Professionalism is business can literally make or break a potential deal or relationship. Customers want to see a business that takes their niche seriously, as well as the relationship they share with clients. A professionally dressed, spoken, and oriented person will have a much greater effect on a potential client than a less than professional one. Keep reading to learn more about how you can secure more customers by improving your professional image.
Dress The Part
Nothing says “professional” more than that savvy business look. Clean, well-groomed, and well-dressed comes to mind when we think “professional”. The right look is essential to distinguish yourself from the rest of your competition.
A business professional who takes care of their personal image will make great first impressions with new customers. Potential clients will note your clothing, hair, and other physical attributes when they first meet you. It’s vital that you provide them with a stellar first impression, as it can be the deciding factor in securing their business.
If you find that your wardrobe seems to be lacking in professional clothing choices, it’s probably a good idea to spend some extra money to improve your image. Even thrift stores sell business suits, blouses, and other business professional clothing, but at a discount price so as not to break the bank.
Just be sure any used clothes your purchase isn’t too dated and fit you well. They should be clean, free of holes or tears, and not too big or small. Purchasing a size up can make your clothes look baggy, or, alternatively, a size down can make them look too tight.
Be sure to keep hair brushed and clean, and if you’re a man with facial hair, keeping it trimmed will help give you that clean look that will impress potential clients every time. First impressions can be critical to your professional career.
Speaking With Confidence
Some people find it very difficult to speak with strangers, where others have no problem at all. It varies from person to person, but the one resounding truth that stands out is that people admire and respect confidentiality. When you speak with confidence in your brand or business, you’re helping to set potential clients at ease and make their decision to partner with you all the more simple.
Speaking with a confident voice can help set you apart from other professionals and give you the advantage when it comes to new clients. A confident businessman (or woman) is more likely to land a contract than one who avoids eye contact or doesn’t speak much.
Make Your Customers A Priority
New customers will want to feel welcomed, so it’s vital that you make them a priority. Companies that make customers their first priority experience much greater success than their non-customer-oriented counterparts.
Since the customer is literally the foundation of your business, it’s easy to see why making them a priority is vital to your business’s success. This is not only a professional gesture, but it also hits home on a personal level. You’re making your customers feel wanted, appreciated, valued. Nothing can replace that!
No matter how great your products or services are, without professional customer service to back them up, you’ll essentially be dead in the water. Value your customers, make them a priority, and you’ll find their loyalty isn’t difficult to come by.
A great way to connect with new customers is to host a conference call to get to know them a little better. This will allow you to introduce yourself, your brand, and learn about what kinds of things they value and expect from the people they do business with.
Always Be on Time
Punctuality is one of the greatest assets of a modern professional. Being on time not only says that you care about your own image, but that you value the time of everyone else at your destination. There is nothing more rude or disrespectful than showing up to an important meeting late.
Not only are you interrupting an already-in-progress discussion, but you’re letting everyone in the room know that their time wasn’t quite as valuable as your own, and that can leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth; especially new clients.
The best rule to follow is to be early to your engagements. Whether you’re meeting a new client for the first time or a previous one for the hundredth time, showing up early will ensure that your professional image is maintained and your customer knows that their time is valuable to you.
A good rule to follow is “if you’re not early, you’re late”. By adhering to this standard, you’ll never be late for another important meeting, and you will earn the respect of the attendees.
Maintain Your Standards
Once you’ve achieved a certain level of professionalism, it’s not enough to simply reach that point. You need to maintain that standard for the rest of your professional career so that when your name is heard, it becomes synonymous with “professionalism”.
Gathering feedback is one way to effectively maintain your standards. Learning what the customer thinks of your brand and the customer service you have to offer can help you make adjustments where necessary, or identify the standard you’re adhering to so you can better maintain it.
Your Professional Career
By maintaining a reputation for professional behavior, you’ll have opportunities to meet new clients, connections, and interact with other professionals who may have something to teach you. Remember that a customer respects a businessman or woman with a professional image and attitude. Show your customers you value their time and their business by maintaining a level of professionalism throughout your career.