What to Wear – for General Business
Here’s a shocker, people judge people by how they look and what they wear. While showing up for a sales presentation in raggedy tee-shirt and sport coat may look cool, you lose major points on the credibility scale.
Dress for Success 101:
Piercings – lips, nose, and brow – remove the hardware. If you are calling on a conservative, men, the earing needs to go, too.
Make-up and accessories – keep it moderate and cut back on the bling. Anything that distracts from the purpose of your meeting is going to slow the sales process.
Shirts should be pressed (I don’t care if the label says wash-and-wear….it’s a lie). Shirt tails tucked in. Always dress one level above the person you are meeting with. If they are in a shirt and pants, you wear a jacket. If you are meeting with a business owner, then dress like a business owner. Shoes shined, and should be better quality leather. No sandals or deck shoes. Men, wear socks. Kool is not cool. Women, you should wear hose. Before you beat me, remember, it’s the image you are selling.
Ladies – if you are wearing a strappy top with a skirt or trousers, have your jacket on before you approach the building. Keep your clothing modest and your body covered. True story (like I’d ever just make it up?) It was a hot summer day, the prospect walked past the sales rep coming into the building. The sales rep was wearing a camisole when she got out of the car. She had her jacket on by the time she got in the building, but the prospect had already seen her “half naked body” and mentally decided she wasn’t the kind of person he wanted to do business with. The rep lost the sale the moment she stepped out of her car.
We don’t have to agree with “narrow” thinking, however, if you want to increase your opportunity funnel you need to appear credible, competent, and on the same page as the customer.