Two Salespeople + Same Opportunity = Two Different Perceptions

Laura Burford
4 min readSep 28, 2022
From Depositphotos

Not everyone sees the world as you do. That is GREAT NEWS. That means there is a lot of potential for anyone building a business.

If everyone thought the same way or reacted the same way to an event or a service offering, wouldn’t life be boring? The same thing occurs when consulting. No consultants, no independent workers, are the same.

The same situation can result in different perceptions and different approaches to a client.

Short Story

Maybe you have heard the short story about the two salespeople who were sent by a shoe manufacturer owner to “Anysmalltown” to investigate the market potential for shoes.

Both salespeople visited the same small town, checked into the same hotel, and started roaming the same streets.

After a few minutes, the first salesperson found a small café, placed their sample bag of shoes on the table, grabbed a cup of coffee, and started observing the town’s people as they went about their daily routine.

Later that day, the first salesperson sent a message to the owner with,

“There is NO potential here — nobody wears shoes. I’m moving on to the next town.”

The second salesperson walked up and down the streets with their sample bag of shoes and observed the town’s people. They visited several small business shops observing the interactions between the business owners and customers. Eventually they started talking to people because they wanted to get to know and understand them; they wanted to know why the town’s people weren’t wearing shoes. The salesperson listened closely to what the town’s people said.

Later the same day, the second salesperson sent the owner a message with,

“There is MASSIVE potential here — nobody wears shoes. I’ll be staying here for a day or two.”

Which salesperson was right? What if I said both are right.

It is All About Perceptions and Differences

Your perceptions of a situation and your client’s perceptions impact EVERYTHING you do while building and growing a business. It is your perception of the…

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Laura Burford

Leveraging her Consultant's Blueprint, Laura helps Consultants & Freelancers use their MAGIC-their expertise and experience-to build successful businesses.