We probably have all had advice about first impressions, the need to create a good first impression at one end of the spectrum and perhaps not judging a book by its cover at the other end.
I think that in the workplace first impressions can certainly play a big factor in a person’s chance of success. Certainly it is extremely important for a sales person to create the right first impression if they are going to gain credibility with a client or prospect.
Today I want to focus in on grooming. Here are some observations:
- If a sales person comes to see me and they have scuffed shoes … I notice.
- If someone comes to see me and their clothes are rumpled … I notice.
- If a sales person looks successful then I assume that they are successful.
- If a person does not look well groomed then they immediately drop in my estimation and they have to build up their credibility again.
Am I the only one that thinks this way? I would bet that at the very least 75% of clients would feel the same way, whether consciously or subconsciously. As salespeople we need to work hard to gain credibility, why would we want to handicap ourselves by our dress?
Here are some other observations:
- When I wear a new suit I feel good.
- When I polish my shoes up and they sparkle, it lifts my spirits.
- If I wear a new shirt and tie, it makes me feel good about myself.
- When I have a client presentation to give, or an important meeting, I pay particular attention to my dress … I wear a suit I love, one of my best shirt and tie combinations and I make sure my shoes are polished!
It is a fact that if you feel good about yourself then that is felt by those around you. You will feel more confident if you are dressed the part and if you feel more confident then you will create a better total impression.
I did some digging around “the net” to see what I could find on this subject.
Ray and Berndtson are a noted executive search firm and I found this article on their website. Harcourt Associates is a successful boutique Canadian company (and ACSESS member) and I found a good article on their website. Washington State University even had picture showing the different options of dress, which I thought was pretty cool. There are a number of companies that specialize in business etiquette and dress is just one of their areas of specialty.
So, do yourself a favour and pay attention to the little details when you get dressed in the morning, it might help your cause if you make sure that you look professional! Not to mention that you will feel better about yourself … might even help you to smile!