Imagine for a moment that you are scheduled for a job interview today. How will you dress? How will you prepare to present yourself for this important meeting?
Why do I ask this?
If you are in the profession of sales, and frankly every single one of us in sales in one form or another, you are interviewing for a job every single day. On every sales call, you are interviewing for a job. You are presenting yourself as someone desiring to provide solutions to the person on the other side of the desk and you close the transaction so you can get to work. That, at it’s core, is an interview.
Every day you are interviewing for your next job. Whether you work the front desk or are the Chief Executive Officer, every contact you make is a potential interview for the next step in your career. The people you meet can often be those who help you in the next step in your career.
Your appearance matters. It shows you care enough to present yourself in the best way possible. It shows you mean business. The fact of the matter is this: Those who dress well garner the most respect. They are paid more. Their opinions are taken more seriously. They get the promotion. People who dress well tend to carry themselves in a much more confident manner than those who don’t.
Today, as I write this, it’s Friday. It is the traditional day known as “Casual Friday” and many will head to work today dressed in jeans. I don’t mind dressing in jeans; in fact, a good pair of jeans are quite comfortable. But casual Fridays have devolved into a day where it seems anything goes. The level of respect seems to go down. The attitudes are more cavalier. The work done is less than desirable, if done at all.
I recognize that it’s important to dress appropriately for the work you do. I’m not suggesting that an oilfield worker dress in a dapper suit. But the argument that you should dress down for your position is, frankly, disheartening. Don’t dress down just to prevent people from thinking you are something you aren’t or don’t want to be associated with. Be proud of who you are and the profession you’re in or get out.
I’ve had it said to me that “I don’t want to dress in a suit and be taken for a salesman” by someone actually in the profession of sales. While I completely understand the negative connotations often associated with the traditional salesperson, let me be clear: Get over yourself. If you want to change the impression have of sales, give them something to aspire to. Stop running from the preconceived notions and set the new expectation. Create the new way of how people view salespeople by becoming the new “spokesperson,” the new model for what and how we should be viewed.
Stop wasting my time by showing up looking like you should do my chores. Dress up and show up ready for real business or go home.