Second First Impression

About three years ago, one of my staff members was asked to wear casual attire and spend a day working in our offsite storage unit. She checked into the office first: Hair in a ponytail, hoodie and jeans – perfect! At about the same time a new client checked in, sat in the lobby long enough to notice the otherwise improperly-dressed secretary, and walked out the door! I later received a telephone call from him to let me know what my staff was pulling (surely I could not be aware of this) and explaining why he chose to leave. His first visual impression of our office was that of an ill-run, unprofessional operation with standards so low, it scared him to entrust us with his legal requirements. I’m not generally one to make excuses, but he asked why I would allow such dress, which afforded me the opportunity to explain this exception to our otherwise appropriate rule.

First Impressions: Most are now provided by your website. Does your site give potential clients the very best first impression of your business? Have you lost clients who visited your website, found it wasn’t trustworthy or credible (cheesy even), and moved on before you ever had the chance to illustrate your expertise or demonstrate your carefully trained hands, into which they could place their trust . . . and money? Of course, there isn’t a method of determining this answer, but is it a risk you are willing to take? A risk your business can afford to take?

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