Perception May Not Be Everything-But It’s close

Have you ever called a business and made a decision about whether or not to hire that business based on what you hear on the other end of the line? Imagine if you are looking for marketing help. You call XYZ Marketing only to have your call answered by a person  who has a screaming baby in the background. As the child wails, you hear: “This is XYZ marketing— what da ya want?” Could that possibly influence your decision on whether to continue the relationship?

On the other hand, have you ever rang a business for the first time and had your call answered by a polite, confident, knowledgeable person whose demeanor immediately told you this was  someone you wanted to do business with? Let’s face it: perception is important. Like it or not, we are drastically influenced by how we perceive people—and businesses.

If perception plays such a critical role in business, how can you use that to your advantage?

A good friend of mine had his own consulting business but was getting ready to sell it. He began making changes that affected how a potential buyer might perceive the firm. My friend moved his offices to a high-end business complex downtown, changed the dress code, and he even hired a receptionist to greet clients. Did any of these adjustments change the actual way he ran his business? Not really, but when a prospective buyer walked into the office, he saw a business that—in his mind— was on its way to the top. My friend used this strategy twice, and it worked both times.

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi was an iconic athlete in the nineties. He was unstoppable both on and off the tennis courts. He earned a total of more than $30 million in prize money from his tennis competitions, but he earned nearly that much every year from his endorsements— about $25 million annually! Canon was one of his highest paying sponsors. Canon’s advertising campaign with Agassi, “Image Is Everything” was a multi-million dollar success.

So, what’s the bottom line? Image can send you to the top—or keep you on the bottom. Your image—or the perception of what you project to your client— should be considered when making almost every business decision. American Underdog

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Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm  Comments (2)  
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