You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Cliché—yes, but only because this bit of advice is truly timeless. First impressions matter—they can mean the difference between a sale and no sale, a loan and no loan, or great employees and mediocre ones. In the small business world especially, first impressions need to be approached thoughtfully. You can’t afford it any other way. Consider these tips for making a great first impression …

  1. Appearance matters. Run-down offices, messy restrooms, sloppy appearances, casual attire … while we hate to judge books by their covers, we do. Make sure your offices and storefronts are clean, put dress codes in place to assure a professional appearance from staff and provide a welcoming space with individual coffee and tea to greet customers and potential business partners.
  2. So does customer service. Especially if your business has been built online, often the only impression a customer or client has of a business comes from their experience when something goes wrong. Whether or not they are able to reach a real person, how that person mediates a situation, how soon a resolution is reached, and how a customer is treated throughout their overall purchase experience all matter. Make a concerted effort to provide the best customer service possible. And, when it does go wrong, follow up with an apology accompanied by a Krispy Treat, because no one can resist staying upset in the face of marshmallowy goodness.
  3. Put effort into your marketing materials. Before a customer even considers working with your business, they are likely to check out your website, see an ad in a publication, or receive a direct mail piece from your marketing department. Your marketing efforts should not only aim to draw them in, but impress them. Polished print pieces and professional websites that are easy to read and navigate and are visually appealing are not an option, but a must. Branded promotional items like removable vinyl bumper stickers and custom static decals that include a phone number and a website are also great ways to market your small business while providing customers an easy way of finding you.
  4. Be mindful of what you say.What we say in conversation in person, online or via telephone and how we say it can serious impact a first impression. The words we use can cause someone to judge intelligence, competency, education level and leadership ability—for better or for worse. Avoid mumbling, enunciate clearly, alter your pitch to avoid sounding monotone. Gesture naturally, express yourself with smiles and head nods. Avoid using vocabulary that you’re unsure of, but speak professionally.
  5. Be respectful. It sounds obvious, but it really requires thought to be effective. Not only should customers and clients be treated professionally, respect to their time should also be taken. Respond to e-mails and phone calls as soon as possible, always begin cold calls by asking if the other person has a few moments to speak to you, and always arrive on time to meetings. Being late is a horrible first impression—it shows that you are irresponsible and that you don’t value anyone’s time but your own. Harsh, but true.

Never forget that your first impressions can literally make or break you. Take the time to assess the image that you present to your clients and customers to ensure that you are making the exact impression that you want. Share:    Facebook   Twitter

March
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Alcohol Awareness Month Amateur Radio Month Autism Awareness Month Cancer Control Month Car Care Month Celebrate Diversity Month Child Abuse Prevention Month Cesarean Awareness Month Couple Appreciation Month Cranberries and Gooseberries Month Emotional Overeating Awareness Month Fair Housing Month Financial Literacy Month Fresh Florida Tomatoes Month Frog Month Global Child Nutrition Month Grange Month Holy Humor Month Home Improvement Time (April – Sept) Informed Women Month International Customer Loyalty Month International Guitar Month International Twit Award Month Jazz Appreciation Month Keep America Beautiful Month Learn Thai Month Month of the Young Child Month of the Military Child National Child Abuse Prevention Month National Decorating Month National DNA & Genomics & Stem Cell Education & Awareness Month National Donate Life Month National Humor Month National Kit Month National Knuckles Down Month National Landscape Architecture Month National Occupational Therapy Month National Parkinson’s Awareness Month National Pecan Month National Pet Month National Poetry Month National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Month National Youth Sports Safety Month Pharmacists war on Diabetes Month Pet First Aid Awareness Month Physical Wellness Month Prevent Lyme in Dogs Month Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month