First Impressions Count

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

We are frankly astonished at the responses we get from companies at times when we want to spend money with them. We are currently helping a client with the sourcing of their engineering fabrications. This is a multi-million pound contract.

Our initial desk research identified a number of potential suppliers that we decided to contact to establish whether they would be worth pursuing prior to undertaking any detailed due diligence.

The initial telephone call was made to all companies. Here are the responses from three of them:

Company No 1

When asked “Can you put me through to your Sales Department?” we were challenged “Why?” as if our request was unreasonable.

Company No 2

Exactly the approach was taken with our second potential supplier who responded with “Do you have any drawings?” in a tone that suggested if we did not possess the desired documents then there is no point talking to them.

Company No 3

The third response restored our faith in mankind!  “Yes we do, and if you could explain a little more about what you are looking for I will make sure I find exactly the right person and they will call you back”. This they did within 10 minutes.

You can guess which of these companies have already been rejected.

In times of recession most companies would be glad of potential customers contacting them. First impressions count and really matter. How many Companies regularly test how their potential customers are treated by  posing as one of those  seeking to spend money with them. Clearly not enough are doing this.

For the employees we engaged with in the first two companies, we have two alternative suggestions. Firstly is a book by Dale Carnegie- it is called “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. If that does not appeal we would suggest one of the many excellent books on writing CVs as they are clearly going to need them when the business goes bankrupt through lack of sales!