On my drive into work today I noticed an electronic sign out the front of a business that alternated between displaying the time and the current temperature. You’ve probably all seen something similar wherever you are in the world.
There’s a few around the city where I live, and I’m always fascinated about whether they’re accurate. I couldn’t tell you if they displayed the correct temperature, as I can only guess what it is when I’m out driving, but I can tell if the time is correct or not.
You’d be surprised how many of these clocks display the incorrect time. They may be a few minutes fast or slow, or sometimes they’ve forgotten to change the clock for daylight savings time so it’s either an hour fast or slow.
I don’t know how your mind works, but when I see that the time is wrong, then I immediately assume the temperature is wrong also. I don’t know how the machines work – the two functions are probably totally separate and there’s no logic in my thought process, but it’s the way I think.
It also goes a bit deeper.
If your clock is wrong, what does it say about your business? Do you lack attention to detail? Do you not care about being accurate? Do you not even notice that it’s wrong?
When it comes to selling services, I’ve mentioned before how there are a lot of intangible elements to what you sell and clients look for cues that give them confidence that you can provide value. They look at how professional your premises look, how good your marketing material is, how you present yourself and whether you do the things you promise to do.
Of course, there are some things that clients can test and make judgement on – it’s the same thing as being able to check that the time is correct on the clock outside.
- Are you on time for appointments? If your clients (or prospects) are seeing other professionals they’ll compare you to them.
- Did you do the things you said you would? Are you reliable?
- Were your staff polite? In this case remember ‘polite’ is measured by the client’s standards, not yours.
- Do your written documents contain spelling errors?
Have a think about your profession and make a list of what the ‘clocks’ are in your business. What are the little things that tell the clients a lot about your business? How important is it to get them right? How do you check that they remain right?
As always, I’m interested in your feedback. Also, if you enjoyed this article, please tweet it!