Often when prospects meet you for the first time, they already hold positive, negative or neutral feelings about doing business with you. The mindset with which they come to you can be a critically important factor in determining whether they will eventually decide to do business with you.

Our prejudgments are often self-supporting. It’s simple psychology, really. If people come to the table wanting to work with you, they will find reasons to support this desire—even if your presentation isn’t perfect. If they come to the table not wanting to work with you but willing to hear what you have to say, they will be consciously or subconsciously looking for reasons not to choose you. It is true in politics, in business, in dating—in life in general. When it comes to our judgments, we want to be proven right.

If I come to the table with positive feelings about you, I will likely find a reason to be right. Have you given people a reason to be positive about you before you meet? (That’s the goal of marketing.)

Instead of the hard sell at the end of your seminars, what if attendees could come easily to a decision to work with you? What if your website could make people feel that they had arrived at the right place and that your firm could truly help them? What if your clients were powerful advocates, promoting you to friends and generating referrals? It’s possible, of course. But you have to begin your marketing with that end in mind. Does your marketing create positive feelings?

The goal of your marketing is to share who you are and what you do and create a positive aura around your business. The only way to do this is by sharing your business in authentic ways and avoiding stiff, professional marketing speak. The more positive feelings you can build through your marketing, the more your prospects will want to find out that they were right about you from the start.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.