An iceberg is the very top of a large piece of frozen ice that extends deep into the depths of the ocean. The tip is exposed in all its glistening glory, but underneath the ocean surface lies the very foundation of this manifestation.
Like life, an iceberg is mostly hidden deep, wide, and complex with just a small amount exposed at the top. We show enough of ourselves, or our businesses, to get the attention of others before we bring out the big stuff. (Obviously, we have a choice, whereas an iceberg does not.)
Same thing is true when you buy a new car. You walk into the showroom and essentially only see the final result–what the dealership wants you to see. What you don’t see is all the work that had gone on behind the scenes, what it took to get the shiny new cars there in front of you to choose from, and you probably never will see what that is, or even think about it.
It starts like this every morning: You wake up, presumably take a shower (or not), then get dressed. You think about how the world will see you when you walk out the door. Whether you are wearing the latest fashions or yesterday’s jeans and T-shirt. Your image is everything. Preparing yourself for what everyone first sees means that you understand how to project your image.
When you walk out of your front door to face the public, unless you’re on your phone and not speaking, you’re just an object that will be seen. That is the first impression. And, by the way, being seen on the cell phone (whether you’re really talking or not) is just as much of a projected image.
In business, the object you are selling, promoting, or endorsing is all about the iceberg. How this product is seen at first glance is how it will be perceived.
The next time you watch Shark Tank, take a closer look at the expressions on each judges’ faces when a new contender walks on to the set. Their first glances most times give away their true impression.
What lies beneath the surface–all the toil and hard work that goes into the development of your product and story leading up to the delivery of it is on the line from first contact. It’s essential to connect with a buyer immediately and then hold their interest long enough for your great product or service to be appreciated, lusted after, and most important, sold!
Everything you say, everything you do, every way you present yourself to a prospective buyer or client in those first few minutes will determine the fate of your product or service with them.
If you understand the “iceberg effect” then you get it. You get that you can’t and shouldn’t present until you’re truly ready. You get that it’s rare and you know you won’t have a second shot. You get that presentation (in all its forms) is the difference between success and failure.
Every day that I go out into the world, I present myself as an iceberg.
If I so choose, I will wow you so much at first glance that you can’t wait to see what’s below the surface. Good luck!