Perception is stronger than some like to admit. I challenge you to consider whether you see yourself as a peer or a peon to your clients. And, of course, how your clients see you.

This is pivotal. It isn’t any trick for landing clients or negotiating big deals. No secret marketing hack. The truth is: mindset has a stronger correlation with business performance than any other factor I’ve measured in myself and others.


Hey, David Bradley here. And I’d like to talk to you about the mindset of, am I a pier or a peon? And that’s an important thing as a consultant, as any expert advisor, because it changes how you perceive yourself and how clients will see you. Prospective clients will see you. And beyond that, that dictates everything in your business and how you operate. So the peer versus PN paradigm, what does that actually look like? Well, if you’re in a sales situation, if you’re communicating as a peer to the prospective client, then you’re holding yourself in a certain esteem that you’re not better than them, but you’re at their level. Most importantly, you’re not less than them being a peon European, then you’re desperate. You just want the deal. You just want confirmation that they see value in you. And that is very easy to detect.

If you’re a meeting with an executive, someone that you’re already been brought in on a project, if you’re meeting with someone of some stature, if there is some weight behind the company’s name or the individual’s name, this happens where if you are allowing yourself to question your value in some way, you might fall into that P on mindset of God. I hope that they see the value in me. I hope they don’t see that I’m not as much of an expert as I claim to be. You start to get that feeling of lack of confidence, a syndrome where you feel like an imposter imposter syndrome being the term that you might have heard before. That sense of, I don’t know if I really am up to the task here. And when those thoughts pile on it’s important to address, is there something legitimate to this?

I need to make sure that I’m hitting a certain standard of excellence in what I do, but they tend to pile on and distract your mind. And that can be very troublesome because if you’re having a conversation, if you want to be seen as an advisor, you need a clear mind. So you really need to fight back against that imposter syndrome and those concerns that come up. And that’s typically where you see that come up in that sales situation, or maybe a current client, but meaning what, someone in an elevated position in some way, if you’re not comfortable and used to that, that can be a challenge. So, first I mentioned how you see yourself, right? That’s the first of the two parts and seeing yourself as a peer, as opposed to a peon is a sense of confidence that you carry and confidence is going to be vital.

If you want to communicate an idea, if you want to move something forward, you need that confidence. If that confidence is in question in some way, it is going to be transparent. People can detect it. Doesn’t have to be something that they consciously even think about. They subconsciously we will even pick up that this person doesn’t feel like they’re fully engaged in this. It feels like they’re distracted. It feels like they’re uncertain. It doesn’t feel like they’re believing what they’re saying. We can pick up on that. It’s a human trait at this point. And the more elevated someone is the further along in their own career and their own success, they are, they’ve probably dealt with enough people that they’re even more attuned to this. So it’s very important that you understand the position that you’re coming in and that you are confident. The other part is negotiation, where this comes up.

A lot, people might be confident to a point seeing that there appear. And then when they get an objection of some sort, someone isn’t certain about the price, then they start to fall into that piano category. And that negotiation element is important because it can vastly change how deals are structured and if they actually happen and you need to maintain that level of being in the negotiation process. If you fall into being a peon, then you’re offering discounts and you’re trying to do anything to win the person over. And that is a self reinforcing behavior where they’re seeing that desperation. And it is reclassifying. You might’ve appeared all up to that point, even when they, you know, objected to the price, they might have still seen you as a peer at that point. But now things are shifting and that’s doubling down on your own feelings about yourself, but it’s also shifting your perspective on you and the peer versus PM.

Mindset can be something that carries with you every day. If you’re feeling like that, even when you’re not engaged with clients in some way, that’s going to affect your work. That’s going to affect how your energy is each day and it’ll affect your motivation, your discipline. Now, a video on motivation, discipline, you might be interested in more on that, but I think this Paralympian categorization in your mind will play a heavy role if you are motivated day to day. And most importantly, if you keep discipline day by day. Now, the second part that I mentioned was how others see you, their perception of you. And it’s important that you’re a peer because you need to be trusted to become a trusted advisor. If you’re not a trusted advisor and you’re working with someone, you might be an order taker at best, but if they don’t trust you, if they see you as a peon, then order-takers the best you can even ask for.

And you don’t want to be in that category, not as a consultant, not as a marketing service provider. So it’s important that people trust you, that they see you as a peer. It’s an important stature to hold, and you’re holding that type of place in someone’s mind. And when you have that position, they become less price sensitive. So it’s less likely that you’re going to face an objection based on price. And it’s more likely that they’re going to be willing to pay you more for your services. If they see you at that piano stature, then they’re going to not trust your expertise. And they’re also going to sense out that they can get a better deal out of you that you’re desperate. So they can probably find some wiggle room in there. Not somewhere you want to be. It’s not healthy for your business. And it’s not a healthy place to start a relationship with your client.

Whether you’re seen as a peer or PN is also going to dictate if you get a call back and I can mean that in a literal sense in the sales situation of do people return your calls when you’re in a negotiation process, when you’re trying to schedule an appointment. And likewise, if there’s a future opportunity to work with that client, if they have a new need that comes up, if they need your services again, are they actually going to call you? They see you as a peer. They respect what you do. They will, they see you as a peon, an order taker, unless you gave them a crazy deal. And you’re just seen as a commodity. You’re not getting that call back. And if you are getting that call back, if you’re seen in that way, you don’t really want that call back. And that is an important element.

Returning clients is an excellent sign of a successful business. It is the best sign of a great consulting business. When people have returned to you, they won’t do that. If you’re a peon, they’ll do that. If you’re a peer. So that’s my take on the PRP on a classification. It is huge on your own mindset, but it is also something to be conscious of from the perspective of the client or the prospective client. How do they see you? And that will play a major role in the sales process, the respect that you gain, the trust that you gained, the ability to advise the ability to move projects along and ultimately the ability to make a deal that is favorable to you and the client.

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