Losing Customers to a Poor First Impression?
Original article by Contractor Talk
It’s the question we all ask ourselves after a potential client drifts into the wind. What happened? What went wrong? What could I have said that made things turn sour? First impressions are key to converting a lead to a paying customer. You’ve got to be on your A game and understand that they have many other options out there. In this article, we will lay out a few tips on how to better interact with that potential customer.
Anytime you get a call, make sure to answer it in a business fashion. No more “Hey what’s up” or “Yello”, you’ve got to make it legitimate. “Hello this is Alex with Clear Estimates” is more like it. When a potential client calls, they are not doing so to hang out with you. They want to talk business, so send the same signals back.
If you’re the guy the doubles his number for personal and work, just completely shy away from the casual answers. Anyone can call from any number, so make sure to be consistent with your professionalism.
Speak politely and act like you are listening to them, well, you should be. Make sure to ask follow up questions and sound interested in what they are saying. Engage the potential customer and make them feel welcome. If you miss a call, be sure and return it ASAP. We live in a time where it seems to take hours, if not days for people to get back to you. Don’t be that guy, return the call with an hour or so. It all comes down to treating others with respect. Would you do business with someone who didn’t treat you with respect?
Email and Text
Just like that of phones, get rid of the casual attitude you might share with your friends. It’s time to talk in complete sentences and avoid the shorthand and unnecessary emojis. While you might find that a short message saves time, the client probably has no idea how to interpret it. If you are in a text message or email exchange, be sure and respond within a few hours, if not a hour. Response time shows a lot about how important you think that person is.
It’s the unwritten rule, you just don’t show up late. The circumstances don’t matter. Weather you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or get a flat tire, you have to show up on time. Just as a rule of thumb, you should leave a 20-30 minute window on top of the time it takes to get to the client. This gives you some leeway should something happen. If you absolutely are not going to make it, be sure and give the client a call ASAP, they need to know if plans are to be adjusted. Their time is just as important as yours, so make sure and respect it.
If you make a pattern of being late, you could lose potential referral business and trustworthiness within the industry. Try setting multiple alarms if this is difficult, even download an alarm app to your phone.
Don’t bring the job site to the client’s front door. That means no scrappy clothing, no paint stains and no mud on those work boots. Leave the job site look at the job site. This is the client’s house, and should be treated with respect. Clean up before you visit, showing the client you are more than just a laborer, you are a businessman. A suit is definitely not necessary, and a collared shirt will fare just fine. Think of the client as being delicate and sensitive, you don’t want them to be thrown off or to worry because you showed up looking like the demolition man.
Show up to your meeting ready to get things done. Come mentally and physically prepared to execute a deal. This including knowing the client’s area, knowing what they want, providing some alternates, and possibly some premade estimates. It’s best to lock down some kind of verbal agreement at this meeting, so the more you prepare, the higher your odds of doing so are. Anticipate the best and prepare for the worst. The more research you do on the client’s needs and location, the more qualified you will sound when those questions come up.
Treat Everyone as a Potential Client
All of the practices and habits mentioned above should be carried over to your everyday life. Be polite and courteous wherever you might be. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the gas station or the grocery store, you might end up running into a potential client. Make sure you are presentable and that you carry yourself professionally. This also means driving like a calm person and keeping your truck clean. Remember, first impressions are everything.
Thanks for reading. You can find the original article by Contractor Talk here.