Your Look Counts

I find that in today’s selling world more and more sales people think it’s OK to get away with a casual look in front of their clients. And while some industries might support a well tailored “business casual” look, most will not support golf shirts, jeans and outdated and ill fitting clothes. Sadly…I see it a lot.

Truth is that I still sill more when I am wearing a suit. I believe its because a suit, suggests expertise, authority and success. People want to deal with people they think are successful. And, like it or not, they base their thoughts about you, on your appearance.

Over time, research continues to show that your outer look has an impact on how others view you. Dr. Robert Cialdini of “influence at work” shows us through his work that “when you look good, it is assumed that you are good at what you do.

3 responses to “Your Look Counts

  1. It might be a bit of a generational thing as well. Today’s heroes are Mark Zuckerberg and Chad Hurley. Suits are associated with “corporate America” – not a positive thing these days.

    But look at it this way. Does it really matter? Wouldn’t you prefer someone in jeans who knows what he or she is doing over a suit who just rolled out of sales training?

    So yeah, it matters. But I think we’re past the point where if you had a nice suit, the outgoing personality and the ability to be quick on your feet made the difference. Customers want substance – real value and I think many of them would sacrifice the suit for a knowledgeable salesrep (if they had to make that choice) any day of the week.

    Just my 2c.

  2. Hi Jan,

    Suits or no suits, professional dress is still important and relevant in my opinion. I also believe that professional can mean many things. Selling to bankers on Wall street will require a suit, selling technology to Exxon will also require a suit (they are still very formal)but to sell to your local florist you may define professional as a button down shirt and a pair of ironed pants. Sadly what I see in the market place is sales people taking the “business” out of “business casual. Consider the following research:

    University of Virginia Psychology Professor Timothy D. Wilson

  3. “What I wear doesn’t change who I am, but it does change your perception of me.” –Penelope Stetz

    I’ll never forget the time I wore a “peasant dress” to visit clients I’d been calling on for years instead of my usual two-or three-piece suits. Even though they new me and trusted me, I received less respect that day.

    Wearing a suit will get people to listen to me. If I don’t know what I’m talking about, wearing a suit won’t keep them listening or cause them to buy.

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