Why It’s Important to Not Judge a Book by Its Cover


Why It’s Important to Not Judge a Book by Its Cover

I have to say some of the best advice I have received, that serves in all aspects of my life including my business, is the quote by English novelist George Eliot:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

This means that what we see on the surface is not a true reflection of the whole person.

For me, what this also means in business is that we can never really be certain of who we are connecting with and whether they could be our next client, or not.

Have you ever received poor service or communication and felt undervalued?

I’m sure we all remember that infamous scene in Pretty Woman as Julia Roberts’ character Vivian was ignored and refused service in a luxurious New York store. Only to return later for a revenge visit, laden with bags after spending thousands of dollars elsewhere.

I loved that scene! Did you do a fist pump and yell a “Yes” like me?

It reminds me of my own experiences in retail years ago. The amount of times I had fun chatting to a customer whilst they were browsing a stand of only $10 pendants. They seemingly had no intention to buy anything and then would leave an hour later with a very expensive string of pearls.

You never can tell who your next client will be and so it’s important always to be prepared.

Treat everyone the same.

It’s very easy to judge people by what we initially see and hear, and we all have a tendency to do this because it’s part of the human condition. It’s important to remind ourselves that the way we initially perceive someone is not always what is really going on at all. It’s not a full view of who the person really is; we are just seeing through our own world-view lens.

Learn to see past what people look like, the way they speak, the clothes they wear, where they live and the car they drive and see everyone as equal. When you do this, then you will treat everyone the same.

Remember we are always networking.

When speaking to a business audience of over 200 a couple of years ago, I witnessed something extraordinary. One of my co-presenters, Leisel Pisani, singled out someone in the audience. She asked everyone who knew that person or knew of that person to stand up.

It was powerful because nearly everyone in the room stood up. And that’s just at one event; imagine how we are all connected in one way or another every day.

Remember even when you are out socially, doing your shopping, playing with the kids in the park or even driving your car you are always networking, and this means you need always to treat everyone with kindness, courtesy and respect.

Respond to everyone as you would a valued customer.

In business, there are always a multitude of emails and calls to respond to, and sometimes it may feel easier to put off responding, especially if it’s someone selling to us. We never know who our next client will be and it may even be that person who is attempting to sell to us right now.

Respond to everyone who contacts you in the same way, because they may be your next client or they may know someone who could be. And if you need more time to make a decision or write a more detailed response, send them a quick message to let them know you’ve received their email or call and will be in touch.

At the end of the day if we are focusing on treating everyone in the same way regardless of how we initially meet them, then we can’t go wrong.

Remember that as life changes people’s choices change, nothing ever remains the same.

This means someone can easily be an acquaintance or a potential supplier one day and our client the next.

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