What you wear plays a major role in the impression you make. The clothes you wear can help increase dominance and job performance in high-stakes competitive sales jobs.

When walking into sales meetings, the first thing that prospects notice about you is how you dress. Your dressing code shapes their perception of you and ultimately, their attitude of the product or service you are selling.

The importance of dressing right

Establish authority and create trust

The right attire can instantly instil a sense of confidence in clients. A salesperson dressed in well-fitted clothing that looks professional immediately garners respect from clients. Professional attire also relays a sense of expertise. Wrong clothes will make you look out of place, and less trustworthy.

Build confidence

Wearing the right dress will help you, as a salesperson, to build your confidence. When you wear the proper clothing to a meeting, you improve your image and self-esteem. This confidence allows you to be more authoritative.

Establish a connection

A potential client who meets a salesperson who appears to have the same taste in clothes will create a subtle link that can help increase sales. This connection will place the salesperson in a better position to make recommendations or provide opinions that will directly affect a purchasing decision.

Leave a lasting impression

The right clothing creates a lasting impression which will help to increase sales in the future through repeat sales.

How a salesperson should dress

Before dressing every morning, think about how seriously you want to be perceived. Dressing appropriately will not only affect how seriously people take you but also impacts your trustworthiness with the prospects.

Would you trust a financial advisor who arrived driving a creaky car and dressed in worn-out jeans? Probably not. In sales, always remember that the image you portray is the beginning of establishing trustworthiness in your prospects.

Understand your prospect’s dress culture

What you wear has power on those around you. If you are planning on making a sales pitch to a new target client, find out how they dress. People trust and want to associate with people who are like themselves. Match your attire to that of your customer. If you are meeting a client who typically wears jeans and sunglasses, a three-piece suit can leave you overdressed. Always strive to dress one step ahead of your prospect.

Do not neglect to groom

What this means is that wearing ironed clothes with messy hair will leave a wrong impression on the client. Whether you are at the casual or formal end of the spectrum, always stay neat at all times as neatness goes a long way to closing a sale. A poorly groomed salesperson is often perceived as sloppy and inefficient in business. Always press, iron and polish your ensemble. Wrinkles and ill-maintained clothes can be immediately off-putting. You can also accessorize smartly with items like high-quality laptop bags. If possible, match your shoes, belt and watch.

Suit up

Dressing up shows the prospects that you value them and their time, which is a good sign for any sales rep to send. Salesmen should invest in pinstripe, black, and neutral suits with a few solid-coloured, conservative shirts and ties.

Women should invest in a variety of black, or neutral patterned skirt suits or pants with tops in solid colours. Make sure your outfit is well fitting to show attention to detail. Although you can wear some ensemble for the everyday environment, reserve your suits for important meetings where appearance is vital.

Avoid torn jeans, tight skinny jeans and cargo pants

Professional salesmen should steer clear of these types of clothing. For women, avoid dressing in low-backed over-revealing tops. Also, avoid mini-skirts, thin straps, and excessive jewellery. Such items, for both genders, tend to portray that you are not bothered enough to dress well, making you appear unmotivated or lazy to clients.

Avoid offensive odours

This could be heavy colognes, perfume, alcohol, or just bad breath or body odour. Avoid anything that could leave you with a pungent scent before meeting with a prospect.

Keep the odds in your favour by following these basic rules of dress and appearance. Even the smallest violation can derail or cost you a sale quicker than you can imagine.