Every time you enter a room, you make a statement before you say a word. A fashion statement. What kind of statement are you making?
You may not care about how you look, but your prospects and customers do.
A professional image is mandatory to succeed at selling. Clothing is image projection.
If you’re dressed to sell it affects several things:
- When you enter the room to make a presentation, your clothes subliminally set the tone for the words.
- It creates a positive attitude. When you look good, you feel good. Why not go up a notch? If you look great, you’ll feel great.
- It builds self confidence. When you get a clothing compliment, your chest sticks out just a little farther, doesn’t it?
Your look of success is a reflection of the quality of the product or service you represent.
“It’s an investment that pays a big return,” says Bruce Julian, owner of Milton’s Clothing Cupboard in Charlotte, NC. “Men, especially salesmen, want that one-of-a-kind look. Something that will make them look successful before they say a word.”
“Serving Charlotte business people for more than a decade has taught us to buy a few pieces of a lot of styles and colors. This way we can achieve a look for individuals that won’t be all over town. We actually spend more time buying than we do selling.” says Julian. “To achieve the right look, the salesperson’s focus should be on the accessories of the suit shirts, ties, silk squares, belts, shoes and socks. A dull blue suit can come alive with the right accessories.”
Julian (cousin of the famous designer, Alexander Julian) offers the ten most common dressing errors made by men:
- Belt frayed or worn. Makes everything you’re wearing look the same way.
- Pants not the right length. Especially if they’re too short.
- Out of fashion clothes. Fashion changes. Keep up with it. Styles change fast – pleats, no pleats, wide leg, skinny leg – just make sure you don’t like the last decade.
- Old ties get dirty around the knot and look tacky. Trade them in regularly.
- Showing stomach shirt. Make sure your tie comes down just below your belt. Don’t have a gap it looks silly.
- Shoes not shined holes in soles. For very little money, you can keep your shoes in perfect shape. Do it.
- Socks with holes. Don’t wear them. If you’re ever in a car wreck, everyone will see them.
- Shirt or suit not pressed, broken buttons. Don’t look like you slept in your clothes. Invest in an iron and an ironing board.
- Nothing matches. No color coordination looks like you still need your mom to pick out your clothing (you just might).
- Nothing fits. Poor fitting clothing looks like you’re popping out of it (too tight) or you slept in it (too loose).
“If your clothing attracts looks, make sure they’re good looks, not snickers,” says Julian. “It’s only a matter of money – your money. Clothing doesn’t cost, it creates an attitude and atmosphere that pays.”
Note Well: Poor personal grooming will make a $500.00 suit look like it came from charity.
Looking to up your image? Here’s seven fast steps that will raise you up a notch or two:
- Start to dress from the suit pants then the shirt, belt, socks, & tie (put on the jacket to see how the tie will look before making a final selection).
- Ties and socks are a chance for men to make a fashion statement. Make one.
- Match ties to suits with some contrast. Don’t wear a dark blue suit with a dark tie. Make it a light tie and your clothing will have depth.
- Keep your shoes and belt looking polished and new.
- Maintain a professional look that mirrors your customer unless the customer is too casual. Similar dress blends well and creates unspoken harmony.
- Ask for feedback about your “look.”
- When you go shopping, get others to go with you and help decide. Often they can see you better than you can see yourself. Make it fun.
So, which came first, the clothing or the success? Ask any salesperson who ever invested in good clothes before he or she became successful.
When I walk into Milton’s, I want to buy everything. It’s a store that is dripping with successful looking clothing. I also like the music. Relaxing, upbeat “music to purchase by.” There’s also the music of the cash register ringing.