Written by Sean McPheat |
It is true, that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. As a sales professional, it is imperative that the first impression the prospect gets of you be a good one, and it starts with your appearance. However, here are 10 subtle, seemingly small items concerning your appearance that many sales people overlook. Keep these things in mind as they are easy to forget and take for granted.
1. Bad Breath: Ok, so you are convinced that you do not have a case of genuine halitosis. However, it does not take much for your breath to assume a foul odour for a short period of time, especially after you eat. Just keep some breath fresheners with you at all times and be sure.
2. Food in Teeth: Before the end of that lunch with that important prospect; go check your teeth. It is extremely difficult to pay attention to or take someone seriously, who has a small piece of broccoli stuck in their teeth.
3. Dirty, Chewed Fingernails: While a few women falter here, this seems to be an area for which most men pay no attention. Clip and clean your fingernails. You should actually maintain a decent manicure, and that goes for gentlemen as well. It is more important than you may think!
4. Dirty, Unpolished Shoes: Another area many believe is unnoticeable is your feet. Scuff marks, dust, grass and other things your shoes pick up, detract from your professional appearance. Pay attention to your footwear.
5. Brief, Attaché or Laptop Case: Make sure your carry case that is in good shape, both inside and out. Don’t open a great looking case only to reveal a completely disorganised mess of scattered papers, old sticky notes, business cards and chewing gum wrappers all over the place.
6. Products and Sales Presentation Material: You should completely clean, refresh and replenish everything you use in your sales interaction everyday. Get rid of the writing tablet that has tattered edges and only 20% of the pages left in it.
6. Ink Pen: Breakdown, give in and finally invest in a decent writing instrument. A little plastic 10-for-£1 pen is not the best thing to use when asking someone to sign a £10,000 contract.
7. Noise, Ear Hair: Please trim. Enough said.
8. Coffee, Beverage Stains: Drops of coffee seem to have the uncanny ability to target the most visible spots on your tie, suit or dress. Many saucers and even coasters do not absorb enough liquid to prevent dripping. Use a napkin under your cup and spoon.
10. Belts, Accessories: A worn, fraying old belt will completely ruin your outfit. Everything on your person is important. Pay attention and be sure to notice the condition of all accessories.
Someone might be thinking, “Come on Sean; these are trivial things.” To that I say, maybe it’s time that you start to sweat the small stuff!
Originally published: 27 October, 2011
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