May 06, 2009

3 creases in the pants - Could it be time to revamp your presentation?

It is terrible I know, but it is difficult to avoid judging a book by its cover. That applies to the salesperson with scruffy shoes who did not get past the first interview and the consultant that was eliminated because of the 3 creases in his suit pants.

You don’t get a chance to make a first impression - that is as true as ever. However, over the last decade we have noticed that the general effort put into business attire has slipped. Casual Fridays have become an everyday reality and the internet boom entrepreneur has set the new standard for business dress.

Presentation is everything. Your clothes and personal grooming say a lot about you. They shape how others see you, as well as how you feel about yourself. Yet, it is easy to let it slide and as a consequence something that we all need to reappraise from time to time.

With crèche runs, long commutes and a quickening pace of life generally, we can all fall victim to the scruffy sales kit, brief case or laptop, the worn shirt collar, the scruffy shoes, or shiny suit. But sales people have to dress to a higher standard than their colleagues, or their customers.

Set the standard higher than your colleagues and dress like a dragon in the dragon’s den, or the chairman of the board of a Fortune 1000 company. Get a new tie, a new shirt and a new suit twice or three times a year and put a full length mirror somewhere that you will see before you leave your home, or your office.

A client of ours took this issue so seriously that he put a giant mirror at the top of the stairs right before the entrance to the company canteen. In our view it worked, with the company’s sales force being notably well groomed.

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