A few years ago, Laura and I gave a series of talks on the importance of first impressions, and just what a solid first impression means to your business. One example she loved to give was the story of how her search for a dermatologist to consult with ended on a sour note (for a local dermatology office).
Receptionist: “Dr. Dermotologist’s office”
Laura: “Good morning! I’d like to make an appointment to see Dr. Dermotologist. I would be a new patient of his.”
Laura: “Wow – you don’t even want to know my name first?” (said jokingly)
Receptionist: “Do you need a referral with your plan?”
Laura: “I’d really like to talk to Dr. Dermotologist about my…”
Receptionist: “I have an opening on Wednesday, March 9.”
Laura: “Um…don’t you want to know my name or why I need to see him?”
That receptionist’s insistence on sticking with a particular script left a sour taste with Laura. Not only did she keep looking for the right doctor to speak with, but she made that brief conversation a significant piece of one of her go-to public presentations. For a long, long time.
First impressions are important. In a tight, highly competitive business environment, a good first impression is crucial. Rare is the product that sells itself. Rarer still in the Internet world is the business that is a sole-supplier. Customers can – and do- shop around. They read reviews. They trust referrals. And they do their own homework. Most people WILL look you up online before deciding whether to do business with you.
Every business needs a great first impression. For most of us, that means a great website.
Unfortunately, too many small businesses simply cannot afford great-looking websites. Or worse, to save money, they buy into websites that are not particularly functional, not SEO-friendly, oftentimes not mobile-responsive, and almost always NOT EVEN OWNED by the businesses who pay or them. To be fair, great first impressions go beyond the website. As Laura’s anecdote demonstrates, there are plenty of opportunities for a bad first impression that have nothing to do with your website. Most of those areas are internal, though. Not much we can do about those, except maybe point them out. (Which I do, every chance I get.)
But I can help with the outside stuff. I can show you how a great-looking website that doesn’t cost a lot really does greatly enhance your business’s “curb appeal.”