Creating a Successful Image for Your Business
Think about how you present yourself. This is most critical if you are a service business… and who isn’t in the service business? (If you have clients, you are in the service business) The impression you create in face-to-face contact must reflect your position in the market and create a market opportunity for your business every time you speak to others. People are seeking your credibility on the product or service you sell. Convincing others of your credibility requires two key elements:
1. Knowledge. You must be seen as knowledgeable about the product or service you are selling or promoting by providing expert information.
2. Trust. Clients must believe you will act with their best interests in mind.
Credibility and visibility go hand-in-hand. You need to demonstrate your expertise, trustworthiness, and concern for your client’s welfare. How will you do this? Marketing yourself is an active process. It requires you to assert yourself, make your audience aware of you (even if it is only one person), grab their attention, and then focus that attention on your credibility. To establish and maintain your credibility, you must follow your words with action.
- List all the paper involved in your business (tags, boxes, stationery, invoices, receipts and cards)
- How does your image and name reflect your position in the marketplace? Does it communicate the strength you have in the market (price, service, and convenience)? How do you present yourself to the client, especially in a service business? How do you answer your phones? How do you leave messages? What does your answering message say? Do you have special clothing or transportation that form part of your image?
- Name your favorite product or service. What image do you have of them? What does it say to you? Why do you buy from them?
- Think of your business. What image would a client get of you? Why?
Business image is extremely important to clients who have many choices in deciding where to spend their money. It also affects whether or not someone will return to you in the future. Clients will leave you for many reasons, but almost 70% leave due to a poor attitude exhibited by employees of the business. This is easily avoidable if you understand what the client wants and then communicate the image you want to project to all of your employees. When you think about it, everyone who works in your company who speaks to or is seen by your clients, is a sales person. The message delivered to your client should be the same from them as it is from you.
Remember to talk periodically to your clients about your image. This is a good way to make sure that your clients view the business in the way you want it to be seen. I leave you with a task. Talk to your clients. Ask them if your business image is conveyed consistently, then sit back and listen.