"Get Scrappy!" Blog

Simple Reminders for Dressing for Success

Posted April 22, 2011 by Terri Sjodin in Archive, New Sales Speak, Public Speaking, Sales Presentations, Training and Development

New Sales SpeakOne of my mentors and dear friend, Nido R. Qubein says, “If you want to make it on Wall Street or Main Street, pay careful attention to the clothes you wear and the visual impact you have on others.”  It’s natural for everyone to think that the way they dress is absolutely “fine” all the time, whether or not they know anything about clothes.  Unfortunately, dressing for most people is a habit and many of us just throw on clothes without much thought behind the impression we will make on other people.  As long as we don’t wear shorts to work and a tuxedo to the company picnic, we assume no one will notice, or even care.  This is a big mistake, particularly if you deal with the public on a regular basis.

Here are a few simple dressing for success tips to keep in mind:

  1. Put some thought into your “look”, and dress appropriately for the type of meeting you are attending.  There is a big fat line between overdressing and under dressing, so get to know the culture from which your audience will be drawn.
  2. Be comfortable, and look neat enough so as to feel self-confident.
  3. Make sure everything fits properly.  Get to know a good tailor or dressmaker.  Whether the clothes are new or old, they simply must fit well.
  4. Colors need to be coordinated.  If you don’t know the rules, do some further research on what goes together.  Here’s where a clothing consultant is invaluable.
  5. Shoes should be clean and polished.  FYI, your socks should match your pants not your shoes.  Accessories need to be tasteful and should compliment your clothes.  Don’t overdo it.  When in doubt ask for the opinion of someone you trust.
  6. Clothes should let people know you are aware of what is currently in fashion without looking like a page out of a magazine.
  7. When in doubt, dress conservatively.  Better safe than sorry!


For more specific information, please review Chapter Eleven, Mistake #9 – Wearing Inappropriate Dress from New Sales Speak, The Nine Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Second Edition.


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