How to Dress for Sales Meetings


Do you ever wonder if you’re
dressed most effectively for that next sales meeting? The data suggests that prospects actually make instant judgments
about a sales person which has a massive influence on whether they’re ultimately going
to purchase or not. Having the right appearance
for a sales meeting can actually make a much bigger impact on the sale’s outcome
than you might think. In fact, getting it wrong could put you at a huge disadvantage
in your sales meetings. In this video, I’m going to show you how to dress for sales meetings. Check it out. Number one, take into account
how your prospects dress. So, this is really, really the most important point that we can make here. Which is that, generally you wanna dress pretty similarly to you prospects. And so, I’m gonna get
into a little more nuance in just a minute but overall
what you wanna first do is take into account the types of dress that your prospects typically have. So, I’ll give you two
very different examples. Let’s say you sell in the
investment banking world. Now, in the investment banking world your prospects are going to typically be, most likely, in suits. Alright so if you’re selling to people who are very often wearing suits then that’s a really important indicator. You don’t want to be dressed way more casually than those folks. On the other hand though,
if let’s say you sold to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs
or just your typical, run of the mill homeowner, these
people are much more likely to be dressed very casually. In fact, I just recently
read an article about how in the Silicon Valley
world the person who is the least well dressed in the room, the person who’s most casual is likely to be highest up the totem
in terms of importance in an organization. So, you don’t want to
show up with those people and be completely overdressed because you’re going to have a mismatch. The general rule is that
most humans are going to most likely connect with the person that most reminds them of themselves. Now, we wanna take that
with a grain of salt because we don’t wanna just
dress exactly like our prospects because in some cases that
could make us come off as unprofessional or could ultimately lead to some other issues. But, the most important thing
is to first really be focused on how your prospects
are actually dressed. Number two, disheveled is crushing. This is actually not so
much just about dress but also just about general appearance. I see so many sales people,
particularly in places like the trades but even more broadly, where you’ll have a sales
person who just probably never fully took care
of the way they looked and so even at their best day are still looking really disheveled. And the challenge that this can bring is that it essentially exudes
a lack of professionalism. So, we really want to pay attention to how are others going
to be perceiving us? And if they’re going to be
perceiving us as disheveled this can really be problematic. And so, disheveled could
mean that your shoes are really scuffed up or look bad. Or your hair is all over the place. Or you know, your shirt’s
all wrinkly, right? These are just little
things that have less to do with the specific overall
outfit and more to do with just the general appearance. Number three, this is probably
the most important rule. Be better dressed, but not mismatched. And so, this is plays into
the first two ideas here. Which is that, we typically want to come in a little bit above our
prospect’s level of dress. Now of course, there are
limits to that, right? If you’re already selling
to people who are in a suit then you’re just going to match them. You’re just gonna wear a suit. If they’re wearing a tie, you’re gonna be wearing a tie as well. On the lower end which is
the much broader spectrum of who most people are selling to, if you’re selling to let’s
say that entrepreneur or that Silicon Valley CEO
who is wearing a t-shirt and jeans and sandals everyday, you probably don’t wanna be showing up in the t-shirt, and jeans, and sandals. You wanna come off as just a
little bit more well-dressed. So, that could mean if
you’re selling to them, it might mean that you’re
just wearing a button shirt and a pair of nice jeans and shoes. Alright, it’s still pretty casual but it’s just a little
bit more professional than the level of casualness
that maybe your customer or your prospect is wearing. So again, typically a little bit better dressed but not mismatched. I find over and over again
that when people follow that general idea what they’re going to find is that they’re never going to be creating problems for themselves. Being the best dressed
person it’s not going to help you close the sale, but what being
appropriately dressed can do is help you avoid losing a sale that you might have lost because of just ultimately turning off a prospect who felt that you looked unprofessional. And number four, pay
attention to the details. This is probably my biggest pet peeve with the way a lot of
sales people will dress. Is that they don’t pay
attention to the little details that can really cause them to
come off as pretty careless and thoughtless in the way they dress. You know, you’ll see a lot
of tradesmen who will come in and they’ll have a nice
company button down shirt with khakis but then the shirt is untucked or it’s hanging out on one side. Or you’ll have someone who’s just wearing really wrinkled clothing or their shoes are really scuffed up
or really old looking. And thus as a result the
prospect is not necessarily looking at the specific
details on a conscious level, but on a subconscious
level they’re just taking the totality of what they see and they’re making
instantaneous judgements. In fact, the data shows us that
a lot of decisions are made about a complete stranger
in the first microseconds, the first milliseconds,
of when they first take in the whole appearance. Now, you can’t control all
of your appearance, right? We’re human, we’re all different. But what you can control is the way you ultimately put yourself together. So pay attention to those little details and notice that what
you really don’t want is to really stand out in any way that would come off as
egregiously mismatched. Number five, in the moment
match them in small ways. This is really one of the most powerful and really tactical
changes that you can make in terms of your appearance. And I’ll give you an example
of how I’m might implement this in my own selling. Now, when I go to meet with
prospects I literally get onto a plane and meet
with CEOs of companies to discuss six figure consulting projects. And I’m always going to show up in suit even if I think that they’re going to be in jeans and a t-shirt, which very few of my prospects ever do, but I always show up in the suit. What I will do though, is
that if a prospect is dressed very casually I’ll take off my coat. And if they’re really casual
I may even take off my coat and roll up my sleeve and I
may even let out a button. So that way, even though
we’re dressed in a way that’s not entirely matched
I’m going to match them in small ways in the moment
that are going to cause them to feel a little bit more comfortable. And so actually, you can get
a little bit of both ways where you get the credit
of looking professional by having worn that suit
but at the same time, then in the moment when you
show up you take off the coat, or you unbutton your
sleeves and roll them up, now you are going to
create a better connection because you’re going to
appear more similar to them. By making those little
changes to appear more similar to them you’re going to
really increase the likelihood that you ultimately build
that trusting connection. Because big mismatch is
always going to be a problem. And so, even if you didn’t show up with the exact appropriate outfit for them you can still make some small changes typically dressing down, it’s obviously hard to dress up, right? If I’m meeting with a prospect
who wears a suit and tie and I show up in a polo shirt and khakis, it’s very hard to match up to them. But if I showed up in the suit and they’re more casually dressed then I can dress down
in some smaller ways. So, there is how to
dress for sales meetings. And if you enjoyed this
video then I have an awesome free ebook on 25 tips to crush your sales. Just click right here
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11 comments on “How to Dress for Sales Meetings

  1. Agree. Marc I follow you religiously. Your hair will just make it a bit tougher UNLESS your message of dressing for sales includes a manicured coif.

  2. I love your stuff and use it often with my team, but, I have to say your new haircut made listening to this video hard. Ironically the impression that do left made it hard for me to take you seriously on this one. I think you've unintentionally proved your point.

  3. I agree w what these people are saying! Love your videos but you gotta ditch the hair! I tried the undercut/asymmetrical look (i have tattoos and dorky glasses) so i thought it would fit my look (i sell in-home interior design services, so it helps to look a bit alternative) but that hair style didnt look good on me either, it took close loved ones to tell me! Unless you have a massive beard and neck tattoos, it looks out of place. Trust me i went through it! Love ya marc, I bought Rick Farrells book bc of you. I need to buy your books next!

  4. Already liked video. Do you agree with the possibility of using in a very hot weather a Polo with a lighter tone pants or darker, not jeans. Brown shoes and a watch for sales meeting for casually dressed prospects that do also repairs of automotives?

  5. This is great…doing a video on my channel like this today switching to a sales platform. Like your channel I subscribed!

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