Creating Connections and Trust through Imagery

Image I took while @ The Louvre in Paris, France

Image I took while @ The Louvre in Paris, France

We see images every where, people are snapping more and more photos everyday and as the technology improves we are getting better image quality out of smaller devices. But how are images affecting us today in the market place.  Are we as consumers more connected with  ? Can we as service professionals create the foundations of a working relationship with our potential clients before we even meet them?

A study at done by the Radiological Society of North  America looked at how the human psyche was affected by the use of imagery. The study looked at a Radiologists treatment of a patient’s exams, IE Xrays and MRI results, with a picture of the patient included on the medical record versus the examination of the records where there was no picture. The interesting thing to note is that radiologists typically don’t meet with the patients, a majority of the time they will just review the results found in X-Rays and MRIs and report those results back to the patients primary doctor.

The study found that the radiologists that saw portraits of patients included with the medical file, where more empathetic and thus paid more attention to detail in their examinations over the radiological results that contained no image with the medical file. The Doctors post study were interviewed about their feelings in dealing with the imaged medical records. 

The one common thread that came through from the Doctors involved was a feeling of connection. Even though the radiologist never saw the patient they felt more connected to them and thus a higher responsibility in performing their examination.  This human connection to a person with whom they had never met was accomplished by the use of a simple portrait of the patient. As a service professional you can build a basis of connection with your potential clients with the use of a portrait. Letting the person who is considering paying you for your services have feel more connected to you before they even pick up the phone.

Capturing a laugh during a commercial shoot for Crisp Barber Shop

Capturing a laugh during a commercial shoot for Crisp Barber Shop

Ok, so imagery can affect the way a person feels about us, they can feel more connected and more empathetic when they haven’t come into contact with us. But can we take it a step further and build a level of trust with this potential client who is viewing our imagery?

Dr. Eryn Newman published a study with the British Psychological Society in Nov 2012, that found that we are more likely to believe a statement is true if its accompanied with an image; even if that image adds no validity to the statement in question. Newman and her colleagues created two series of questionnaires containing statements of fact and the subjects had to decide whether the statements were true or false. The 1st about widely known celebrities and a 2nd about relatively unknown subject matter.

When the subjects were given the statement like,“2 Pac is still alive.” The subjects overwhelming were willing to believe it was true when the statement included a picture of 2 Pac. The results were even greater when asked about relatively unknown subjects. “Macadamia Nuts are a part of the same evolutionary family as the Peach” . 90% of the subjects believed the statement to be true when the statement included a picture of a macadamia nut, over those who did not see the image of the nut. What Dr Newman concluded is that a simple image can help to build credibility even if that image contains nothing to support our claim. Now imagine if you couple statements you can deliver on with a quality image that does support your claim. Instant credibility builder with your potential client.

High Speed Train from London to Paris I took this summer

High Speed Train from London to Paris I took this summer

Want to get on the fast track to building connections with your cliental? Start taking advantages of imagery, there is a reason that electronics companies are pushing camera technology further and further every year, we crave a visual communication and imagery plays a large role in the human psyche when it comes to creating connections and trust. As service professionals those are the two biggest selling points for our services, if we can create a connection and a level of trust with our potential clients our conversion rates will be much higher. The key is to use imagery not to fool your potential clients but rather to build that extra level of trust and value in the services you offer. 

What are your thoughts, do you use imagery to help sell your services and what impacts have you seen?