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When Was The Last Time You Looked Into The Mirror

Often we are asked about image and how the first impression counts the most. You remember the line... You never have a second chance to make a first impression. Well what if that first impression is being made for you? How about if its made before any ever meets you or gives you a chance? 

Would it matter what you looked like or acted?

Trick question as it does because what I am talking about is your reputation. Your reputation not only follows you but it precedes you as well. Think about it for a moment. Yes, it precedes you as much as it follows. 

Let me explain... You've just sold a car. The client is extremely happy, you've done everything right including asking for a referral of which they are happy to give as their business partner is looking for a new SUV. So off they go with all the intentions of giving a glowing recommendation and luckily for you it's passed along. It's at this point it goes from following to preceding. 

Now, the referral is coming in on the recommendation (Past/Following) to potentially conduct business (Future/Preceding). The expectations are SET before you even get a chance to make that first impression. You need to be on your A-Game. You are either going to be exactly as advertised by the referral or a disappointment. 

I know this is a harsh truth but this is why we don't convert 100% of all referrals. In fact, the actual conversion percentage is 70-80%, an unacceptable number in my humble opinion. Why are we losing 20-30% of the people that were convinced that we were the right people and place to purchase their next vehicle? 

The answer is simple... We fail to provide. We failed to provide the experience that they are looking for. 

Look at it this way the decision was made before they ever crossed over the curb at the lot. They mentally satisfied their needs before they even left where they were. The referral satisfied that with their story of how great it was to deal with you and XYZ Motors. They knew their relative, friend, or colleague would never sign on a bad deal... So their 90% there right. So what pushes them in the opposite direction. Experience.

Experience comes in many forms and this is why manufacturers are spending millions on perfecting it. They have recognized that it's not just satisfaction that keeps the customers loyal but its the experience they recieve during and after the purchase process that keeps them coming back. This is the reason for the MIRROR CHECK.

A mirror is a reflection, a representation, an image. It is not real but a perception to what a person sees. When we look in the mirror we see what others view us as.

Are we professional? Do we look and act the part? If not we MUST change. Too often we don't do mirror checks and this is another reason for failure. We anticipate that our skills will overcome our weaknesses. Dressing improperly, being unkempt, having a messy office is a reflection of you and your abilities. 

This is experience. Would you eat in a restaurant that was dirty? Stay in a hotel that didn't make the bed? Fly on a plane where the pilot came on with a lei from a luau?

Now look at you... and your environment...

Look deeply into that full length mirror and ask yourself is this who you wish to represent? Is my environment a reflection of who I am? If it is then we are off to the races, if not it's time to change. 

Many years ago I was asked to help a friend, he wanted us to cold call business for his painting company. It was out of my normal element but I agreed as he needed my assistance. The funny thing was when he showed up to meet me, he looked me over as I was about to walk down a red carpet or something. I mean I was dressed for the task, walking around town calling on businesses; so I was professionally attired except for one thing... Shoes. I was wearing comfortable walking shoes. Unacceptable for my friend as I was representing him and his business, so I obliged and changed. What is remarkable about this story is that we called on about 20 businesses that day, we were permitted to quote on a number of jobs, converted three opportunities but what I remember most was the number of compliments I received on my shoes. I will never forget that day and the impact it made on me moving forward.

This brings me to another event a while back I posted a picture of a well known trainer walking barefoot in shorts in a session. In the class were recruits with ball caps on backwards. It was a mirror reflection of attitude. I asked... Would you hire an individual that showed up to represent your company with a ball cap, t-shirt, board shorts and flip-flops? I wouldn't so why have a trainer represent this?

Everything we do should be mirror checked. 


If we look at the right mirror of a car. There is a statement, "Objects are closer than they appear". Our appearance and personal environments have a greater reflection on who and what we are than one would think. Moreso the impact their impact on our reputation and the experience we can offer will dramatically reflect on our success. So do yourself a favour... Mirror check often... It's not vanity but professionalism.

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