With over 25 years of experience in business workflow and logistics, Belinda Wasser, founder Rocket Girl Solutions , member of THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ , and frequent guest contributor to THE JILLS NEWS, offers up practical advice on running your business so it isn't running you.
We're proud to have Belinda as one of our JILLS and welcome her expertise in working with solo professionals and small business owners as their part-time business managers. Belinda loves taking care of the daily details and minutiae so business owners can get back to the work they love doing.
Jills have the best tips for working smart + solo and in this post, Belinda shares how to WOW your clients from the first glance...
Is Your Business Ready for the 'College Tour'?
If you’re friends with me on Facebook, there’s no way you could have missed the trip I took last week to look at colleges with my 17-year-old daughter, Emily. Over eight days, we visited six schools, drove 1,838 miles and met lots and lots of terrific people.
Visiting one school after another gave us a chance to make comparisons, and not just of their academic offerings, either. We assessed everything from student life to food plans and dorm room size. We also got a good look at the way they each manage the admissions process.
It was fascinating – and varied. And it got me thinking about how we, as professionals, manage our own “getting to know you” phase with prospects.
Here are some issues that caught my attention:
Preparation. Some of the tour guides were extremely well prepared. They had a set route and were filled with interesting facts and information. Others were clearly winging it, wandering around and telling whatever stories they thought of in the moment (some of which, I’m sure, the school would not appreciate!). Some ended the tour at the bookstore; others left us in the middle of wherever, leaving us to find where we had parked on our own!
How about you? Do you have a set approach to speaking with prospects about your business (or do you just wing it)?
First impressions. Some of the schools had beautifully designed welcome centers: Cushy couches, computer screens with images of the school and drinks galore. None of this has anything to do with the quality of education my daughter will ultimately receive, of course, but I have to admit, in the moment, it’s hard to separate the two.
How about you? Is your web site professionally designed, error-free and up-to-date? Here too, it may have nothing to do with the work you do, but people do judge a book by its cover.
Eagerness. Three of the tours ended at the Admissions office, which were filled with lots of staff standing by to answer questions, meet the kids, facilitate the admissions process and give us cold bottles of water (did I mention that it was crazy hot?). Two of the three made a point to give Emily business cards with the names and email addresses of the tour guides, as well as the counselors who would be assigned to her should she decide to apply. Clearly, they wanted “our business.”
How about you? Do prospective clients get all of your upbeat and eager attention when they get in touch, or are you quietly checking email in the background while they talk, wishing they’d get to the point faster?
You get the picture. This “soft stuff” matters. And while none of it replaces the need for you to do a wonderful job with your clients, if you lose them during the “campus tour phase,” you may never get that opportunity!