Going for coffee could be killing your business

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For many, the café is the new office. There’s nothing that eases things like the relaxed atmosphere of a café, with friendly staff, soft music, and steady supply of hot beverages – but it turns out that going for coffee could be killing your business.

A survey conducted by Servcorp in partnership with Roy Morgan Research found that one out of three prospective customers are left with a negative impression if the business owner meets them in a café or home office, a stark contrast to the two out four business owners who think meeting a prospective customer at a cafe has no impact on their decision to choose them.

While the urge to treat the first meeting as an informal chat before getting down to business later on is understandable, especially if you are a small business with an out of the way, uninspiring office, the reality is that first impressions count, and the first impression is often the only one you will get.

A prospective customer is just that: someone who is interested in buying your goods or using your services, which means that they want to get a feel for how you work and in turn, what you or your work are capable of doing for them. It’s hard to give a prospective customer a comprehensive view of what you do when you are meeting them in a location where you are not the focus; rather than putting your own business and its potential on show, by meeting in a café you are instead showcasing its staff and produce.

Meeting prospective customers for the first time in a professional setting that properly highlights what benefits working together with you will bring them is critical; as most business owners and salespeople know, if an opportunity isn’t explored during the first meeting, then the chance of it coming to fruition decreases. The stats back this up: Servcorp’s research found that a professional office has almost four times the positive impact on a prospective customer compared to that of a café or home office.

Servcorp is helping businesses make a strong first impression and close more deals with its serviced office spaces in 28 locations around Australia and New Zealand. With CBD addresses, these spaces include access to professional meeting rooms and boardrooms to help any business make the right first impression.

This content is powered by our partners at Servcorp. Together with Roy Morgan Research they put together this white paper on First Impressions and what Small Business Owners can implement within their companies to ensure that they are always giving a good one.