As a salesperson, know that all eyes are on you! What you say, what you do, how you look… everyone will definitely size you up. You are a performer on the big stage of business!
I was fortunate early on to get into a company which invested heavily in ramping up new college kids from scratch into great sales professionals. One of those resources we had were formal “sales trainers” to help show you the way. I remember the first day with my sales trainer like it was yesterday. One of the first words of wisdom he shared, “you can’t control everything in sales but you can control how you look – always dress sharp and play the part!”
He could have literally stepped out of a mens fashion catalog… Dark navy blue suit, white pressed shirt, shoes shined so bright you could see your reflection, red power tie, and a tight hair cut. I also couldn’t help but notice the fancy Rolex watch and Mont Blanc pen which quickly wound up on my must have list! I followed his “look like an Executive” recommendations to the letter.
Few weeks later… I’m meeting in an attorney’s office after hours and the head partner who was an older gentleman said to me on the way out after closing our deal… “you know… your a sharp looking kid, you should really consider being a lawyer, don’t tell anyone but we are all salespeople”. It was that day I knew I fit in and could hang with anyone.
I’ll always argue, what is most important is your ears and what is between them. However, I’ve seen many bright people totally dismiss the importance of dressing like an executive and playing the part. In certain industries like tech for example, the trend has shifted towards more casual wear. As salespeople however, we are constantly tasked with dealing with a wide range of customers, various individuals, and countless of other situational nuances. My advice, it is always better to be over the bar than risk being under. Most importantly, know your customer and company and align accordingly.
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