Something I see so often is salespeople turning up to appointments, networking events or referral groups under dressed for the occasion.


Perhaps they think that they have been in the industry so long they don’t need to dress up anymore, or they had a hard morning and couldn’t be bothered tidying up. The first thing I think to myself is what kind of impression does that leave?


In consultative selling we are selling ourselves first, the product/service second and lastly our good company name. We need to ‘sell ourselves by showing the prospect that we respect them enough to present ourselves in a way that speaks quality.


People make a decision about you within a fraction of a second of meeting you, remember that. If your tie is hanging loose, your shirt or dress are un-ironed, or your shoes are scuffed, these actions all say something to the prospect.

They say:

I don’t care enough about you to present myself appropriately”.


It is not just what we are wearing, it is our clean vehicles, smart haircuts, our branding, our proposal documentation. Everything counts.


Save the tee shirts, jeans and sneakers until you are Zuckerberg or Branson level, then you can do what you like, but until then the way you present yourself must come first and foremost.


I’m not going to recommend to you what to wear, as each industry dictates a different style or level of dress.


It is all up to interpretation but be sensible, if you are selling into the finance industry, dress like a financial adviser, if you are selling into the farming industry, dress like a rural banker.


Take pride in everything you do, as it really shows.


My dad used to say to me you are only allowed to have a beard if you are a scientist or a creative, which I promptly scoffed at. But in all honestly facial hair does say something about you. Many of the people you will be selling to will have 'old school' ideas about what is professional and what isn't.


I would love to have a mustache but unfortunately they conjure up images of shyster car salesmen from the 1980's.


One thing I would say though is dress to the level of your prospect’s advisers - what would they be wearing? A shirt and tie?.


As I said before, the key is to be comfortable in what you are wearing but remember you are representing your company you need to show the prospect that this means quality.


I always remember the story of a colleague who was meeting with a national company and thought it was casual Friday so he didn't need to wear a tie. Unfortunately all the directors of that company turned up in full suit and tie. Do you think he felt under dressed?


A couple of tips I will leave you with around presentation

  • Always dress to the level of your prospect’s advisers
  • Dress appropriately for your industry
  • A creative may get away with a short sleeved shirt, tattoos and shorts more than a sales executive.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to dress down for the prospect - you may not show up on a farm in an Audi, suit and tie, but you might show up in a smart shirt, chinos and stock man boots.
  • Everything counts from your shiny shoes to your haircut, your writing implements, your company branding, your proposal documents.
  • All of these factors either add to or take away from the level or trust you are building with the prospect and the likelihood of closing sale.
  • Don’t wear a mustache unless you are super cool, a creative or a 1980's shyster car salesman.

I hope you have a productive and prosperous month.



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