In Sales and Marketing, Perception is Reality


Some time ago (back in the Middle Ages), there was a psychological disorder that had spread like wildfire amongst Europeans. Rather suddenly and unexpectedly, people began to fall under the delusion that they were made entirely of glass. Under this idea, if someone fell down or bumped into someone else, they would instantly shatter. As bizarre as it sounds, this affected people from all walks of life – both townspeople and kings alike were 100% convinced they were made of glass (Charles VI of France was the most famous case – he wore reinforced clothing to protect himself from accidental “shattering”).

The eventual name for this phenomenon became The Glass Delusion. Overall, it seems like a funny scenario, but the reality was that it ruined many people’s lives. People refused to leave the house and refused to work in fear they would break. The condition itself remains somewhat unexplained.

Perception determines reality

Looking back, the whole thing seems weird. Of course, we are not made of glass.  It’s easy to hold up a piece of glass next to someone and see the difference. However, that didn’t stop people from believing that they would shatter. Under their perception, they were made of glass. Their perception ultimately determined what was real for them. It fundamentally changed their reality and their knowledge of the world.

Although not as extreme, customers and prospects have their own perceptions that determine reality too. Think about the last time you met with a prospect and discovered that your product/service would be perfect for them. Logically, it all made sense to you, but the prospect did not buy because of a misconception. That misconception determined what was real for them, so they refused to buy. It’s the job of a salesperson to help change the perception of the prospect.

How we can change perception

The best way that you can change the perception of a prospect is by confidently overcoming their misconceptions using this method. This method is designed to avoid arguing with the prospect while strategically and diplomatically telling the prospect that they are misinformed. Another great way to help change the perception is to use emotions in your pitch. Remember, people buy for emotional reasons, not logical ones.

It’s also important to look yourself in the mirror and ask if you have a perception problem with certain types of prospects/customers. It’s easy to look at a lead and think “This lead is terrible, there’s no way I am going to sell to them.” If that’s the perception going in, of course, you’re not going to make the sale! Rather than listing reasons why someone won’t buy, look for opportunities and reasons why they should buy. If you start to believe that they need this product/service, you will be far more confident and enthusiastic in your pitch, which means you will close more sales. Always do the proper preparation for a  sales or marketing call, but be careful as to not judge in a negative light.



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Author: Jason Karaman

Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to

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