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Article :: I Can’t Take You Seriously with Spelling Errors

Several months ago and despite the No Soliciting sign in our neighborhood, a business card was left on my front door, presumably to get me to use the company that left the card. Whether it’s an occupational hazard or the fact that I was an English major many years ago, the first thing I noticed was the spelling errors.

Out of the 13 words that had nothing to do with the company name or contact information, several of the remaining words were misspelled. Now, I’m not saying that I never make spelling errors but I find it hard to take a company seriously when they were that careless with their marketing material. I found myself wondering if they would be that careless with my things in the unlikely event that I was to hire them. True or not, that was my perception.

It takes roughly three seconds to form a first impression of someone, whether it is the way they look, the way they dress or the way they prepare the items that they hand out to others.

The funny thing is that I have no recollection of the name or nature of the business that left their card on my door. To me, the errors were as glaring as if someone had attended a networking meeting in their pajamas. Not a great way to make a good first impression.

This company may be the absolute best at whatever it is they do but the inattention to the details spoiled it for me.

In the three seconds it took for me to look at the card that was left on my door, my decision was made. The relatively minor cost of producing quality marketing material is minimal compared to the negative reaction that the poorly produced card generated. Milton Glaser said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW!...  I’m afraid this one was a “no” from me.

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