Marketing Yourself: Your clothes are more important than your PowerPoint slides!
How did you decide what to wear today?
Did you base your decision on what was clean, comfortable or whether you were seeing a client?
If you were seeing a client did you tailor your appearance to their industry or just put on your lucky ‘selling suit’?
We know from studies in the 70s that first impressions are made within the first 40 seconds of meeting and are often hard to change once made – more recently we’ve found that senior business leaders will make a similar snap decision in under 10 seconds so you have even less time to make a good impression!
If this is the case why are we still spending most of our time on our pitch, our product or our PowerPoint presentation?
In the first 4 minutes up to 40 sub-conscious decisions can be made based on our appearance, voice tonality and what we say. People think they know how old we are, how intelligent we are, if they can trust us and if our product is any good. Sometimes this is before we have even said hello!
Someone came in recently to talk to me about his copy writing services. He came in wearing jeans, a slightly creased shirt and his shoes needed a polish. Do you think I bought from him?
No. I made the decision in the first few seconds that I wasn’t interested because the first impression I got was ‘untidy’. His image didn’t project ‘attention to detail’ (like his proof reading services!) and above all he hadn’t bothered to look at what my company does before he came to see me. If he had done his preparation, he would have realised that we specialise in Personal Presentation skills training and so to influence me he would have needed to make more of an effort e.g. put on a suit.
Similarly if I’m going to see a Banker in the City I would wear a pinstripe trouser suit but wear something more modern if seeing an advertising agency. The point is people buy people. People buy from people that are like them – that is the principle of rapport.
So do you dress depending on what meeting you are going to?
Do you think this is important or a load of rubbish?
Perhaps you don’t make judgements on first impression?
Please post your comments below.
Hannah Keep is Director of Freelance Training and ready to answer your questions and comments
Image by Zach_ManchesterUK
To find more about how to sell YOU, come along to our next workshop Selling YOU workshop.