What kind of first impression do you make with your potential customers? Grade yourself on the following items. Give yourself a “1” if you are really good or a “0” if you need to do some work in a particular area:

  1. Your personal appearance: Are you always dressed appropriately and professionally? To your prospects, you represent your business 24/7.
  2. Your attitude: Remember it’s not your aptitude but your attitude that determines your altitude. Your attitude is the single most important skill that you possess when dealing with people. Have you checked your attitude recently?
  3. Your body language and tone of voice: People will believe your body language and tone of voice before they believe the words you say. What are you really “telling” your prospects?
  4. Your greeting: Are you (or whoever answers the phone for you) professional and do you greet the caller with a smile in your voice? Do you let the caller know you are GLAD to help them? What about when you are face-to-face with them?
  5. Your voice mail: Do you update your message frequently. Do you return calls promptly? Do you make it easy for your prospects to get in touch with you (i.e. automatically transfer your business phone to your cell phone when you are out of the office rather than make them wait or have to dial another number)?
  6. Your business card: Do you include your logo, benefits of doing business with you, and all contact info? Is your card easy to read (remember those of us over 40 can’t always read fine print). Tip: Heavy card stock and raised lettering give a more professional image.
  7. Your niche: Do you know what differentiates you from your competition? If you don’t know, how will your prospect?
  8. Your 30 second commercial: Do you have one? A great format to use is the following: Hello, my name is ___. I’m with __. I help people by (primary benefit you provide). Give your memory hook or tag line. Repeat your name and company name to finish.
  9. Your handshake: Is it a firm (not crushing) thumb to thumb shake? Or is it kind of wimpy, wet, or patronizing?
  10. Your marketing materials: Are they professionally done and do they focus on the benefits (not features) that you provide? Do you consistently use your business identity on all materials (i.e. your logo, fonts, colors, slogan, etc.).Your first impression may be the determining factor in whether the prospective customer does business with you or your competitor. Did you score a 10?

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