Inside Reality vs Outward Perception

Don’t you hate it when your prospects don’t seem to understand everything your business offers them?

You believe in your business! You know you offer an exceptional product/service, that what you offer provides extraordinary value to your customer/clients and that your relationship with them is far better than anything they could expect from your competitors. Still, it amazes and saddens you when you discover your prospects don’t view you any different than your competitors – in fact they know very little about you and what you offer.

What you are experiencing is the disconnect between your business’ inside reality and its outward perception.

Your inside reality encompasses everything that is true about your business – those components which, combined, make your business great. The outside perception refers to how your prospects perceive your company. Too often, there is a marked difference between the two.

For instance, when you went into business you were determined to pursue excellence in every aspect in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. You developed your skills, hired the best candidates, created a customer service program that is second to none and honed your expertise so you would be the “go-to-person” in your field. All of that is part of your inside reality. In addition, your systems, your operational procedures, your continued commitment to excellence, your passion for what you do and the way you conduct your daily business all add to that inside reality.

If you have never done so, take a half hour or so one day soon and capture what you believe to be your inside reality. What makes you different? What makes you stand head and shoulders above your competition? If you ever hope to communicate this inside reality to your prospects, you must clearly see it yourself first.

Hopefully, your loyal customer/clients see and understand this inside reality. It is why they are loyal customers. Once you have completed the exercise above and have clearly delineated your inside reality, conduct a quick survey with your existing customers to see if they see it as well. Simply ask them why they do business with you. Ideally, the reasons they provide will correlate with the inside reality you believe defines your business.

Now let’s talk a bit about your outside perception. This outside perception is developed through the interactions your prospects and customer/clients experience with your business. Especially for your prospects, most of these interactions will occur through your marketing or through the referrals (good or bad) made by your current customer/client base. If your inside reality is indeed true (and it focuses on excellence), then you can expect the majority of your referrals from existing customers to be positive. That will help immensely in helping to create an outside perception which aligns with your inside reality.

Most of your prospects, however, will develop their perception of your business through your marketing. And here is where many small business owners fail to create the outward perception they desire. They market their business just like their competitors. They use the same platitudes in their advertising, make the same claims and offer the same discounts. When a prospect is seeking to buy whatever it is you offer, they going to compare your ad to your competitors – and if they don’t see obvious differences – they will choose to do business with the one who offers the lowest price or is in the most convenient location.

You need to develop a marketing strategy that accomplishes the following:
• captures the attention of your prospects
• helps them to see that you offer the solution to whatever problem or issue it is they are experiencing
• clearly communicates your inside reality so they perceive you differently from your competitors
• offers them a low/no risk offer so they will follow through and contact you

How do you create such a marketing strategy? Download the free presentation, “The 3 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make…And How to Overcome Them All” to gain a clearer understanding how to market your business in such a way that enables your prospect’s outward perception of your business to match your inner reality.

Leave a Comment