Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are You Placing Too Much Emphasis on the Wrong Things?

Your glossy colorful business cards are ready, and your new logo is looking fresh-to-def. You're wearing the right colors, your shoes are polished, and you're planning to do some really firm hand shakes looking people right in the eye.

Your shoes match your belt, and your belt matches your handbag or briefcase. You've even got your underwear matching your socks.

You're wearing your new Rolex and an Armani Suit, so that people can think you're rolling in the dough.

You attend your conference or business meeting or networking function, and you do everything just as you practiced. But at the end of the day, you got little to no results. What happened? You did everything right, didn't you?

Well, if you're like many people - you may have put too much emphasis on all the wrong things.

There's nothing wrong with glossy business cards and a colorful logo, but that's not what's going to sell your product or services. Looking nice and wearing "business" colors is a plus, but this too will not seal the deal.

What sells your products and services is...well, your products and services. What you have to offer should sell itself. That's where the emphasis needs to be placed - there and also on your sales presentation.

At the end of the day, people don't care about anything else other than whether or not they need or want what you're selling.

Think about it: When was the last time you bought something because you liked how firm the salesperson shook your hand? Or because you liked their logo? Or because you were impressed with the way he/she dresses?

You, like many other consumers, buy for one reason: Because you are impressed and are convinced that this product or service should be a part of your life. Whether you were sold through a sales presentation (one-on-one consultation, brochure, radio/TV ad, web site, etc) or whether the product sold itself - the emphasis was heavily placed on what was being sold.

Professionalism is extremely important in many aspects, but if you don't have a product or service that people want - you can forget it.


  1. But wouldn't this contridict the familar adage that "people buy you"? In business, first impressions seem to serve as the precursor to so many things. From your logo, your appearance, to your car (in some cases), people tend to evaluate you on many different levels. And to be fair, most people determine whether or not to do business with you based on these factors. Therefore, where do you define the equilibrium in presenting yourself as the quintessence of your business yet focusing on the "things that matter most", such as your products and services?

  2. Dante,

    I enjoy reading your blog, but I agree with "anonymous". The purpose of your business is to create a professional identity. This can be done by having professional-looking business cards, logos, and dressing professionally. Perception is reality.