REALITY Vs. PERCEPTION


A great deal of a businessperson’s time is spent creating the right perception of her business. She wants to be sure that her target market have the opinion she wants them to have. Is her practice a high-end boutique practice, an “every-man’s” kind of practice or a practice designed to accommodate those who can’t afford other venues? She might want to position herself as the friendliest, the most authoritative, most experienced etc.

The perception of her practice to her prospects should be based in the reality of her practice. Just ask her previous clients if their perception of her practice proved to be the reality. If she positioned herself as an expert in construction issues and was unable to read the blueprints put before her, well … not only are her clients going to be a little more than disheartened, she might have done actual damage to the their case, the process, her individual practice and the industry as a whole. The reality did not support the perception.

On that note, a great deal your time should be spent on building an APPROPRIATE perception of the reality in your target market’s minds. How do you do that?

First realize what your strengths are. Determine your niche. Then determine what position in that specialized market place you want to take. It could be based on your fee schedule, your expertise, your personality, your geographic location, or, well, pretty much anything.

Then design your marketing and promotional pieces to reflect the “personality” you’ve chosen for your practice. Be sure that your marketing choices give a true reflection of the perception you want folks to have. If you are trying to position your firm as the high-end provider in the area, don’t scrimp on paper quality, real estate, or staff.

If you’re a non-profit – the reverse is true. Recipients of your letters want to know that you’re frugal with the little money you have. They want to see your information on less expensive or recycled papers.

In essence – the reality, and the perception of that reality, need to be the identical in order to avoid any cognitive dissonance in your target market, not to mention keep them coming back for more.

If you need any help in trying to determine whether or not the reality matches the perception you are trying to create, give me a call – we’ll mediate the gap.

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