A few years ago I was visiting a CPA firm in Chicago that did two things I found intriguing. The first was that when I sat down in their lobby the receptionist handed me a small, printed menu that offered “bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea.” While I have never yet been to a firm that doesn’t offer these amenities while you are waiting, I have never seen the message delivered so nicely. The colorful menu with the firm’s logo made a statement about their commitment to my comfort. Next, when I went into their conference room, there were a few sheets of note paper customized with my name waiting for me. Clearly they had purchased line paper and built a template so that when I arrived they just had to insert my name into the template, put the lined paper into the printer and – voila! – custom note paper.
Neither of these two ideas had any real cost attached. And I wholeheartedly admit that, all things being equal, no one selects a CPA firm because they like their snack menu. But, it is important to consider that small acts of kindness can make a big impression. They can help reaffirm for existing clients that they are cared for. As for prospects or centers of influence, the more sincere attention they receive, the more likely they are to want to business with you. All in all, the first impression is critical so you should consider how you are consistently putting your best foot forward every day.