What is salesman attire?
– Dress equal to or slightly above what their prospect is wearing.
– Wear something that evokes trust and familiarity.
Before you start your pitch, prospect have already begun to for their opinion of you and your service. Appearance is your first impression, which makes dressing the part so important.
This is the second installment of ‘The Crush 2019’ Series. Review the previous blog to crush your quota this year, and keep an eye out for Part III: Sales Pitch Examples To Become A Quota Crusher. In this Part II we dive into salesman dress tips to have you looking your best while closing more deals.
With your Crush 2019 Goal Action Plan in hand, you’re ready to conquer the world, right?! Well… almost. Let’s talk about what you’re wearing, and what it says to potential customers.
Are you wearing your PJs and house shoes? Let’s hope you’re that comfortable reading this, but hopefully this isn’t how you go out knocking doors. The right clothes will help increase your own confidence, but it will also increase the confidence that a potential customer has in your abilities.
Compare Yourself To Packaging
Some companies spend millions and millions of dollars to design and create packaging that has the highest possibility of attracting consumers to their products with the hope of a purchase being made. Effective packaging captures the consumer’s attention for longer periods of time, encouraging them to buy.
The Paper Worker, a package creation company with 60+ years in the business, found that almost 33% of consumer decision-making is based on packaging.
The same applies to door to door sales reps. As a professional salesperson, you’re the “package” that customers see and interact with, often times even before your product or service. You have to make this count. You have just 7 seconds to make a good first impression as 93% of a person’s judgment of others will be based on non-verbal inputs.
Want even more pressure? Business Insider found that most decisions made after that 7-second window are based on the information collected during that short time frame. This doesn’t mean you need to act like Kanye West and drop millions of dollars on clothes – most of which still look like crap – but first impressions matter.
I mean, c’mon, a white t-shirt and jeans with that many holes… I could look that good for $20 and a trip to Wal-Mart, but we’ll save this subject for another day.
Clothing Has Power On Those Around You
Clothes can help increase dominance and job performance in high-stakes, competitive jobs (like door to door sales). This claim is based on a study by Michael W. Kraus, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management.
Kraus’ study consisted of 128 men ages 18 to 32, from diverse backgrounds and various income levels who participated in a role-playing scenario. They simulated negotiations for the mock-sale of a factory where the men were divided into three groups based on how they dressed and what they were wearing:
Group #1 | ‘The Suits’: Business suits and dress shoes
Group #2 | ‘The Sweatpants’: Sweatpants, white t-shirts and plastic sandals
Group #3 | ‘The Neutrals’: “Everyday” wear khakis, collared shirts, and casual shoes
What The Suit Says
The negotiations started with both parties being given a fair-market value for the factory and other pertinent information that would influence their decisions.
The final results:
1. Suits proved much less willing to concede during negotiations
2. Suits moved off initial offers by an average of $830,000
3. Sweatpants moved off initial offers by an average of $2.81 million
4. Neutrals conceded an average of $1.58 million from their initial offer
The relation between dress and results were:
– The more casually dressed men tended to back down easily
– The more formally dressed men received more respect from others
– Once aware of this respect, their negotiations became more forceful
Kraus concluded that in high-pressure, high-stakes situations, wearing clothes closer to the more formal end of the spectrum signaled to others that “you’re successful and confident in whatever you’re doing.”
Abstract Thinking & How You Dress – Is There A Relationship?
As a door to door sales rep, you’re face-to-face with prospects, meaning you have to be quick on your toes and think fast because you don’t have the luxury of
hiding behind a phone. The journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science proved that we engage in higher levels of abstract thinking when dressing up, compared to dressing casually.
They had 361 participants complete tasks and found that those dressed more formally resembled thinking patterns of someone in a position of power, like a senior executive. When they tested the same group in formal and casual clothes, an additional 88 individuals were quicker to see the bigger picture when dressed more formally.
Those who dressed casually were quick to sweat the small stuff. Check out what Michael L. Slepian, the co-author of the study, had to say about creative and abstract thinking.
More Salesman Dress Tips To Crush Quotas
I realize that sales reps are often given specific shirts to wear by their company, which means choosing what to wear isn’t an option. Without diving too deep into the nitty-gritty, there’s a few tricks you can pull out of the ‘ole hat to enhance your wardrobe and inch ever closer to crushing your sales targets.
The Color Wheel
According to MarketingProfs, companies use their colors as a tool to differentiate themselves from the competition. This helps to increase brand recognition among both current and potential customers. It’s also a simple and effective way to unify your company’s brand across all channels.
Colors also convey non-verbal messages that evoke certain emotions and feelings. Because of this, they need to be visually attractive specifically for your target market while setting the right tone and sending a message of what your product or service is.
Here’s what your company shirt could be conveying to prospects at the door:
Bright Colors = Less serious tone
White = Innocence, cleanliness, simplicity
Black = Power, control, heaviness, expensiveness
Red = Excitement
Yellow = Happiness
Green = Growth and harmony, often associated with eco-friendly products and services
Shoes Matter & Not Just For Looks
There’s a big misconception and false assumption that people don’t notice your shoes. Granted, it may not be the first thing someone notices, but it’s part of observing the whole “package.”
Since you’re the package that consumers see, you need to choose the right style of shoes that match your outfit in order to make a quality first impression. When wearing a suit, you definitely want to reach for those dress shoes.
When wearing khakis, a euro-type sneaker or nice-looking pair of Nike’s will do. Be sure that your shoes aren’t raggedy with rips and tears galore. Polish them if necessary and use shoe cleaner one whites.
Quick Tip: To help prevent foot, leg and back pain, wear shoes that offer proper support and body alignment, and alternate shoes daily to avoid overuse of certain muscles and joints.
Salesman Dress Tips For The Gents
Crocs makes the Santa Cruz style shoe, in cloth or leather, that looks semi-dressy from the outside, with all the comfort of a pair of Crocs clogs or flip flops on the inside! (And, before you ask, no, we are not an affiliate for Crocs.)
Saleswoman Dress Tips For The Ladies
Opt for comfortable shoes that won’t kill your feet when walking around all day. Maybe some flats that are leather or. Not your formal stilettos.
In the age of security, skepticism and paranoia, people are careful about answering their doors. If you don’t have some type of identifier — name badge, logo on your shirt, briefcase or bag with a logo, etc. — where people can see it through their peephole, they may not even open the door.
Eliminate the worry that people have at the door by quickly and easily identifying yourself. By allowing people to spot the company you’re with, you’ll get more people to open the door and give you their full 7-second overview, though 7 seconds is all you may get.
These dress tips should help you overcome the most common obstacles faced by door to door sales professionals looking to pedal their product. When it comes to how to dress, there’s only one rule you need to follow: Always dress to dominate!
Hopefully our salesman dress tips have put you on the right track.
Stay tuned for the final installment of our ‘Crush 2019’ series to learn all about the pitch and get a few examples that have proven success.
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