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Life Health > Running Your Business

The impression that really counts

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When you meet a big prospect face to face for the first time, you wear your best suit and take the time to be totally prepared. You take great care with this first impression because you know it’s the foundation of the relationship you hope to build. But in the digital age, this first meeting is often not the first interaction a prospect has with you. In fact, that first face-to-face meeting may never occur unless your actual first impression is indeed impressive.

When a prospect is referred to you, her first real impression of you will likely come from your website or LinkedIn profile. But what if she can’t locate you online? What if what she finds is out of date and doesn’t share the specific benefits she will gain from working with you?

Or worse, what if the information your prospect finds about you online doesn’t come close to matching the perception he has in his mind? The disconnect between what he has heard and what he sees online could give him pause. That disconnect could be the reason you’re not converting more hard-earned referrals into appointments and sales. So ask yourself, does my online presence match who I really am?

Today, nine out of ten people will search for you online before coming in for a visit. Why? Because they can (and should) conduct do due diligence to find out about you and your firm before coming in to share their confidential, personal financial information. If we consumers go online when shopping for a new refrigerator, we’re certainly going to do so when shopping for someone to help us invest our life savings.

If you think you should be getting more referrals based on the good job you do for your clients, look first to your first impression. If you’re doing the type of work they consider valuable, your clients are likely talking about you. And they’re likely referring you to others. It could be your website (and overall online presence) that’s to blame for those missing appointments and sales.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to


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