First impressions last, and in the business world, they can have a drastic effect on how your professional relationship with your client develops from your first meeting. So to ensure that you start things off on the right foot, you have to aim to impress your prospect, to the point that they turn from a happy customer to an eager and even ecstatic one.
Here are some great ways to impress your potential clients.
Write a slick-looking and professional business proposal
Do you find that your business or bid proposals often end up getting turned down, ignored, or even outright rejected before your client even so much as leafs through it? If so, then you may need to change up the way you write your proposals. It may seem unfair, but in reality the quality and look of your business proposal can in fact hugely affect your chances of being picked by a big-name client for a lucrative service or job order. If it looks hastily put together or has a lot of grammatical and spelling errors, then it’ll definitely cost you that job.
Some tips in how to write a professional business proposal include the following:
• Use a professional business proposal template. These are available online and can help towards making your proposal look a lot more slick and clean.
• If your service involves imagery, such as cuisine or décor, invest in a good camera or photographer for those rich and colorful images.
• Study the project to the letter. Don’t just skim over it, you may miss something critical.
• Obsessively check for typographical or grammatical errors, as well as mistakes in pricing or figures. The key here is to ensure that your client will never have to call you up in order to double-check your service names or prices.
Be prepared to answer all their questions beforehand. Do so in a polite and prompt manner
A sure-fire way of impressing your customers is to be able to answer all their questions without fail and without significant delay. If you leave their queries unanswered, either with just dead air or with a frank and honest “I don’t know”, you may find yourself in the epicenter of a public relations disaster, especially if the customer was upset enough to take their ire into social media. There are a lot of individuals on the internet who make it a pastime to rile up the crowd, especially when companies and organizations are perceived to be at fault or in the wrong.
Prevent against that worst-case scenario by being prepared in advance. Think about what kind of questions a customer would ask about you and your services in advance, and write down the answers somewhere you can easily refer to them. In the off-chance that they ask something that completely stumps you, simply tell them that you’ll get back to them with the information they need and immediately consult someone in your agency that’s knowledgeable about the topic. Whatever you do, don’t leave the customer hanging.
Go the extra mile for your client
Your client is your bread and butter, so it’s common sense to treat every single one–even those that haven’t taken up your services yet—like royalty. Go the extra mile without being prompted or waiting for them to ask for more assistance than what you’ve already provided. When they ask you questions about your services, don’t just hand them a voucher or informative pamphlet, sit them down in a comfortable place and talk to them personally, like you’re about to discuss them signing a huge deal with you.
Make sure to be considerate with them in other aspects as well. If they seem to be having trouble getting back to their car, have someone escort them or provide a wheelchair for support. If your office has a long waiting period for clientele, serve free coffee and snacks, and allow them use of a clean and customer-friendly restroom. Provide free Wi-Fi access if you can afford it.
Doing these things will not only impress your client but also make them feel cherished and appreciated. This will give them incentive to return and do more business with you, rather than switch to your competitors.
Underpromise and overdeliver
When you finally sign that deal with your client, do whatever it takes to deliver on your commitments and then some. Failing to meet your customer’s expectations is something you absolutely have to avoid, as it could potentially up with you and your agency being blacklisted among some major customer circles. This is especially true if your current client is a particularly famous one or has a huge following. Expend all your efforts to prevent this from happening.
If something does happen to prevent you from carrying out your part of the contract, be sure to inform your client beforehand. Apologize profusely and explain the situation as best you can, while making sure to inform them that you’ll be doing all you can to pick up the slack and salvage things as they are now. While your client will clearly be disappointed, they’ll also be impressed that you had enough integrity to own up to your shortcomings and do what’s needed to rectify the situation.
Have customized stationery and paperwork made that has your own brand and business name
Having notepads, printing paper and receipts that’s especially made to sport your own brand may seem like excessive window dressing, but it actually matters when it comes to impressing your customers. It shows them that your company is serious in cultivating a sharp and professional public image, even if it means having to spend a considerable amount of money in doing so.
It also shows them that you and your staff has an eye for style and detail, which, if you’re in the creative industry, could result in more potential clients seeking to do business with you.
Taking the above-listed measures to impress your client may seem like an unnecessary and needless expenditure at first, but in today’s competitive business world where first impressions last forever. This is why dazzling your prospective clientele can spell the difference between a closed deal and one that’s left hanging.