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    20 Replies Latest reply on Sep 27, 2009 10:30 AM by DomainDiva

    What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?

    Iwrite Pioneer
      If you had a customer or client that was worth millions of dollars in sales to your business and they wanted to meet with you for the first time, what would you wear?

      Would you wear your best suit and shoes or would you wear shorts and sandals?

      Would you make sure your hair is nice looking or simply wing it?

      Would you shower and put on some deodorant or would you come unwashed and smelling like it?

      No duh that you would look and smell your best for this important meeting. No one in their right mind would risk starting this meeting off on a bad impression. Everyone knows this.

      Then why won't you do the same for your website? Lately, there has been some intense discussions about advertising and whether or not it is worth it. People are constantly posting that they can do you a website for little to nothing or even free. And maybe they can, but what does the site you get for such a great rate say to potential clients?

      Is it informative? Does it attract their attention? Does it engage them and encourage them to stay and explore your site? Is it easy to find information and navigate through its content? Is it attractive, does it reflect the quality and professionalism of your business and /or products?

      Your website represents you to clients everyday, for many it is the first interaction they will have with your business. How well dressed is your site? Is it organized and neat looking? Is it clean?

      I know that I am not neutral on this matter, but I am not trying to sell you anything, nothing. I am trying to share some information that might help you develop a better understanding of how important your image is both in person and in your marketing and advertising pieces.

      There are going to be those who don't like what I am saying but that is their right. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Please make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

      How well dressed is your website?
        • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
          wordperfect Scout

          I understand the point you are trying to make but maybe your analogy is wrong.


          Certainly as humans we tend to assess each other on a physical level at first meeting, this is true whether in business or personal, so yes, first impressions DO count when we meet a client, I agree.


          But I am not certain sure that the same is true when visiting a website, at least for me. I am not really interested if the site is pretty, well decorated, has flash, lots of graphics or anything else that makes it "well dressed."


          For me, it is, as you also mentioned, the mechanics of the site that are important, how fast does it load, I am not a patient person, I don't suffer fools gladly and won't wait for a site to load if it is too slow. The ease of navigation and logic in set out is important to me, I want to be able to find what I am looking for in the minimum of time with minimum effort.


          So, for me, what the site looks like isn't terribly important, I might "ouch" at a bright flashing pink site with bold yellow script, but if I can find what I want then the look is secondary. Which, coming back to square one, is similar in human interaction, although we judge people on first sight, those of us with a bit more depth to our character tend to temper that with things like personality, and other character traits.


          Of course having said all that, I am a bit hypocritical as i really wish there was a way to make my profile page on this site a little more attractive!


          Just my few Yuan's worth!


          • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
            DomainDiva Ranger

            I showed the AviaSphere app website (not the ugly little .com offering) to a potential client yesterday all they could do was ooooh and ahhhh because it was so beautiful and functional and does not look like a software application,

            Beauty does matter. I do not deal with ugly visual offerings since I am dyslexic and nearsighted and need reading glasses anyway....too much visual 'gloop' makes it hard to navigate the site. If the site is ugly, theres a 90% chance that navigating the site is an ugly experience as well.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
                wordperfect Scout

                Hi, looked at your site, I understand why your clients marveled, it is well done and reflects the type of industry you are in. I would describe it as tasteful and appropriate to your industry rather than beautiful, but I guess that the word, like beauty itself, is in the eye of the beholder.


                Yes, functional is a good description and the navigation is a dream


                I suffer from the opposite, long sighted age in my case so i too find that too much "effect" on a website is hard for to focus on so I think I understand what you mean.


                I concede that if little thought has gone into the design of a website, from any point of view then navigation is going to be an issue but I am not sure it can be said as a rule of thumb. Maybe we will agree to disagree a little bit on that point.


                Good night!
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client
                    Iwrite Pioneer
                    I think both of you are on to something. I am saying that you design the site so that navigation is not an issue. Visitors don't have to think about how to find something or get somewhere.

                    I used the clothes because we would not think of dressing down for a big client BUT we will dress down our website for all our clients. I was waiting to hear what others had to say but I will say that you design your site with your customers/clients in mind, not based on what you like. Understand how people read things - it is not straight up and down. Know that some white space makes it easier for people with vision challenges to read things, for them less copy is better.

                    I am saying put some real thought into what you need your website to do and who you are speaking to.

                    Thank you both for great comments.
                      • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client
                        wordperfect Scout

                        Hi, I hope it is not against de rulz to answer both of you in one post, soon see I guess!


                        Iwrite, you are right, to an extent I was being facetious, a good site is a blend of physical appearance and functionality, it is just from my view, I go for functionality.


                        I also agree with you on objectivity, it is easy to get carried away and design something that is personally appealing, but one has to ask the question; "will it be appealing to my clients?" Which does to a degree contradict my first post I know!


                        You are the expert, no, I am not being sarcastic I am just an enthusiastic amateur who came to web design by necessity, I can't speak Chinese and didn't like the usual "Chinese over busy" style, yet as we charge our fees in local currency and had to pay hard currency for offshore designers it was out of balance, if you see what I mean.


                        As it turned out, I quite enjoy it but am not in your or other webdesign studios league. My site is simple, basic in the extreme, no flash, little graphics and muted colours. It's job is to give factual, honest information as clearly as possible as I realise business people are busy and don't want to wait for my cutzie flash gimmick to load. So from that aspect, maybe my site is dressed down, but I feel a tux would be over kill. We also aim at SME's, start-ups the like on small budgets and so presenting in a haut couture Italian hand made suit and shoes may send the wrong message and have them running for cover!


                        It usually works, unless I am editing or changing a page and "break" something!