Rosacea Awareness Month School Library Media Month Soy Foods Month Straw Hat Month Stress Awareness Month Testicular Cancer Awareness Month Tomatillo and Asian Pear Month Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month Workplace Conflict Awareness Month World Habitat Awareness MonthInternational Pooper-Scooper Week: 1-7 Laugh at Work Week: 1-7 Medication safety Week: 1-7 Golden Rule Week: 1-7 Testicular Cancer Awareness Week: 2-7 Explore Your Career Options: 3-9 National Blue Ribbon Week: 3-9 National Week of the Ocean: 3-9 Hate Week: 4-10 Masters Tournament: 4-10 National Networking Week: 4-10 National Public Health Week: 4-10 National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week: 4-10 International Whistlers Week: 7-10 Consider Christianity Week: 10-16 Health Information Privacy And Security Week: 10-16 National Environmental Week: 10-16 National Inspirational News Week: 10-16 National Library Week: 10-16 National Volunteer Week: 10-16 Pan American Week: 10-16 Passiontide: 10-23 Passion Week: 10-16 Week of The Young Child: 10-16 National Personal Training Week: 11-17 Fiddler’s Frolic: 14-17 National & Global Youth Service Days: 15-17 Cleaning for a Reason Week: 17-23 Coin Week: 17-23 Holy Week: 17-23 National Crime Victims Rights Week: 17-23 National Karaoke Week: 17-23 National Paperboard Packaging Week: 17-23 National Pet ID Week: 17-23 Consumer Awareness Week: 18-23 Fibroid Awareness Week: 18-22 Fish Fry Week: 18-24 National Park Week: 18-24 Passover: 18-26 Police Officers Who Gave Their Lives In The Line of Duty Week: 18-23 Turnoff Week: 18-24 Peach: 19-26 National Dance Week: 22-5/1 Administrative Professionals Week: 24-30 National Scoop the Poop Week: 24-30 National Playground Safety Week: 24-30 Sky Awareness Week: 24-30 Safe Kids Week: 25-5/1 Gathering of the Nations PowWow: 28-30 National Dream Hotline: 29-5/11: April Fools or All Fools Day* 1: Atheist Day 1: US Air Force Day* 1: Boomer Bonus Days* 1: Good Friday 1: National Fun Day* 1: Poetry & The Creative Mind Day* 1: Reading is Funny Day 1: Hospital Admitting Clerks Day 1: Sorry Charlie Day* 1: Atheists Day* 2: International Children’s Book Day* 2: Reconciliation Day* 2: World Autism Day* 2: International Pillow Fight Day 2: Tangible Karma Day 3: Pony Express Day* 3: Tweed Day* 4: Tater Day 4: International Day for Mine Awareness & Assistance in Mine Action* 4: Victims of Violence Holy Day* 4: Vitamin C Day* 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day 6: National Day of Hope 6: Drowsy Driver Awareness Day* 6: National Student Athlete Day 6: New Beers Eve* 6: Church of Latter Day Saints Day* 6: Paraprofessional Appreciation Day 6: Tartan Day* 6: Teflon Day* 6: Army Day 7: ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day) 7: Metric System Day* 7: National Beer Day 7: No Housework Day* 7: World Health Organization Day* 8: Buddha Day* 8: National Pie Day 9: National Cherish an Antique Day* 9: National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day* 10: National Sibling Day* 10: Salvation Army Founder’s Day* 10: Safety Pin Day* 10: National Farm Animals Day 11: Barbershop Quartet Day* 11: World Parkinson’s Disease Day* 11: National Pet Day* 12: D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read)* 12: Licorice Day* 12: Walk on Your Wild Side Day* 12: National Library Day 12: Equal Pay Day* 13: Thomas Jefferson Day* 13: Tax Freedom Day 14: Children with Alopecia Day* 14: International Moment of Laughter Day 14: National D.A.R.E. Day 14: Pan American Day* 15: DNA Day 15: Income Tax Pay Day* 15: Take a Wild Guess Day* 16: Auctioneers Day 16: Husband Appreciation Day 16: Record Store Day 16: Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day 17: Bat Appreciation Day 17: Blah! Blah! Blah! Day* 17: Ellis Island Family History Day* 17: Ford Mustand Day* 17: Nothing Like A Dame Day* 17: Palm Sunday 17: Perigean Spring Tides 18: Boston Marathon 18: Adult Autism Day* 18: National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day* 18: Pet Owners Independence Day* 18: International Amateur Radio Day* 18: National Stress Awareness Day* 19: National Hanging Out Day* 19: Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day* 21: Get To Know Your Customers Day 21: High Five Day 21: Holy Thursday 21: Kindergarten Day* 21: National Chocolate-covered Cashews Day* 21: National Teach Your Children To Save Day 22: Chemists Celebrate The Earth Day* 22: Earth Day* 22: Good Friday 22: In God We Trust Day’ Day* 22: Mother Earth Day 22: National Jelly Bean Day* 23: Movie Theatre Day* 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day* 23: World Book & Copyright Day* 23: Bulldogs are Beautiful Day 23: International Marconi Day 24: Easter 24: World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 24: National Pet Parent’s Day 