5 Secrets to Winning Clients with Your Clothes
Whether you are a Realtor, business owner, investment banker, event planner, or lawyer your clients are the number one priority. You make every effort to gain their trust and satisfy their needs while (obviously) trying to make a decent profit. And, while you put great amounts of thought into everything from your marketing materials to the emails you send, how much thought are you putting into your appearance? The very clothes on our backs send the first and strongest message, so make sure it’s a good one! The following are five ways that you can win over new clients (and keep old clients in your favor) simply by changing your clothes.
- Don’t overdress. No one likes a snob. If you walk into a meeting way overdressed, the client is going to assume that you are either desperate (and possibly completely clueless to the environment you’re in) or a conceited ego maniac. Neither are good options. If you like to dress up, don’t fret. There are ways for you to look nice without going overboard. A blazer with a pair of tailored jeans or a belted shirt dress are two ways to bridge the gap between fussy and relaxed.
- Don’t under dress. While overdressing is bad, under dressing is way worse. It sends an immediate single that you don’t take yourself or the client seriously and don’t respect either party. The last message you want to send a client, old or new, is that you didn’t care enough about them to even put on decent clothing. Those sweatshirts may be comfortable, but they may also be costing you valuable clients.
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- Dress one notch nicer than your client. This is the Goldilocks solution to how formal you should dress. You need to seem relate able, but also like you respect the client and are willing to go the extra mile for them. If you expect your client to be wearing jeans and a button down, try wearing khakis and a button down. If you work in a more formal setting, mix and match your suit jacket and bottoms to create a more informal look. Dressing just a step nicer than your client shows that you understand who they are and where they’re coming from and you respect them enough to take it up a notch.
- Choose quality. If a client sees that you choose quality for your clothes (and other aspects of your lifestyle, although clothes are usually the most obvious) they are going to assume that the same taste for quality rolls over into your professional life. They will assume that you treat your work, and your clients, with the same care and respect that you treat yourself. It also shows that you are successful enough to buy high quality items- which is good because your success is your client’s success.
- Reflect their biggest priority. Even if you’ve only conversed with your new client over email, you can still figure out what their greatest priority is. It could be professionalism, a no frills attitude, creativity in problem solving, or even an eye for details. Whatever their priority is, reflect it in your appearance. If your client wants someone who can get the job done and play hardball, forget all the frilly details of your ensemble and go straight for the power suit look. If your client is more concerned about finding the solution to a difficult problem, have a little more fun with your outfit, dress creatively (but not kooky), and show your client that you think out of the box. Something as simple as mixing prints effectively can come make the wearer appear that they are good at problem solving and are more creative. An outfit that is more matchy (think tie matches your pocket square, or earrings match your necklace) reflects control and precision. Find out what your client wants most and show it to them- both in your actions and your image.
To your success!
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