Perception Control – What we can learn from those Politicians

It seems that everyone wants out of the PC business (I’m looking at you HP) – but WAIT I say stay in! However in this instance I am not actually talking about Personal computers – but Perception Control.

Perception Control is the ability to have some level of influence over how people see you fitting into their lives, their plans and their business.

How are you perceived? What do people say about you (after you leave the room)? How good are you at influencing a situation and having people come round to your way of thinking?

This all depends on PC – in other words whether you are in control of the way you are perceived or not.

How others do it!
There aren’t many lessons we can learn from politicians, but one is worth adopting – Tell them what they want to hear.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, politicians seem to be everywhere. When the mood takes us, we’ll even listen to what they have to say – Obama, Sarkozy, Merkel, Cameron…. They are all in the same business. They want you to buy their ideas – and to vote for them. When they make a speech, they want you to conclude: “I agree/ that’s exactly what I have been thinking/finally – someone who understands me/you seem like a good guy….”.

We like to have our views re-affirmed – we like see that we are not alone with our ideas and opinions.

In the US Republican Primaries, when Rick Perry or Mitt Romney say “There’s a problem with Washington”, many potential voters will sit there quietly nodding and saying to themselves “Hey, that’s what I’ve been thinking”. An excellent start. (Small issue here, President Obama is now saying the same thing – nullifying the approach. Your move Republicans!)

When a politician turns an “undecided’ into a supporter, they have struck electoral gold – they have successfully controlled perception and won a vote!

Back in the real world – there is something for us to takeaway from this little performance

If your comment today is tailored directly to the person listening, they will perceive you in a more positive light. If you say what they were already thinking – they instantly perceive you as ‘on their wavelength’. You get their vote and suddenly things are good….you have a new job, a new client, a happy boss…..

Your mission, therefore, is (using the LWAR – Listen, Watch, Anticipate & React) to fully understand the person directly in front of you. Once you know what it is they genuinely want to hear from you, try to gently guide the conversation so that you get opportunities to demonstrate that you know what they need.

The end result – they will perceive you as an ideal person to do business with. They will perceive you as a great connection, someone they could get along with, do a deal with, employ or retain.

So, if you have a new client to win over or a promotion to go for or even that cool job interview – your objective is to confidently know what that person wants, what would solve their problems, what would make them successful. Then simply match your comments to what you believe they want to hear.

This is just one of your keys to PC – Perception Control. People may do it in seconds or minutes, but they are continually judging you. Make sure they see how cool you really are and why YOU deserve their vote!

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