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Image Sells...

Have you ever walked into a place and said to yourself... This is it... Or met someone and been blown away right from the start... Most likely it was the image that sold you. We have all been schooled right from the start that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover BUT we all do. It is human nature to do so. More so, we should judge ourselves by our covers.

When we put ourselves out there in the public domain be it a personal meeting, an advertisement, a listing, or social media we should be aware of the first impression is the lasting impression rule. What we are trying to obtain from this impression is what matters most. Are we professional? Are we respectful? Are we intelligent? What is the IMAGE that we are selling? Image for me comes in two formats. First, who we are and second, what we do.

Who we are... This is where I would say our most important quality would time management. This is where we must develop the ability to manage our time to put our best for forward. We should be prepared for every eventuality that comes to us and respond with intelligence and confidence. To do this we MUST be prepared. We all know when we look like a million bucks... Its when we have prepared. We've been working out, eating right, our clothes fit, they are clean, pressed and current, our hair is freshly cut. Hell if Spielberg was in town he'd cast us in his next film. What did we do to get there... Time and effort. Think of it this way who knows who you might run into when you walk down the street but we sure do when we have made the meeting. Why waste your time and effort or better yet your appointments.

What we do... Too many times I have come across hastily prepared profiles and advertisements that great people put together but don't proof. Spelling errors, poorly chosen photos, misinformation are all simple things to correct with proofing however they are not done on a regular basis.What is your impression of someone or something that has not undertaken the effort to put correct information on a website, circular, menu etc. Incompetence? Laziness? Lack of professionalism? The list could go on but truly it is easily said we have a lower expectation of the results that will be served by this person or company. Mistakes are costly and take time to recover from. In a world where economies are fragile why expose yourself to risks.

My question for all of this is WHY? Why do people do this? I was once asked what makes a professional A PROFESSIONAL? My answer is simple... A professional is a person that takes the effort to place their best foot forward in all situations, they take the time to be prepared and present, their IMAGE sells them as much as their knowledge does. They create that IMAGE. Its their passage onto BRANDING the ultimate level of professionalism.

So what can we do... Take the time, put forth the effort, look in the mirror and see what others are going to see of you. Is it your best? If so go out and conquer as you deserve to be rewarded with the fruits of your labours.

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