Speaking with an associate recently, he recounted a story to me whereby he arrived at a new client meeting where his sales director was already present. He cringed when he saw his colleague. Why? Because of how unprofessional the man was dressed. Because of how poorly he looked in terms of his personal appearance – poor attention to detail, poor grooming, scruffy shoes, a shirt and tie that had seen better days. Overall, a generally unkempt appearance that was disappointing and not representative of the business as a professional and established organisation.
In today’s competitive business world, it is essential to stand out – for the right reasons. It is essential that we present ourselves with professionalism, confidence and conviction – on every occasion. This was clearly not the case in the situation above. We need to be confident and powerful in how we represent ourselves particularly in business – check out our blog on how to achieve this http://bit.ly/1r0iMaU
It got me thinking. I realised that this is a story I hear on a regular basis. Companies, large and small, spend so much time refining their corporate brand. They spend huge resources honing their business offering for maximum impact so as to capitalise on every business opportunity. Yet they often overlook their most valuable asset. Their people. We all know that people do business with people. We need to be impressive particularly when we are client facing. At no time is this more important that when we first meet a new client. Nothing can be left to chance.
Perception is everything
Presenting yourself is more than personal image and how you dress and conduct yourself. Yet, how we present ourselves creates that great first impression. Or not. Whether we like it or not, it is about perception – it is about being impressive. It is about having congruence about how you look and what you say.
So, if you position yourself or your business as the established expert, as the ultimate professional , but you or your staff do not support this in how your present yourself, and you look less than impressive, this creates a poor impression and doubt (even sub-consciously) in the mind of your prospective client. This could mean the difference between you gaining that all important new piece of business or not. Your loss could mean a gain for your competitor. I don’t know too many businesses in today’s competitive environment who can afford to lose these opportunities.
So, to take that point further, how you present you or your staff members can impact your bottom line. At the end of the day, we can have all the skillsets and knowledge in the world but if we are not ‘packaging’ ourselves impeccably and managing our personal brand effectively, we could pay the price in lost revenue! You have been warned!
Have you ever been in this situation – seeing a colleague/co-worker and cringing? As a business owner, can you afford to lost potential opportunities? Here are my top tips to ensure a professional and impressive image:
Take a few minutes to think about how you come across when first meeting someone, particularly in business situations.
Analyse your image. Does your appearance and clothes project an appropriate personal and professional image?
How is your verbal communication – do you speak clearly and professionally with a pleasant expression?
How is your body language? Do you have a firm and sincere hand-shake with direct eye contact?
Do you have impeccable grooming – hair, make-up (ladies), clothes, shoes and overall presentation?
To make sure that you avoid the cringe factor and maximise your opportunities, you can book a private consultation with me http://imagematters.ie/get-in-touch
This piece is a re-formatted version of an article which appeared recently on Linkedin. To follow my content on Linkedin click http://linkd.in/V3YUF4