In my last condo, they had a security guard who was a woman, about five feet tall who weighed about 300 pounds. Obviously her health situation made it difficult to get out of a chair, and she would have been hard-pressed to chase down an intruder or subdue an attacker. Yet she still was able to do an effective job as a guard. Once I even saw her control a 6’3” inebriated guy. Why?
The uniform and badge she wore.
In my gym the other day, I saw a trim guy with a nice physique taking instructions from a trainer who was 40 pounds overweight with a beer belly. Why?
Probably because that guy was wearing a polo shirt that said “Personal Trainer” on the back.
A pilot can be a complete idiot, but if he comes out to the boarding gate and picks up the microphone – everything will go quiet immediately and people will pay rapt attention. Why?
Because he has those four epaulets on his shoulder.
There are lots of situations when we give people a certain status, trustworthiness, or credibility, even though they may not deserve it – simply because of the packaging they are presenting to the world.
It works the other way as well…
Audience members will be more impacted by a male speaker in a matching suit than they will with one wearing a blue sport jacket with tan pants. They’ll be more impacted by a woman speaker in a business pantsuit than one wearing a cocktail dress. The fact is, a speaker on the platform in a power business look will command more respect and have a better chance to actually get the audience members to act on their information than one dressed casually.
Unless that speaker is doing a session on travel photography – then he should be dressed like a CNN war correspondent.
Or that speaker is doing a program on creativity and innovation – then she should be dressed like a rock star.
Some other examples I find fascinating...
You’re tweeting out links promising the secret to getting thousands of Twitter followers, but you only have 400 yourself?
You teach prosperity seminars, but drive a 15-year-old Honda?
You’re a rep for a wellness company, but you're smoking in the hotel bar afterward?
You do relationship workshops, but you've been divorced five times?
You’re an online marketing guru, but your website isn’t mobile enabled?
Yes it’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but people judge you by your packaging every day. So here’s the real question:
What is it about your packaging that is holding you back from the impact you want to have?
Randy Gage is the author of nine international bestsellers on success, including, Risky Is the New Safe. He’s currently on sabbatical, writing his next book, but posts occasionally here. If you find these postcards helpful, please share them.