24: Mother, Father Deaf Day 25: Easter Monday 25: White House Easter Egg Roll 25: Malaria Awareness Day* 25: Red Hat Society Day* 26: Hug an Australian Day* 26: Richter Scale Day* 26: National Kids and Pets Day* 27: Administrative Professionals Day or Secretary’s Day 27: Mantanzas Mule Day* 27: Babe Ruth Day* 27: Morse Code Day* 28: Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day 28: Workers Memorial Day* 28: Poem in Your Pocket Day 29: Arbor Day 29: National Hairball Awareness Day 29: National Dance Day* 29: Save the Frogs Day 30: Eeyore’s Birthday Day 30: Beltane* 30: Bugs Bunny Day* 30: National Go Birding Day 30: National Rebuilding Day 30: Hairstylists Appreciation Day* 30: Penguin Day 30: Sense of Smell Day 30: National Honesty Day 30: Spank Out Day* 30: Walpurgis Night* 30: World Healing Day
May
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ALS Awareness Month American Wetlands Month APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome) Arthritis Awareness Month Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Awareness of Medical Orphans Month Better Hearing & Speech Month Borderline Personality Disorder Month Brain Tumor Awareness Month Carrots and Cauliflower Clean Air Month Community Living Month Creative Beginnings Month EcoDriving Month Family Wellness Month Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month Freedom Shrine Month Get Caught Reading Month Gifts from the Garden Month Go Fetch! Food Drive for Homeless Animals Month Grapefruit and Kiwi Month Haitian Heritage Month Heal the Children Month Healthy Vision Month Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month International Audit Month International Business Image Improvement Month International Civility Awareness Month International Victorious Woman Month Jewish-American Heritage Month Latino Books Month Lupus Awareness Month Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month Motorcycle Safety Month National Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month National Barbeque Month National Better Hearing Month National Bike Month National Egg Month National Foster Care Month National Good Car Keeping Month National Hamburger Month National Hepatitis Awareness Month National Meditation Month National Mental Health Month National Military Appreciation Month National Moving Month National Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month National Osteoporosis Prevention Month National Photo Month National Physical Fitness & Sports Month National Physiotherapy Month National Preservation Month National Salad Month National Salsa Month National Smile Month National Stroke Awareness Month National Vinegar Month National Youth Traffic Safety Month Older Americans Month Personal History Month Potatoes and Limes Month Prepare Tomorrow’s Parent Month React Month Revise Your Work Schedule Month Skin Cancer Awareness Month Strike Out Strokes Month Sweet Vidalia Onions Month Teen CEO Month Teen Self- Esteem Month Tennis Month Tay-Sachs and Canavan Disease Month Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month Ultra-violet Awareness Month Women’s Health Care Month Young Achiever’s Month National Family Month: May 9: June 20thBe Kind to Animals Week: 1-7 Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week: 1-7 National Correctional Officer’s Week: 1-7 Children’s Mental Health Week: 1-7 Drinking Water Week: 1-7 Flexible Work Arrangement Week: 1-7 Goodwill Industries Week: 1-7 Kids Win Week: 1-7 National Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week: 1-7 National Family Week: 1-7 National Hug Holiday Week: 1-7 National Pet Week: 1-7 North American Occupational Safety & Health Week: 1-7 Update Your References Week: 1-7 Astronomy Week: 2-8 Children’s Book Week: 2-8 Dating and Life Coach Recognition Week: 2-8 National Wildflower Week: 2-8 Spring Astronomy Week: 2-8 Teacher Appreciation Week: 2-8 Work at Home Moms Week: 2-8 National Nurses Day and Week: 6-12 National Tourism Week: 7-15 National Hospital Week: 8-14 National Nursing Home Week: 8-14 Reading is Fun Week: 8-14 Salute to Moms 35+ Week: 8-14 National Return to Work Week: 9-15 National Women’s Health Week: 9-15 National Etiquette Week: 9-13 National Stuttering Awareness Week: 9-15 Universal Family Week: 10-16 National Dog Bite Prevention Week: 15-21 National New Friends, Old Friends Week: 15-21 National Police Week: 15-21 National Transportation Week: 15-21 World Trade Week: 15-21 EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week: 15-21 American Craft Beer Week: 16-21 National Bike to Work Week: 16-20 Cover the Uninsured Week: 21-28 National Safe Boating Week: 21-27 National Backyard Games Week: 23-30 Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories: 25-31 Old-Time Player Piano Week: 27-30 Black Single Parents Week: 29-6/41: Amtrak Day 1: Beltaine 1: