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Three Rules of Appearance


Disciplines > Sales > Sales articles > Three Rules of Appearance

Be Clean | Be Smart | Be Neutral | See also



There are three rules that all salespeople should use when deciding what they should look like to customers. If you do it right, people will start liking you without knowing really why.

Be Clean

As a salesperson you should never, ever appear dirty in any way. Dirt disgusts and repulses others. When a person is clean, we seldom particularly notice it, but when we see dirt, we back off, at the very least mentally.

Clean body

Make sure you body is totally clean. Shower every day and wash your face just before seeing a client.

If your teeth are discolored, go see your dentist, but beware of whitening systems that looks artificial.

If you are a man, shave. Beards and sales seldom go together.

Clean clothes

Always have clean clothes. Have your suits cleaned on a regular basis and inspect them before going out each day. Also ensure your shoes are polished and your shirt or blouse is crisp.

If your are going to see a major client consider taking a change of shirt and popping into the bathroom just beforehand.

A useful tip also is to wear a white shirt -- the reason is that sweat shows up more on colors. Sweat is both unpleasant and signals that you are nervous (even though you might just be hot). A nervous salesperson can be negotiated down.

Be Smart

Do not wear casual clothes unless you are in a particular form of sales where this is normal. A business suit is the normal sales attire.

Attire should never be shabby or worn. Always check for shiny, frayed or otherwise damaged clothes and immediately ditch them when there is any such signs.

Whilst looking the part, you should not be too smart. If you are wearing designer clothes with a very expensive cut, customers may think you are making too much money out of them or trying to upstage them.

Get your hair cut regularly so it is neat and trim. People do not like buying from a 'wild man'. Also pay attention to nails and other parts of the body.

Be Neutral

As a sales person you should look clean and smart, but you should not be loud (unless you are deliberately playing this card). If you wear bright clothes people will think you are trying to stand out and shine more than they do.

Remember: Your customers should be the center of attention, not you.

In other words a simple grey business suit and white shirt is often the best.

Be neutral in your smells, too. Do not smell like a perfumery. You should smell clean but little more. And of course control your gaseous emissions!

If you are a woman, do not wear low-cut clothes unless you deliberately seek to distract men (and never do this when meeting married couples!).

See also

Sales Books

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