We all know the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Now it is more critical than ever to make the first, first impression if you want to have any chance to control the buying process and be anything other than happy for the the random sales that fall you way.
Back in my days as an EVP Sales & Marketing at a manufacturing company we always tried our best to get requested test samples back to as prospect as fast as possible. We were a small company playing with some big competitors and we figured if we got our stuff back first we would set the table for everyone else.
If our samples were of high quality, correct to the specifications, and the first in the door then we had the upper hand. Everyone else was now measured against our quick response and quality work. When conducting win analysis with our customers this first, first impression was often cited as a critical reason our company was chosen.
That was few short years ago and while the idea of making the first, first impression still holds it now relates to what your prospects see before they ever call you.
For you manufacturers out there I am talking to you.
Before the prospect ever picks up the phone, someone, more often than not the real buyer according to most studies, will be looking at your online profile to see who is doing what, what face you present online, and what other people are saying about you.
I know of a company that had a horrible reputation for quality and customer service that stayed in business way longer than they should have because they got the online part right. People would see them first online due to excellent search engine optimization--work they had done before most of their competitors even knew what SEO was. This first, first impression was key to them landing lots of new clients. They didn't earn a lot repeat business due to their poor service but they sold a ton of product based on a good first, first impression.
Are you creating an online profile that will give you the first, first impression of your industry or competitive niche to your prospects?