Why yes, people are judging you…


I had no idea that one of the best butcher shops in the Seattle area was just around the corner from where I live.

It’s been there for a few years. Best meat and game selection in town, and some of the finest restaurants in Seattle have standing orders.

I’ve driven by this place hundreds of times. Problem is, it looks like a pit. The outside of the building looks awful, run down. One starts to worry about the quality and freshness of food from a place like this. And honestly, the inside doesn’t look that great either. But the product is outstanding.

I’ve lived in the neighborhood for 10 years, and could have been buying from the guy for most of that time. I just was never impressed enough to walk in.

I decided to finally chance it only after searching online for a butcher shop near where I lived, and found consistently glowing reviews for him on Yelp.

Similar story for my new favorite neighborhood pub. For years I’ve known it was there, but never went in. The smokers and choppers parked outside were intimidating. Finally a year ago, I went with a friend. Turns out the smokers & bikers were from a place a couple doors down. This bar, meanwhile, was perfect. Great beer selection, casual atmosphere, come as you are, sports on the TV.

Twice I had judged the book by its cover. Unfair? Perhaps. But it took me years to get over it, in both cases.

Do you take a business as seriously if they’re using a hotmail.com email address?

Would you follow up if their Web site looks like it was designed in 1997?

These may have little to do with the quality of their work, but it’s hard to shake that first impression.

Your product or service is important, but clearing the path for people to find you, evaluate you, try you – that’s pretty important too.