There are many sayings about keeping up appearances in a professional environment—things like “dress to impress” or “the clothes make the man” are commonly cited when it comes to dressing up for client meetings. However, could your customers be looking at more than just your clothes when they see you in person?
In today’s video, I join a discussion of how your computers affect your client’s perceptions of you and the state of your business.
See What Your Computer Says about You by Watching the Video:
Does Everyone NEED the Latest and Greatest Computer?
While the computer you bring into a meeting does say a lot about you and your company, not everyone needs the latest model to impress clients. It’s far better for most organizations to select the right type of computer based on the user’s needs.
For example, Frank from accounting probably doesn’t need the Surface Studio 2 to process Excel spreadsheets (though it would handle them beautifully). Instead, a Surface Laptop or Surface Book would probably be much more in line with Frank’s needs while still being attractive and affordable. Meanwhile, Bob the 3D graphic designer probably would need the Surface Studio’s dedicated graphics processing power for his work.
Additionally, as computers continue to become more advanced and capable, you’ll find that most meet basic needs with ease. So, in many cases, your choice of computer will come down to personal preference. As I say in the video: “Most computers are fairly similar to each other. And, it comes down to what you like—what computer form factor makes sense to you, what looks best to you?”
However, that being said, the equipment you drag into a meeting (and, for older, heavier computers, the “dragging” may be literal) can have an impact on the first impression you make.
Why You Shouldn’t Bring a Clunker to Your Meetings
In the video, I relay a story about someone who brought a very large, clunky, and power-hungry computer to a meeting one time:
“Several years back, we had Chris show up to a client with a really thick computer and he was panicking about plugging his computer into a wall because the battery was going to go dead… Somebody was tripping over the cable as clients go by—it’s embarrassing… Your computer reflects who you are… It’s about who you are and whether you’re investing in yourself or your employees… it’s a reflection on how they operate their business. Are they cutting corners?”
That last question can have a major impact. After all, if you’re not investing in giving your people the tools they need to do their work more efficiently, where does that leave the customers who rely on your employees for their deliverables?
Not having the right tools on hand during a meeting, or having shabby-looking equipment that underperforms, can poison the customer’s first impression. This can, in turn, sour the business relationship.
So, while you might not need the newest or most powerful computer in every meeting, it is important to have attractive equipment that can get the job done in a satisfactory manner.
Driving Innovation with Technology
Personally, I’m of the opinion that technology drives innovation. Having the right tech helps inspire people (or, at least, removes obstacles so employees are free to act on their inspirations).
New technologies allow people to work in new ways. Could you imagine what the world would be like today without the internet? It’s such an integral part of modern business that most people couldn’t imagine a world without it. Modern businesses thrive on having instant access to information.
Take, for example, Netflix. Without high-speed internet, the streaming service would not be the industry giant it is today—it would still be a video mailing service. Netflix helped to pave the way for other video streaming services that deliver countless hours of content to consumers every second of the day.
The Exclusivity Factor (Using Your Computer for Bragging Rights)
One aspect that may affect how a client sees your computer is how exclusive and hard-to-get that device is. The scarcer a specific computer is, the more elite the owner is in the eyes of others. It’s kind of like the difference between having a cheap Timex watch with a plastic/rubber band and having a 24 karat gold Rolex with diamonds in the band—while both devices are wristwatches that are perfectly capable of telling the current time of day, one leaves a very different impression from the other.
Near the end of the video, we all talk about scarcity, and how, during the launch of the Surface Pro X, it was really hard to get a hold of one, which made them kind of a status symbol for a while:
- Me: “When [the Surface Pro X] first came out, they were really hard to get. Because they were in such high demand, more than [Microsoft] expected.”
- Stephen: “We always get the units, and never the keyboards. The keyboards are always so short-handed right when they first come out. The day after release, the keyboards are gone.”
So, when the Surface Pro X first launched, it was a bit of a hot-ticket item and a conversation starter in meetings. We could bring a Pro X to a meeting, and people who had been trying to get one would ask about it. Merely having the device helped create a more positive impression that Protected Trust had the latest and greatest tools.
What does your computer say about you? Are you a mover and a shaker with the latest gadgets? Are you a reliable worker who doesn’t need fancy tools to get the job done? Or, are you in the market for an upgrade? Reach out to the Protected Trust team to let us know!