I am going to dedicate this post to my younger brother. He is the definition of what it means to be an individual. He has his own distinct tastes and style that differentiate him from the rest of the crowd. There is no way you can miss him. Now when it comes to sales, well any business for that matter, differentiating yourself is the key to success. When you go to a job interview you want the interviewer to remember you. That’s how I got my first college job. I went and made a good impression at the interview and then followed it up for over a month until they eventually offered me the job. The owner of the company told me later that when a position finally opened up the only person that she could think of was me. That is the impression that you want to make!
People Hear what they see. This is a great quote I got from a Kevin Spacy movie “Beyond the Sea.” It’s about the life of singer and actor Bobby Darin. The quote refers to him changing up his act and his audience not responding too well. He wanted to sing more relevant protest songs, during the Vietnam war, instead of his old crooner style. He changed his look and whole stage show and it went terribly. This quote was the point in the movie where he realized that he could sing and say whatever he wanted as long as he portrayed to his audience the image that they expected. That is the message of this post. Dress for your customer.
You may be the most knowledgeable person in the world about your product but if you look like a bum they aren’t going to give you the time of day. The customer hears what they see, and if they don’t like what they see then you’re going to lose the sale. In business you need to conform to the expectations of those people that have the money.
Now this is not saying don’t be an individual! You absolutely have to individualize yourself from everyone else on the planet that has the same button up shirt, black slacks and shoes, just don’t overdo it. Wear a crazy tie, or tie bar. Try out a bracelet or necklace. The ability to show your individuality is directly proportional to the amount of money and power you have in an organization. Basically the more money and power you have the more you can let your individual style shine through.
I once read somewhere about different kinds of pan handlers. The ones that stood there looking like bums made a lot less money than those that were clean-cut and dressed nice. They both have the same job and same customers. People are always judging you from the moment you step out of your door, deal with it! People are more willing to give you money if they think you are responsible and deserving.
Show your customers that you are responsible and deserving by dressing to their expectations. If you sell surf boards then dress business surfer. If you sell tattoos and nose rings then show off your passion but in a professional way. I work retail and most of my customers range in ages from 20 to 60 and are business professionals. They trust someone who meets their definition of what a professional should look like. I wear a nice shirt, slacks and a tie. Whatever you do you want to portray a core of professionalism. If you are new to this idea check out my video about on how to tie a tie. There is only one chance to make a first impression don’t handicap yourself before you even open your mouth.
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