Do You Create A Good First Impression?
November 13, 2013
He takes me through to his office and says he will be back in a minute with our coffee. He doesn’t take me into the kitchen, good move.
As I wait for him to return I take a quick look around. Desk piled high with paperwork and a thick layer of dust, a washing basket brimming with clothes sits in the corner and a vacuum cleaner waits on the floor, ready for action.
What impression have I formed?
John is quite possibly a savvy, successful business owner, this article does not address that. What I am covering today is the actual impression people form as they step into your office; be that a home office or commercial premises.
This scenario never happened, imagine a poor client reading this article thinking OMG she’s actually talking about me! This scenario does happen though, and while as a client of John’s I’m inclined not to worry too much, if I was looking at engaging his services I would now think twice.
When someone comes into your home office you need to work harder at creating that first impression than if you work from commercial offices. It’s important that your visitor feels;
- at ease
- comfortable in your home
- confident that you are the professional they’re looking to engage
- assured you are organised, capable and care
If they are trusting you with their business or, as a supplier prepared to work hard for you; then the impression you create goes a long way towards how your working relationship will unfold.
Your office should be:
- clearly a business space (no washing!)
- a tidy desk surface
- pin board or white board with no offensive images (it does happen!)
- a place for your visitor to sit without feeling crowded
- pet free
- be dressed professionally
- put them at ease
- offer them a beverage (be hospitable)
Your premises should:
- have a tidy entrance way
- be weed free as they walk up to your house
- have bedroom and toilet doors shut
- have TV off
- not have loud music playing
- be tidy inside
These same principles apply if you’re working from a commercial office space but it’s absolutely critical if you are inviting someone into your home office. A visitor coming to a private residence needs to feel they are in a professional setting.
With these guidelines followed, there is no reason why your meetings or appointments won’t be as successful as you are. If circumstances mean it’s difficult to maintain a professional environment there’s no reason why you can’t meet in a cafe or shared office space.
Your Turn: Have you formed a negative impression based on a first impression? Did this change over the course of your relationship?
Image Credit: http://kaiapoiphotographicclub.org