Growing up, my mother always told me “not to judge a book by its cover.” As a society, we are constantly told not to jump to conclusions or judge others based on appearances, when in reality, we simply can’t help it most of the time. It’s not easy to disregard appearance and base decisions solely on content. We are constantly surrounded by thousands of choices for practically everything and sometimes it’s overwhelming to sort through the clutter. The fact of the matter is that everyone gravitates towards other people, products and places based on appearance.
Marketing is a profession built around the concepts of choice and appearance. One of the first things I learned in Marketing 101 is that perception is everything and I believe this to be inherently true. Take a moment to consider: Do you think that a bottle of wine is better simply based on price? Do you go to the store and buy organic carrots because you perceive they are healthier for you? Do you approach one stranger over another because they “appear” friendly, smarter or more attractive than everyone else?
You may not realize it, but choices based on appearance and perception happen all the time. Studies show that 55% of a person’s opinion is driven by physical appearance and first impressions are formed within seven to 17 seconds. It is very important to find a way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed in a positive way. Companies and individuals need to take an active role and invest in their brand if they want to make an impact in today’s world.
Winning WaysAppearances can also help close deals. Take this example from a recent client visit at Datto.
A sales manager invited a prospective reseller to the corporate office for a meeting. This reseller had a huge deal in the works and wanted to see the office/operation and meet some more team members before moving forward. When the prospective reseller walked into the reception area, he was immediately greeted by Datto’s friendly receptionist Kim, who sits in front of a wall that has five 40” HD TVs lined up side-by-side rolling a slide show of images (see picture above). As the reseller is guided through our office he sees an energetic team of people collaborating, making phone calls and hustling around.
You might have surmised this already, but the Sales Manager was able to successfully close that deal. Had the reseller sensed lack luster energy or if the appearance of the office was sloppy, things might have ended differently. The appearance of Datto’s office played a role in determining whether or not the reseller would partner with Datto in the future.
Appearance may not be the most important factor, but it’s definitely an influencer and something you should be cognitive of. If someone is trying to choose between two different options, appearance can tip the scale. I recommend just taking a few moments to reflect on how others perceive you, your company and your interactions. Think of a few ways to improve. Small changes can make big strides at helping you garner more success!
Shannon Kohn is marketing and channel relations director at Datto Inc., a storage specialist that works closely with MSPs. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.