                        Re the sirvonron issue, we are, like Peter a small studio, mostly focused on domestic market but have an eye to international expansion. It would be great to team up with off shore partners for future cooperation so would you mind if I tag along with you and Peter in your off line chats?


                        To Diva; it was a sincere comment, again, it suits your industry and the colours in the background don't compete with the text. I am flattered to think you would share you errr what ever that was, but maybe it would go over my head as I don't really understand what you are talking about, and no, I know nothing about aircraft, and as long as they stay up there when I am inside them, I don't really need to know much more!


                        Wow, long sentence


                        anddddddddd, re the other post on advertising and sirvonron, given your frank admission of your character only a fool would comment further, and I may be many things but I aint a fool!


                        Good talking with you, hope we can match up again sometime.
                      • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
                        DomainDiva Ranger
                        WORD...if you think that the .com website was pretty ( no one else does and it's meant to be that way) then maybe we need to get you a user id so you can see what the app looks like on an :8080:8081 protocol!) The app for obvious reasons is not availble to the general public for perusing. If you know anyone in the aircraft records/maintenance business it would help you understand or maybe we could do an online demo.

                        Thanks for the kudo (sniff...)

                    • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
                      MoveForward Scout

                      Wow, you hit my website dilema on the head.
                      I am struggling with the exact issue you are speaking of.

                      My business website is updated and visited on by new clients
                      not current or past clients ( this site & domain
                      cost me close to $4,000 (keep in mind sites were more expensive
                      to create back then). My first site was two pages and cost
                      enormous, it was then unheard of to have a website and if you had
                      one that meant so much (not like now).

                      When I created a spin-off business from my main business, I did not
                      want to invest money into a website since I had no idea if this would
                      catch on. I created the site for very little (
                      to my surprise the site has caught on, now it is time
                      for me to contact those big million dollar companies who I want to
                      network with. That is where the dilema comes I have the site
                      re-worked with all the right wording, images, etc. by a professional
                      web designer so the site shows like with a "tuxedo image" or do
                      I keep it looking like a "flip-flop sandals" image and let those million dollar
                      companies know I will have the site re-done once they sign-on?
                      Although my team feels the site is fine to show the way it is, I see them
                      as "prejudice" since they work from the site each day and have become
                      close to it.


                      So what do you think, would you keep the unpolished website to show,
                      request an appointment from this site image, then when I am in the meeting
                      show them examples of what the website will look like (which would include
                      great pages including them) or do I invest in a new site now "that looks like
                      a well polished tuxedo" to present to the million dollar companies promotion
                      management and change it to fit the million dollar companies once the deal
                      is made?

                      Iwrite has a made a HUGE important point. For some of us our website is
                      our awning for our business followed by our customer service. The wording,
                      image and over all vision of the website has to be the best it can be.
                      Behind each of my sites is a team of professionals who all wear matching
                      logo business shirts, black slacks at all times making each of us somewhat
                      alike, I realized through this foum that the website shows
                      our personality to those who only see us through the website.

                      Thanks Iwrite for bringing this subject up (it has been eating at me and I felt


                      like the only one concerned).




                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client
                          Iwrite Pioneer

                          Thank you.

                          I think you show drawings of what you want the site to become, give them the opportunity to provide input that creates a sense of ownership. It will make them more likely to want to participate. You might want to include information about how you are going to drive traffic to your site - your marketing plan.

                          I like the light heartedness of the second site. The only thing I don't like are the stock photos and artwork. Maybe take advantage of the full width of the page. You no longer have to design sites to the shorter width. Borrow some of the design features from your first website, namely the layout style.

                          I really like both of your sites. I only wish they looked more like the two were connected. The looks are dramatically different. But it isn't a deal breaker.

                          This is a great job. You have a plan which is a huge step. Don't spend the money on a designer to redo the site yet, show the old one with the drawings.

                          I am glad I could help. Thanks for listening. Did I answer your questions?
                            • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client
                              MoveForward Scout

                              Iwrite...Thank you so much for your time in replying.


                              I like the idea of showing an easel of drawings as to what


                              the site can be. I am a person who wants to make sure


                              everything is in place before I have that one chance to


                              successed. If I promise 100% I will give 125%, but at


                              times this can drive me crazy.


                              When I get back to the office I am going to copy your


                              wonderful suggestions and original forum and post this


                              on my mentor board, it will give me the silent arm in my


                              back I need and remind me of the importance of a
                              "tuxedo looking" website over a "flip-flop sandal look".


                              With all my heart, thank you!
                          • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client?
                            dexter0889 Wayfarer
                            What are some professional looking sites that are affordable for a startup business?
                              • Re: What do you wear to meet an important customer or client
                                Iwrite Pioneer
                                I am not sure I can answer this question. You don't need a "professional" looking website, you need a website appropriate for your brand and target audience. For your company, you are going to need a youth-oriented website.

                                A lot of people here are going to say that they can provide you with a site for a certain price. Be careful.

                                Here are some things you should do:
                                Do a little research and decide who you are talking to, what you need your site to do and what you need to say. Look at sites that speak to a similar audience. Bring examples of magazines, websites and CD covers to the meeting.

                                Request ask for bids from several design companies. They can be local or not, I prefer someone I can meet with and go over things, but that is me.

                                Make sure you ask for and see their portfolio.

                                Also get and check references.

                                Then do something that is really difficult - listen to their vision for your site. If it matches yours great, if not move on. By listening, you will know if they understand your needs and wants. They can't give you what you want if they haven't been listening.

                                Don't over do it. You want a design that reflects your brand. Young people don't want to shop sites built for their grandparents. Start simple, and make sure you can update your site without major cash or effort.

                                make sure the quote includes revisions and/or fixes. Review all copy well for typos. Maybe let someone else read over the copy to be safe.

                                I really hope this helps. I would not select a designer without going through these steps.