basic sales rule for dressIgnoring these basic but crucial behaviors will sabotage your sales growth.

Show up on time.  Good heavens, does anything say, “You’re not important” more than being late?  With traffic the way it is in our urban areas you may find that you’ll be late.  If that’s the case, call the prospect and tell them you’re stuck on the interstate.  If you give them an estimate for your late arrival, say twenty minutes, make sure you will arrive very closely to that estimate.

Dress appropriately and be well groomed.  With males, there are four basic levels of dress.  The first is blue collar – jeans, tennis/casual shoes and shirt.  The second is business casual – Dockers or slacks, casual/nice shoes, a nice shirt and possibly a sport coat.  The next level is still business casual, but with nicer components and perhaps a tie with a sport coat.  Finally, we arrive at formal business attire, which is a suit and tie.

Ladies, I won’t pretend to describe the feminine equivalents, but you fight this battle all the time and don’t need any wardrobe tips from me.

The basic sales rule is to be at the prospect’s level or one above.  Never below, because the prospect wants to believe he or she is choosing a winner, a professional, someone who is respected and represents a quality product or service, and you don’t want them to find reason to question your level against that standard.

Have nice accessories.  Short story: the production of a salesman (“Ray”) I hired in the ‘90s fell off rapidly.  We talked and everything he was doing seemed to be OK, but the following month it didn’t get any better.  I wanted to see for myself so we scheduled a day we could meet some new prospects together.  In Part 3, you will learn the easily-corrected reason why Ray was failing. More about sales coaching.