You can close more deals if your represent your brand the right way!
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, you’re always going to have to make sure that you (and your employees) represent your company and your brand well to new and prospective clients.
What follows are a few things that you should take into consideration when telling your brand story, whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or someone who just got an entry-level job at a new company.
Before your new or prospective customer walks through the doors of your company to sit down for a meeting (whatever that meeting may be) they’ve seen your website, your Twitter account, your Facebook, your traditional advertising…you want to make sure that all of that is consistent with your image and your mission – and on the most basic level that you use the same logo, the same color scheme, the same tone, throughout.
You should have a social media brand advocate (even if it is only yourself) and make sure that you have a professionally designed website and logo – if you can’t do it yourself, don’t try. These days, it’s better to sink a few thousand dollars into a well designed website than just throw a cheap template up as a placeholder – your presence on the web is more important these days than ever.
Beyond your online presence, you’re going to want to make sure that your logo, your colors, your brand culture is reflected in all of your materials, from your business cards to your press releases and the layout of your office and lobby (if you have one).
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While your company policy may be jeans and a t-shirt for office wear – the way that you present yourself is the way that people will perceive you, especially upon first notice. When meeting clients for the first time, I often err on the side of overdressing than under-dressing. If the office atmosphere is typically casual, perhaps slide into a pair of dress jeans or slacks, but don’t wear the stained, slumpy clothes you would wear to work any other day.
The potential client that is coming in the door may not realize what your company culture is (though if you did a good job of branding, they probably have some idea), and it is still the norm that jeans and other casual clothing is viewed as unprofessional in most business situations.
Don’t Say “I Don’t Know”
…legitimately, don’t let those specific words cross your lips. If you don’t know something and can’t answer the client immediately, twist it, deflect it – don’t make it sound like you don’t know, make it sound like you’re deferring to the expert. It puts a positive twist on an otherwise potentially negative and troublesome connotation.
If a client calls asking why their website isn’t working properly – but they call you and you’re a salesperson, say something like, “So and so – our programmer is in the office today, I’ll be sure to speak to him about this and get back to you” – offer some sort of resolution or further action. Don’t be afraid to say “let me consult the team” but don’t leave the client hanging with just an open ended “I don’t know;” it will likely leave a bad taste in their mouth.
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Keep Calm (And Carry On)
We’ve all had clients throw a fit at us – even only potential ones, whether they’re trying to bargain us down to a much lower cost than what we offered, or if they’re bemoaning the fact that they want a specific something-or-other. remember, you hold the cards here – and you aren’t going to win every client. Some just aren’t going to work out and you have to recognize that you aren’t going to be everyone’s friend. Don’t be afraid to say no if what they want does not align with your company and your philosophy.
And if you have a client that is screaming at you – what good would it do to scream back at them, other than to damage your reputation with your colleagues, and potentially damage the reputation of the company that you work for? Stay calm and rational and offer the best solution for the situation. If they are still upset, at least you gave it your best shot – move on.
Do you feel it’s important to represent your brand professionally to new clients?
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