Sometimes it’s the little things that trip you up.
Two weeks ago, I had a meeting with the CEO of a company. I was trying to persuade him to accept a proposal I had made.
I was well prepared. I had thought about my outfit. I had rehearsed the progression of my comments. I had gotten a haircut the day before.
As I was driving to the CEO’s office, I realized that my car was very dirty. I parked in the guest parking area outside the CEO’s office building. I went up to his beautiful, fourth-floor office. I remarked on what a magnificent view he had.
He thanked me and looked out the window. He noticed a red Jaguar in the guest parking area.
CEO: “Wow! That is a nice looking Jaguar. Is that yours?”
Me: “No, I am the BMW parked next to it.”
I remembered how disgusting my car looked.
The CEO never said a word about my car. He may have not even noticed it. But from that minute on, all I could think about was what a jerk I had been for not washing my car before the meeting.
People make judgments on all sorts of tangibles and intangibles – conscious and subconscious. Who knows whether the CEO was influenced by my awful-looking automobile (I got some of what I wanted but not everything).
You can never think of everything, of course. But you can try.
Needless to say, I will never again go to an important meeting with a car that looks like I just drove in from the desert!
I would like to thank all of you who have bought or recommended our newest book, Street Smarts: Beyond the Diploma. Our sales keep growing, so someone must be speaking well of it. We have now sold almost 1,000 books in the first month of publication.