Executive Coaching Day 1: Free Comic Book Day 1: Frequent Flyer Day 1: Keep Kids Alive! Drive 25 Day 1: Law Day 1: Lei Day 1: Loyalty Day 1: May Day 1: Mother Goose Day 1: National Dance Day 1: New Homeowner’s Day 1: School Principals’ Day 1: Silver Star Day 1: Stepmother’s Day 1: World Laughter Day 1: International Babylost Mother’s Day 1: Motorcycle Mass and Blessing of the Bike Day 1: National Infertility Day 2: Melanoma Monday 2: National Play Your Ukulele Day 2: Roberts rule of Order Day 3: Childhood Depression Awareness Day 3: Garden Meditation Day 3: Lumpy Rug Day 3: National Special-able Pets Day 3: National Disable Pets Day 3: National Teacher Day 3: National Two Different Colored Shoes Day 3: Paranormal Day 3: Public Radio Day 3: World Press Freedom Day 4: Great American Grump Out 4: Intergalactic Star Wars Day 4: Respect for Chickens Day 4: Shabbat Across America / Canada Day 5: Cartoonists Day 5: Childhood Stroke Awareness Day 5: Cinco de Mayo 5: International Midwives Day 5: Martin Z. Mollusk Day 5: National Day of Prayer 5: National Day of Reason 5: Occupational Safety and Health Professional’s Day 5: Totally Chipotle Day 6: Joseph Brackett Day 6: Military Spouse Appreciation Day 6: National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy 6: No Diet Day 6: No Homework Day 6: Nurses Day 6: Tuba Day 7: Astronomy Day 7: Child Care Provider Day 7: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 7: Join Hands Day 7: Kentucky Derby 7: Letter Carrier’s Food Drive Day 7: Mother Ocean Day 7: National Babysitter’s Day 7: National Homebrew Day 7: National Scrapbooking Day 7: Space Day 7: World Asthma Day 7: World Fair Trade Day 8: Birthmother’s Day 8: No Socks day 8: VE Day 8-9: Time of Rememberance and Reconciliation for those who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War 8: World Red Cross Day 8: National Miniature Golf Day 8: Stay Up All Night Day 8: Mother’s Day 9: Accountant’s Day or Accounting Day 9: Mothers at the Wall Day 9: Armed Forces Day Military – Amateur Crossband Communication 10: Buddah Day 10: Lupus Day 10: Windmill Day 11: Donate a Day’s Wages to Charity Day 11: Eat what you Want Day 11: National School Nurses Day 11: National Night Shift Workers Day 11: Receptionist Day 12: Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 12: Hug Your Cat Day 12: Limerick Day 12: National Nutty Fudge Day 12: Odometer Day 13: Blamer Someone Else Day 13: Friday the 13th 13: Frog Jumping Day 14: International Migratory Bird Day 14: National Chicken Dance Day 14: National Train Day 14: The Stars and Stripes Forever Day 14: Underground America Day 14: National Windmill Day 14: Stay Up All Night 15: International Day of Families 15: National Chocolate Chip Day 15: National Safety Dose Day 15: Nylon Stockings Day 15: Peace Officer Memorial Day 15: National Pizza Party Day 15: Staw hat Day 15: Armed Foces Day 15: NASCAR Day 16: Biographer’s Day 16: National Sea Monkey Day 16: Turn beauty Inside Out Day 16: Victoria Day 17: World Hypertension Day 17: World Information Society Day 17: World Telecommunications Day 18: International Museum Day 18: Mother Whistler Day 18: Second Passover 18: Visit Your Relatives Day 18: National Employee Health and Fitness Day 18: Turn Beauty Inside Out Day 19: Boys Club Day 19: May Ray Day 20: Eliza Doolittle Day 20: International Virtual Assistants Day 20: National Bike to Work Day 20: National Defense Transportation Day 20-21: Rhubarb Day 20: Weights & Measures Day 21: American Red Cross Founder’s Day 21: Armed Forces Day 21: I Need a Patch of That Day 21: National Endangered Species Day 21: National Wait Staff Day 21: O. Henry Pun-off Day 21: Preakness Stakes 21: Sister Maria Hummel Day 21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development 22: International Day for Biological Diversity 22: Lag B’Omer 22: National Maritime Day 22: Neighbor Day 23: Declaration of the Bab Day 23: National Taffy Day 23: World Crohn’s and Colitis Day 23: World Turtle Day 24: Brother’s Day 24: Morse Code Day 24-25: National Geographic Bee 24: African Freedom Day 25: Cookie Monter’s Birthday 25: National Missing Children’s Day 25: National Tap Dance Day 25: Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day 25: Towel Day 25: National Senior Health and Fitness Day 25: World MS Day 26-27: Scripps National Spelling Bee 27:Cellophane Tape Day 27: National Wig Out Day 27: Old-Time Player Piano Day 28: Sierra Club Day 28: Slugs Return to Capistrano Day 28: International Jazz Day 28: Julie Pierpont Day 28: Amateur radio Military Appreciation Day 29: Indianapolis 500 29: International Day of UN Peacekeepers 29: Rogation Sunday 29: Rural Life Sunday Day 30: Loomis Day 30: Memorial Day 30: Prayer for Peace Memorial Day 31: What you Think Upon Grows Day 31: World No-Tobacco Day
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