How To Make A Killer First Impression
First impressions are absolutely vital. They can make the difference between a client who feels welcome and stays, and one who has instant doubts (and could potentially make a dash for the door!). That’s why I keep a system in place whenever my employees greet workplace visitors.
First of all, if there is a conference call involving several parties, locations, and an access code, a member of my staff will make sure that the line is confirmed and tested before any visitors’ arrival. If the meetings are being held face to face, my employees greet our visitors politely by initiating eye contact, introducing themselves, and shaking the guests’ hands firmly. They then escort visitors to the conference room or waiting area before offering to hang their coats in the closet.
The next step is so ingrained in our offices that it comes as an automatic reflex! Employees immediately offer visitors the choice of a hot or cold beverage, then deliver the beverage in a glass, on a tray, with a coaster or a cocktail napkin. Unless the boss or employee comes out to greet his or her visitors, employees should escort them to the necessary office or waiting area, then quietly vanish. They also let visitors know as soon as possible if the person they are to meet is detained, because a guest stuck in the corner and ignored will quickly become-justifiably-crabby and resentful. (As an FYI, it’s rude to keep visitors with an appointment waiting longer than five minutes.)
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