The golden rule of business is that you can never get a second chance to make a good first impression. However, where does this impression start? According to some, it begins with the potential client first hearing about your business. Others claim that this has something to do with their first contact with your website. Finally, there are those who advocate the idea that it all begins with their first meeting with you in person.
When it comes to the latter theory, a lot of people pay a great amount of attention to the layout of their conference room and the overall setting of the location at which the meeting takes place. However, your clients start forming their opinion from the moment they pull into the driveway. Still, the first representative of your company they actually meet in person is usually your receptionist. This is why the overall ambiance of your waiting room needs to be absolutely flawless. Here are a few tips on how to achieve this.
1. Reception Desk is the Epicenter of the Waiting Room
Whenever you say the word waiting room, the first thing that pops into your mind is the reception desk. Its height, design and layout all have a certain impact on a potential visitor. For instance, a desk that is too high can be intimidating or make your receptionist barely visible. On the other hand, choosing a desk that is too low can end up seeming quite unprofessional.
Aside from this, the contents of the reception desk matter, as well. Displaying some freshly picked flowers in a vase may demonstrate that you have a vigilant and dedicated workforce. A bowl of candies can have you portrayed as hospitable while having some promotional materials can show everyone that you take your branding quite seriously. This last part can be a particularly important bargaining chip in some industries.
2. Finding a Way to Surprise Your Audience
Once they finally arrive at your office, your potential clients will expect you to start persuading them right away. This will make them rely heavily on their defense mechanisms and if left waiting idly long enough, they might become extremely resilient to your ‘charms’. This is why you need to be a bit unorthodox in your waiting room design in order to make it work in your favor.
For example, displaying a particularly mind-puzzling piece of wall art might catch your audience off guard. They might spend 10 minutes trying to figure it out before you are ready to receive them. Seeing as how their might was previously preoccupied with something completely unrelated to their current visit, they will show a much lower level of natural resistance towards what you have to offer.
Some businesses even go out of the way to install a pinball machine or contact PhotoBoothMe and order one of their mobile photo boots. In this way, you will not only surprise them but also make their visitation to your office quite unique.
3. Have Them Relax
Finally, you need to do all that is in your power to keep your audience as relaxed as possible. This is why it is particularly important for you to choose as comfortable seating solution as possible and finding an adequate color for the furniture and walls of your waiting room. Here, you should always go with neutrals like gray, cool blue, pale pink and beige. Look at it from this perspective, if a negotiation room is a battlefield, and the client your opponent, do you want them filled with adrenaline or ready to fall asleep? The answer is definitely not a difficult one to give.
At the end of the day, these three above-listed tips are major fields you need to pay attention to. When it comes to the details and accessories you want to incorporate you can be as creative as possible. For instance, adding a cozy woolen rug to the center of the room may give the place a homelier atmosphere, while adding a mirror can make a small place appear larger. Same goes for adding pot plants and increasing the influx of natural light.
The world of modern business is a hostile and unforgiving place, which means that you need all the help you can get. Luckily, the design of your waiting room can be exactly the edge you were looking for all along.