businessman wondering about his business 'First impressions last.' 

It would have to be one of the oldest and most familiar sayings, but are you giving it the attention it deserves? 

It may be old, but it is still a vital key to every successful business.

 

Whether you operate your mortgage broking business out of a spare room in your home, or in a multi storey building in the CBD, whether you are a sole operator with no staff, or a large corporation with one hundred staff, the same rules apply.  Take an honest look at how you think you, your employees and your office scrub up.

Phone Calls:

·           Are phone calls answered promptly?

·           Does person answering identify themselves clearly?

·           Are phone calls answered and dealt with in a uniform and professional way?

·           Is the manner in which the person answering friendly and cheerful?

·           Do they understand how the business operates?  Are they helpful?

·           If messages are left, are they followed up promptly?

·           If you have an answering service, is it professional?

 

Your Office:

·           Is your office easy to locate – are your directions clear?

·           Is it easy to obtain a parking space close to your office?

·           Does your office stand out with branding and signage?

·           Is the entrance obvious and easy to get to?

·           Are the surroundings and exterior clean and inviting?

·           Does your reception area, bathroom and office look and smell clean...IS it clean?

·           Is there comfortable seating for clients?

·           Is the decor inviting?

·           Are there refreshments – tea, coffee, water – available?

·           Is there appropriate reading material?

·           Is the reception area visible and easy to access?

·           Is your receptionist friendly and readily available to meet and assist clients?

·           If there is music, is it appropriate, and is the volume at a reasonable level?

 

Staff Presentation:

·           Is a uniform available for all staff members?

·           Are all staff members neat, tidy and professional?

·           How is their grooming and personal hygiene?

·           Do they have a cheery disposition, friendly and always helpful?

·           Do they maintain a calm and unstressed manner?

·           Do they show a genuine interest in clients?

·           Do all staff members work well together as a team, or is there obvious tension?

 

Website/Social Media:

You may feel puzzled as to why your web site or social media sites would get a mention in an article on first impressions....but we are living in the 21st Century here!  A large number of potential clients will have their first encounter with you or your business through your web site or social media sites.

Even if an existing client refers someone, they may first look at your web site or social media page to get a personal opinion on your business BEFORE they pick up the phone, so don't dismiss this as a less important.

·           Does your web site/social media page look professional?

·           Is it informative?

·           Is it up to date?

·           Is it easy to navigate?

·           Does it send the message you are wanting your potential clients to hear?

·           Is there a clear call to action?

·           Are contact pages easy to find and complete?

·           Are contact details obvious?

·           Has your branding been done in a tasteful way?

 

What about YOU:

Yes, now it's your turn!  Of course all of the above points also apply to you, but now we are going to get a little more personal – after all it is you that your client will hopefully be dealing with as their professional mortgage broker for a very long time to come.  A little honest self examination is required for this part...

·           Do you return messages in a prompt manner?

·           Are you always a little early, or at least on time?

·           Do you show a personal interest in your potential client?

·           Do you park in an appropriate area...that is NOT in the driveway or on their lawn!

·           Do you promptly walk to the door and knock appropriately?

·           Do you wait until you are invited to enter the home?

·           Do you turn your phone onto silent while you are with your clients?

·           Do you give your clients your undivided attention?

·           Do you listen to and acknowledge your clients concerns and wishes?

·           Do you thank your client for the opportunity to meet and help them?

·           Do you follow through with ALL of the things you say you will do in an appropriate time frame?

If you can tick all of the applicable boxes above, WELL DONE!   You no doubt are leaving a great first impression and creating a professional relationship that will last.

 

 

 

 

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