Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Projecting a Professional Image

A client won’t trust you with their business if they don’t see you as a competent and professional individual. Therefore, a component of branding yourself as a successful and trustworthy salesperson has nothing to do with the actual business at hand, and all to do with you!

 

Success in sales hinges a great deal on appearances and first impressions whether you like it or not. Of course, landing a sale has everything to do with what you’re offering, what the client needs and the presentation itself. But even if all of that is on the up and up, most likely a client won’t trust you with their business if they don’t see you as a competent and professional individual. Therefore, a component of branding yourself as a successful and trustworthy salesperson has nothing to do with the actual business at hand, and all to do with you! We’ve got some tips to build your image in order to make sure your next sale sticks.

1. Dress the Part: Before you even get the chance to open your mouth and start selling, you have to convince someone you’re worth their time based upon mere appearances. First and foremost, get used to knowing how to dress for the occasion. If you’re at a conference, professional business attire is a must: slacks, dress shirts, suits and the like. Of course, there are grey areas where you might be able to get away with a more casual ensemble — it may even be the appropriate way to dress — but even when you dress casually, do so with thought and care. Never dress sloppily and always look put-together. Good grooming is always a requirement. All of these outward aspects of your appearance demonstrate that you are a capable person, and therefore, you can handle their business.

2. Speak the Part: Another aspect of demonstrating your competence as a salesperson is demonstrating your intelligence and know-how. Of course, much of intellect lies beneath the surface, but more often than not, we judge others by outward qualifiers, not only in physical appearance, but in communication as well. As a result, the way we speak and write acts as an indicator of our intelligence. Show potential clients your ability by being articulate both when you speak and write to them. Take care in proofreading all of your emails and correspondence, and take time to think before you speak. A brief moment of silence before speaking is more acceptable than sounding rushed, overwhelmed or confused.

3. Be the Part: Finally, you must be the part of competent and able salesperson by acting as such. Part of presenting yourself as professional is being organized and staying on top of things. Try to avoid having to say, “I don’t know the answer to that right now” or “Let me look into that.” Do intensive research before even approaching leads so you can answer their questions, offer them what they need and know about them without them having to tell you. Another key component is being punctual to all of your meetings, whether they’re in-person, over the phone or video chat. No one wants to sit alone at a coffee shop or wait by the phone, and ultimately, it detracts from your professional image.