How You Are Perceived

It is likely you are not the only one offering what you have. If that is true, then you have the challenge of helping the customer make sense of your unique product or service.

If you are like most businesses, your competition makes you appear irrelevant. Try shopping for a dentist or a mechanic. What they do is a commodity. Usually, you are looking at a list of names or trying to weed through web sites. What they deliver is the same – fixed teeth and repaired cars. To an extent, they can all get the job done.

This is how your customer sees you. You are a commodity. They assume you can get the job done. Joe Calloway said, “A job well done exceeds nobody’s expectations.” Your service is supposed to work and get the job done.

Your customer is looking for something that will differentiate you. They want to say, “Yes,” to the business who transcends being a commodity. Otherwise, they resign themselves to the lowest bidder or the most convenient choice. Picking the lowest bidder means the customer did not see any differentiating value.

Your customer does not think about your industry for forty hours a week. You do. They are thinking about themselves and their need. You can be part of that equation for them. The challenge is that when they are ready to buy, that they can perceive a difference in your business, service and product quickly.

Your customer wants to experience this through how they see and feel your brand and product. They don’t want explanation, they want visualization. They decide based on what they perceive. They think in order to justify their decision.

For your business to be anything but a commodity, you must have a perception that:

Is accessible to the customer when they are ready to buy
Stands out from your competition
Affects the emotional senses of your customer
Supercedes your commodity and highlights value

How you are perceived initially gives you a shot or loses the sale immediately. It is hard work to affect this. It is often the place where a prospect has voted. Too often, a prospect who has voted, “No,” will not be noticed. They are silent voters.

To have a shot at winning a stranger requires an intense focus on how you are perceived. You must design the experience to help them say, “I want more. I see a difference here.” You must know what the customer wants.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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