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Chapter 5. The Style Hand > SUCCESS CARD 18: Know Your Buyer & Understand Perce...

SUCCESS CARD 18: Know Your Buyer & Understand Perceptions

Know Your Buyer

The Preparation Hand discussed the importance of reflecting the goals of the organization and clearly defining the personal image you want to convey. The Style Hand will give you the tools you need to dig deep and build an image that will serve you well in all situations. It has to do with crafting your appearance to influence how others perceive you. It's about thinking ahead of time to the messages you want to convey and to customizing your clothing, color, and grooming choices to communicate those qualities.

Now, wait a minute, you're thinking. Are you saying that I have to become some sort of clone to get what I want? Do you want me to try to fool people into thinking I'm something I'm not? Not quite. In the course of a single day, you play a variety of roles, and each role calls for a different “costume,” a different way of speaking, and a different way of behaving. Dressing to watch a child compete in a volleyball tournament is different than dressing for a sales call. You speak differently with your siblings than you do with the chairman of the board. Behavior is different, as well. Gulping down a burger from the drive-through window looks different from the way you eat in the company of clients or on a blind date. You subconsciously make adjustments throughout your day to feel comfortable and accepted. Why not make them consciously? Being aware of your image choices and plotting them out ahead of time can affect how you are perceived and, therefore, impact your success. It's true that most people like to do business and develop relationships with others like themselves, people who reflect the same values, background, and experiences. This is not to suggest that you change who you are and what you value. Simply adjust the outer choices to reflect the qualities that will work to your advantage in each situation. Political media adviser and former TV producer Roger Ailes summed it up in his book, You Are the Message: “It's that important for you to accept that you (the whole you) are the message—and that message determines whether or not you'll get what you want in this life.”[1] Help each audience see you through their eyes. Think of it as product packaging.


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