In our relationship-oriented business, the experience you offer is one of the strongest outward displays of your brand. With each nuance you have the opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression.
Consider this example of how to use your five senses to evaluate the experience of a potential client meeting in your office. Notice how you can elevate your experience to a whole new level when you focus on the details:
1. SEE: Sit in your visitor’s chair. What do you notice? Does it reflect what you want prospective clients or partners to see? I am often surprised with what appears in the line of sight. Do you have dirty windows? Can you see another client’s name on a note or file? What does this say about your brand?
2. SMELL: My audience (pregnant women) is particularly sensitive to smell. I make sure I don’t wipe the desk with cleaner right before a meeting. Does your audience have a particular sensitivity? You may have to rethink having flowers or your cat in the office.
3. TOUCH: The weight and shape of your water glasses, the texture and heft of your paper choice, the surface of your desk, the feel of the chairs. Do they reflect the qualities of your brand (grounded, strong, accessible, luxurious, comfy)?
4. HEAR: At what volume you speak? What tone and words do you use? Is there ambient noise you’re used to that may affect your guest? Do you provide crunchy snacks? (Laugh if you must, but I once offered chips and guacamole for a long intake session. The client liked it, but consider this: ‘crunch’ interruption, spills, and the smell …)
5. TASTE: To consider this sense may seem far-fetched; yet here is the place to surprise and delight. What do you offer visitors who come to your office? Is there a richness or decadence you want to share from dark chocolate or espresso? Do you want calming tastes from herbal teas?
When you begin to enhance your brand to this level of specificity you’ll be surprised how the sum total makes a lasting impact!
Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA