August 16th, 2006 by Bob Bly
A marketing manager for a management consulting firm (NOT a client of mine, by the way) e-mailed me a couple of photos of his firm’s consultants at a client engagement along with a simple question: which photo should they use in their new capabilities brochure?
The two photos were:
(a) An average looking, middle-aged male consultant giving a flip chart presentation to a roomful of male clients.
(b) A young, blond, and extremely attractive female consultant giving a flip chart presentation to a roomful of male clients.
Both people were real employees of the firm at an actual client engagement — the same client, in fact.
I thought I could answer quickly, but then I was stumped.
Does it really matter which consultant you use in the photo? Should it matter?
If it makes a difference, would business clients be more persuaded by (a) the middle aged (and presumably more experienced) male or (b) the younger and frankly sexier (but not overtly sexy; she was dressed in appropriate, conservative business attire) female?
How would you vote — and why?
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