show you value their opinion.
8. Don’t Forget To Follow-Up
Following up with clients after the initial meeting is a powerful way to show that their business matters to your brand. This is a great time to thank them for the initial meeting and send any promised deliverables to show that you deliver on promises.