Remember first impressions usually occur non-verbally. Your prospects are already judging you before a word ever comes out of your mouth. The first impression you make is usually your appearance.
Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is, of course, that you are judged. We, as the sales person, should never make judgments on our prospects based on their appearance but we must be aware that they will be judging us based on ours.
How should you dress? Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigating on the personality and status of your prospect so that you can dress as equal, or maybe even a notch above depending on the situation. If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or underdress (the more likely scenario), the potential prospect may feel that you don’t about the potential business opportunity- or yourself for that matter.
Do you need to run out and spend a lot of money on new clothes? No, but there are several things you can do to make your appearance up to par regardless of the cost or style of your dress.
Your appearance is more important than just good looks!
Attention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women.
- clean and well-groomed hairstyle
- well-brushed teeth and fresh breath
- cleaned and trimmed fingernails
- personal hygiene – bathing should be an everyday thing
- no body odor
- minimal cologne or perfume
- no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercings for women
- minimal jewelry
- clothes should be clean and pressed – no wrinkles
- clean and polished dress shoes
- for men, make sure your shoes match your belt
- gentlemen, no white socks – ever. Socks need to be kept dark in color and match your attire.
- gentlemen, If you have a beard or mustache, your facial hair should be neatly trimmed
- gentlemen, if no facial hair keep it clean shaven in a professional setting
- gentlemen, if a tie is involved make sure it is tied evenly and properly
- gentlemen, shirts tucked in – always
- ladies, minimal cleavage – if any at all
- ladies, skirts at knee length
- ladies, no bra straps showing
- ladies, no spaghetti straps, halter tops or tube tops – unless a jacket is worn over them
- ladies, keep make up neutral and appropriate to the setting