I find perception to be one of the most fascinating things. It’s just amazing to me how one person can perceive something so differently than another.
There’s a classic example of how we perceive people and what that perception will lead us to do or… not do.
There was a story years ago where a millionaire posed as a homeless person and asked for $20 on the corner somewhere. He didn’t shave for 2 weeks, he smelled, and he was wearing old dirty clothes. He acted similar to how the average homeless man acts in many ways.
Do you think he got the $20? Nope. He got a few people handing him change but never got a $20 bill or anything even remotely close.
The next thing the millionaire did was drive his $100,000 Mercedes up to a on street parking spot. He stood next to it in a $2,000 fine Italian suit, with a Rolex watch overlapping the end of the sleeve.
Do you think he got the $20 now? Yep, he sure did. In record time.
I’m thinking about getting my camera out and filming another experiment similar to this, in Los Angeles. Although, it seems pretty obvious what would happen again.
Perception is so important, also when dealing with clients. I’ve noticed over 10+ years of consulting with companies, working with different companies in different capacities that perception ultimately is everything.
I used to meet with prospective clients and just talk to them about their project and that was it. But, after a while I realized when I gave them more info about my successful background in marketing and talked a little bit about some of the things I’ve done and accomplished, the perception and value of me goes way up. They start listening more. They take notes. They take action. They do all the things that need to be done. Whereas in the first case, they would kind of make me prove things a lot more and ultimately it was just a big waste of time since I had much more experience than they did and I was wasting time proving small things.
I’m not saying to turn into a bragger or ego maniac. But, accurately portraying yourself so that peoples perceptions of you is very important.
More food for thought, perception also plays a huge role in how consumers respond and whether or not they choose to buy something. Low perceived value, they probably aren’t going to buy. High perceived value, they probably are. Price, appearance, social proof, there are a lot of different things at play here.