People Judge Books by their Covers

Unfortunately, in life and business, first impressions count. As we race, we are notoriously shallow and make judgments of others in the shortest periods of time and with very limited information.

However in the world of Sales and with my glass is half full approach, I want to view this as an opportunity. What this means is if we create the wrong first impression it is all our fault; yet, if we create the right first impression this is all our fault also. What I am trying to say is that this factor is within our complete control.

The position you hold in your business and the size and credibility of your organisation are all unknown factors when you present yourself for the first time. You really can make your own luck by pitching this at the appropriate level.

Your personal presentation is paramount. Your choice of outfit, fragrance, personal grooming and accessories all say something about you. Are you happy with the message you are giving?

There are a number of things that stand out for me in the appearance of success. The first is your car, then your suit, followed by your watch or jewelry and finally your shoes. Now, I am not saying you must wear designer labels and drive flashy cars, but please keep your vehicle clean and tidy, make sure your clothes fit correctly and are clean and pressed, your watch is fitting to your environment and your shoes are clean and polished.

Your business gives off an impression too. Whether it is your business card, your email signature, your telephone voicemail or your website, your prospects first encounter, be certain it is projecting the right message. I work on the principle of presenting your business as the one you plan to grow into, not the one you are today.

The quality of your printed media gives an impression to the care and attention you take with your business. Delivering a consistent message through all email communication demonstrates structure and control, and I would recommend that all email communication follow the same format with fonts, spacing and auto signatures all being consistent. Your voicemail sets the tone and culture of your business, and your website should clearly explain how you help people and reinforce your vision.

In my experience, every business that has gone to this extent to understand their personal and business brand has developed to within spitting distance of that vision. The true question is–what have you got to lose?

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