Sales July 19, 2011 Last updated July 25th, 2011 3,962 Reads share

Don’t Get Dressed Down Over A Potential Sale

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In today’s fast-paced sales world, every business is doing pretty much whatever it takes to land and maintain clients.

While it oftentimes comes down to finances and customer service, don’t be surprised if some clients are not taking a second look at how your salespeople are showing up dressed for important meetings.

As more and more businesses turn to a casual look, it is important to remember that how employees dress inside the office and when they go out for a presentation or follow-up meeting with a client are two entirely different things.

While more businesses are handling client matters online or through conference calls, many still do things the old-fashioned way, one-on-one with the client present. When times call for face-to-face contact, make sure your sales staff knows the rules in play.

If you’re meeting with current customers, there is a little more room given for discretion in what you wear.

Keep in mind; however, that is not a calling card for a polo shirt, shorts and sandals. A sudden change in your appearance could startle a customer and lead them to wonder if things are changing at your business, with their account etc. Keep your wardrobe consistent with your better-known customers unless you’re meeting them outside of work hours for a non-work-related event.

Dress to Impress with New Clients

When it comes to clients you’re trying to bring home to your business, go on the idea that you are basically going on a job interview.

You wouldn’t show up for a job interview in a jersey and jeans, so give it your best look when trying to win over a potential client. Yes, first impressions do make a difference, so don’t lose out on a possible acquisition because you didn’t feel like taking the time to dress up for them. It is important to remember that you are representing your company when out on a sales call, so anything less than stellar could harm the company’s image and ability to add more sales.

As for beyond the nice suit or dress, personal hygiene plays an important role too when meeting up with a client. Here are some suggestions of what to avoid:

  • Five’ clock shadow – As a guy, the rugged look may be impressive to the girlfriend or wife, but it isn’t going to win you any bonus points with the person you’re trying to sell to;
  • Piercings – Women and men with a tongue or nose piercing should remove it for the work day so as not to potentially turn off a client.
  • Tattoos – While you may think your body drawings look good, there is no need to show up at a meeting with a client with drawings of your loved one, their names and other designs for all to see;
  • Perfume or cologne – Both genders are advised not to bathe in the bottle before meeting with a client. If your smell is distracting them, chances are they’re not paying attention to your sales pitch.
  • Less is more – While men showing off muscles aren’t something a client needs to see, a woman showing a little too much cleavage is not necessary either. In this instance, less is definitely more.

As a manager, don’t hesitate to mention to your salespeople before they go out on their calls what you like and dislike about their wardrobe.

Without crossing the line, a little constructive criticism doesn’t hurt, in fact, it may help them and your business secure a sale.

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