Over the course of my career, I’ve had a chance to meet and interview hundreds of executives around the globe from enterprises such as Vodafone, United, BNY Mellon, Ford, Sealed Air, France Telecom, Visa, NASDAQ, Thai Airways, eBay, Barclays, and countless others. One of the key takeaways from these interviews and interactions is the professionalism—the individual executives as well as the companies they represent. Nearly every one of them talked, acted, and dressed their role. Rarely did I meet with one of the executives and leave doubting their professionalism or that of the company they represented.
For solopreneurs and small businesses seeking to gain the professional respect of their clients, the same holds true. Show up to meetings late dressed in blue jeans and a tee-shirt, and you garner a different professional impression than if you arrived a few minutes early wearing business attire. But, of course, this is just one of many ways in which you can appear more professional to your clients. The upside, with the availability of digital technologies and services at your disposal, is that you have any number of tools at your fingertips that can help you convey the first and lasting professional impressions that you want your clients to have.
The following is a list of some of the ways you can make your business look and act like a much larger business:
1. Email Communications.
First impressions count, and you often have a matter of seconds. In this case, you want to ensure that you a use company email suffix (viz., don’t use Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) and have a company email signature. Additionally, you need to write emails that are grammatically correct and represent your brand.
2. Client Meetings.
Client meetings at hotel conference rooms and coffee shops lack the professionalism that you typically want for those types of meetings. Hotel conference rooms are expensive to rent, and there can be surrounding distractions such as noisy guests and meetings in adjacent rooms. Coffee shops are also noisy and have an utter lack of privacy. Instead, for many of your meetings, you need to consider rented conference room space. It is up to half the cost of hotel conference rooms. Plus, rented conference room space such as Davinci Meeting Rooms comes with the presentation tools and technologies, not to mention lobby greeters, needed to facilitate successful client meetings.
3. Office Address.
The physical address for your business is important. A great business address goes a long way in saying what your business is about. For solopreneurs and small businesses without an office location, virtual office addresses enable you to have an address that makes you look much bigger and exudes the professionalism you want your business to convey. And for businesses looking to expand into new locations, virtual office addresses are an inexpensive and easy way to do so.
Incoming calls from clients need to be answered in real time. Pushing clients to voice mail or having their calls ring directly to your mobile device isn’t the experience you want them to have. Rather, solopreneurs and small businesses can answer incoming calls and even make outbound calls using live receptionists such as Davinci Live Receptionists. This enables you to appear much larger than your actual size.
5. Live Web Chat.
Clients want omnichannel engagement choices, and digital channels such as live web chat and text are quickly becoming preferred options. But few solopreneurs or small businesses have the resources to staff live web chat and text. The good news is that there are other options such as Davinci Live Web Chat, where professional agents proactively engage with clients to answer questions, resolve issues, and close sales.
The digital age has transformed how solopreneurs and small businesses use office space and interact with clients. The emergence of coworking space and rented day offices and conference rooms and the ability to outsource digital engagement services shrinks the gap between large and small businesses and solopreneurs, helping them to appear more professional to their clients.