SALES - Dress for success!
Looking the part
To a lot of people, a salesman wears a shiny suit, has his hair slicked back, with a greasy smile.
That is the look for a salesman that never makes a sale. In reality, professional salesmen dress with extreme care, wanting to produce an image that is both professional and ingratiating to their potential customers.
It is not as simple as putting on a conservative suit, although it can be. The salesman has to ask himself, who are my customers? What is my demographic? If you are selling cell phones out of a mall kiosk, and your demographic is 18-25 year old males into hip hop, then a suit can destroy your sales. If, however, you are selling pre-need cemetery plots to 40-60 year old home owners, a suit is mandatory.
It takes some intuition, common sense and a decent judgement call by the salesman to dial in your look, your visual presentation, to be in tune with your customer and their expectations.
As a general rule, the more expensive the item, the higher end you have to dress to sell it. Go to a Mercedes dealership and take a quick look at the top salesman. He'll be wearing a suit. That is a good general practice when entering a new sales industry, one that is new to you. Take a look at who has the big numbers on the sales team. Odds are, they are dressed in a manner very much in tune with their customers.
Sometimes, how you dress can dictate how people react to you. I have telephoned a specific geographic area, only to have a customer with an easily remembered name yell at me for daring to call. The next day, I went door knocking, dressed in suit with vest, thank you, and found that the irate customer was the soul of courtesy. The only thing that was different was the suit, and being there in person.
To sum up, one of my early and best sales teachers put it best. If you want to play the game, learn the rules.
Dressing right is one of those rules.
Go forth and sell.