Is How You're Dressing Propelling You Forward in Your Career Or Holding You Back"
But are you really being honest with yourself?
How do you act when you meet somebody for the first time? Do you pay attention to his/her general look? I do!
Do you know that in life and more importantly in business you have only 30 seconds to make the right first impression when you meet somebody for the first time?
Yes, in just 30 seconds people will subconsciously make a decision on whether they want to work with you or not. So make that first contact count.
Working with small business owners for years in France and for the last four years in New York, and now specializing in networking, I have to say that I am always surprised to see how some people dress for networking events or business meetings.
Those who do not dress in suitable business attire are usually the ones who are surprised that their business doesnt take off.
How do you act when you buy a product in a store?
Lets say that you are looking at a printer and you have the choice between two brands. The product inside the boxes has the same exact characteristics. So how do you make your choice? Do you choose the one with the less attractive package or with the most attractive package? Do you choose the one which highlights the characteristics and benefits of buying this product? Or the one which presents the product in a regular, white box without any information?
And it is exactly the same thing where people are concerned. How a prospect will choose between you and your competitors is not based on your experience and your competencies, but is based on the way you look.
If you are able to impress them with the way you dress and the way you look, they will pay more attention to what you have to say.
It seems unfair, I know, but remember that you are judged every day, simply on the way you look.
1- Create an image to impress!
Your image is what people see long before you even get the chance to speak. Choose a wardrobe that works for you and your business. But you need to be yourself, dont try to copy somebody, follow what you see in a magazine, or follow some fashion trends, because if your image doesnt reflect your personality, people will see it immediately.
Dont try to fake it, be yourself.
In other words, have a professional look. Respect yourself and others will respect you.
When you look your best and act with self-confidence, others will see you that way too.
Keep it simple. Wear traditional colors like navy, grey and black.
Pay attention to your shoes, sloppy shoes can completely damage your image. Choose shoes that improve your silhouette. Make sure to clean your shoes before your leave the house.
Treat your hands like your best friend. When you meet somebody and hand out your business card, people will have a look at your hands. So have neat nails, well polished, if you are a woman and remember to change your nail polish on a regular basis, if you wear some. Never, never go out with your nail polish half effaced.
I read once in a magazine that when a woman dates a man for the first time, the first two things he notices are her hands and her shoes. So consider the same thing for business.
You dont need to spend lots of money to look great, business-like and confident.
I work with many start-up businesses and very often my clients tell me that since they have a limited budget for their business, how can they possibly have a budget for a new wardrobe.
One of my best clients, who lives in Paris, is an image consultant and a personal shopper and I partner with her to help some of my clients. She is truly incredible, she is able to find a complete outfit with accessories, including a handbag, for less than a $100. And the items are of a very good quality.
Yes, you heard me, for less than a $100. So learn how to shop. Shop during the sales, at the end of the season, or go to outlets. You will find a lot of great deals.
Dont buy clothes that will go out of style at the end of the season. Buy a few new tops, ties, or accessories that will make the difference. Sometimes just by changing one item from your outfit, you will look totally different. So you dont need hundreds of clothes. Just learn how to put everything together.
(c) 2007 Biba F. Pdron
Biba F. Pdron, also known as The Connection Queen, is a marketing consultant, founder of Biba4Network, that specializes in networking for small business owners in the greater New York area. Biba helps entrepreneurs to maximize their networking results so that they can grow their businesses faster.
Biba is the author of Start Your Dream Business Today! The Proven 11 Steps to Start and Grow Your Own Business. http://www.startyourdreambusinesstoday.com
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