How do you leave a truly great impression on someone? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson reveals the odd answer. Studies suggest that it is not your accomplishments that sell—it is your potential to accomplish that sells.
Unlock Your Potential, Verrry Slowly
Adjusting for factors such as age, research from various resources supports the idea that people are subconsciously more excited for the person with potential versus the person who has already proven him or herself. One study had people comparing resumes of a person with two years relevant experience who scored highly on testing for leadership potential, and another person with no relevant experience who scored equally highly for leadership potential. Although evaluators could objectively agree that the person with relevant experience had the more impressive resume, they still preferred the person with no relevant experience on the whole. One conclusion drawn from this research is that people just find the uncertainty of an unproven person more exciting. What does this mean for you? Well, it means in your next interview or your next consultation, you should probably frame your prior accomplishments as mere stepping stones to your current point, because you still have plenty of potential left in you.
You can read the full article here: https://hbr.org/2012/08/the-surprising-secret-to-selli