Watch Your Doors

Watch Your Doors


By Mark Sanborn

When was the last time you looked at the doors to your business? It isn’t just about who comes in; it’s also about how.

Let me give an example. A new restaurant opened near my office. It’s been very successful, and I eat there regularly. The only problem is the horrendous door you have to go through to get in. Opening it causes an obnoxious grating sound, not unlike a few metal tomcats duking it out in an alley. The pull is hard and inconsistent. At first I thought they’d fix it, but since it hasn’t been dealt with in months, it’s clear to me that the owners don’t give much thought to the first impression it creates.

Actual doors are important, but the metaphorical doors to your business are even more important. These “doors” are entry points, drawing people in or keeping them out. They can welcome or they can warn.

What about the doors to your business?

Your website is your online door. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Easy to navigate? Up-to-date? Can a visitor quickly find contact information? Does it just advertise, or does it make it easy for visitors to actually take action?

Your phone is a door too. Whether answered by a person or a recorded message, it speaks volumes about your professionalism and punctuality.

The way you handle service and support is yet another door. How easy is it for a customer to schedule a repair? Do techs arrive when promised? Are they professional in appearance and friendly in demeanor?

Then there’s your social media accounts. What image do your various platforms convey? Does your social media support or detract from your brand?

Your office environment is another. Is it a place customers enjoy or endure? If you serve coffee, how good is it?

Gordon Hinckley said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of eternal development.” Paying attention consistently will allow you to develop and achieve success. Ignoring the doors, literal and metaphorical, can be costly.

A good door makes it easy for customers to enter. A great door invites them in and sets the tone for what follows. Make sure yours immediately conveys everything you want others to know about your business.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an “idea studio” that seeks to motivate and develop leaders in and outside of business. He’s the bestselling author of books like Fred Factor and The Potential Principle and a noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and company change. He holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. Check out any of his excellent books, his video series, “Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People,” or his website,, to learn more.