Telemarketing Software Featured Article

When it Comes to Sales Success, Appearance Matters

March 22, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

We already know what the most common traits of top salespeople are: they are creative, they are driven, they are smart (and understand their prospects’ business) and they are disciplined. This is the case regardless of which channels you use to sell (telephone, face-to-face or social media). Armed with a plethora of relevant information about the client (from CRM, telemarketing software or sales enablement materials), successful salespeople are always prepared, and this includes personal appearance.

In a recent blog post, sales expert Colleen Francis adds to the conversation, noting that truly successful sales people are as organized and energetic in their personal manners and appearances as they are in their sales efforts. If you’re tired, worn out or poorly groomed, the only impression you’ll make on prospects is a negative one.

“A top sales performer also has energy” she wrote. “You have to look like you’re going to make it through the sales call without keeling over. That may sound harsh, but if you can’t walk into the prospect’s office and carry on an animated conversation without either getting flushed or looking like you want to have a nap, then you can’t sell successfully.”

According to Francis, top performing salespeople have an appearance that matches their professional demeanor.

“You don’t have to look like you walked off the set of ‘Suits,’ but your clothing should be clean,” she wrote. “I can’t tell you the number of calls that I’ve been on where I’ve seen sales reps with holes in their sweaters, stains on their clothes, coffee dripping off of their shirt, holes in their shoes, scuffed up shoes, mismatched socks, etc.  What that says to the buyer is you’re not very successful as you lack the professionalism, poise and confidence that they expect.”

Selling is a difficult job, both physically and mentally. When salespeople aren’t in good shape and don’t look and sound confident and professional, clients will be turned off and efforts will likely be wasted. In an article for Inc last year, sales professional John Treace recommended that sales professionals always do a quick mirror check in the restroom before a meeting to make sure they look presentable (this also applies for teleconferencing!)

“It does make a difference to prospects,” wrote Treace. “I once had a good customer who wouldn't give a male rep a second appointment unless his shoes were polished, his rationale being that anyone with unpolished shoes was sloppy and wouldn't be efficient in business.”

Finally, don’t forget to make sure you’re presentable to the nose during sales calls. Smoking before meetings, eating onions or skipping the shower can be just as off-putting to a prospect as a sloppy appearance. Nobody wants to prolong a meeting with someone who smells. 

Edited by Alicia Young