First Impressions

Does Image = Success?

Consider these facts. Judgments regarding ethics, education, intelligence and capabilities are made within the first 15 seconds of meeting someone for the first time. First impressions are nearly impossible to change once formed.

Fewer than 1 in 20 customers will give you honest feedback when it is even slightly negative. What is your image costing you?

Image Value

If you take a look at the public image that a guy like Donald Trump has, you would say that he dresses like a Billion Dollars. I’m not saying that you need to buy a $10,000 suit, but the basics are still the same regardless of how much you pay for your suit, shiny shoes, some new clothing. A talented hair stylist, a good shave, trimmed nails and ironed clothing still go a long way to create a good first impression.

Harry Rosen was once quoted saying, “Can an individual build a brand?” “If you’re a smart dresser, you are a brand.” If decisions regarding product value and quality are formed when you meet a customer for the first time, it’s vitally important to manage your own personal image and present a professional, astute and energetic image. You are part of the product/service that your company sells. You form the perceptions your customer or prospect will have of the entire sales process. There are very few sales situations, if any, where a poor image delivers maximum results. In fact, it is far more common to witness poor choices in attire erode the perception of value, service and margin. Image does not start and end with clothing but it’s the simplest to manage!

How does the competition stack up on image? Are they better, worse or about the same? If the answer is better or about the same—you need to address your own image and its ability to add value. In a competitive market the smallest things can make a big impact!

Industry leaders like Disney rely on well researched policies regarding every aspect of personal appearance. Their research shows that personal choices either tend to build interpersonal comfort or make a majority of people uncomfortable. Knowing the difference is the key to building instant rapport. If you think there may be an issue in this area, chances are there is one. Calling in a third party, such as a reputable clothier to take positive action is a good first step.

From time-to-time, we all need to look at ourselves in the mirror (literally) to see if we are dressing for success. Whether you’re visiting a customer or prospect for the first time or the seventh time we have 100% control over our personal image. So is your image today helping you close more business or preventing you from getting a seat at the table with decision makers? So when you look in the sales mirror every morning before you leave for your appointments or work don’t forget to ask yourself… What is your image costing you?

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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