Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Shoes

What are you saying with your first impression?
Like it or not, a first impression can make or break a sale. Details of your appearance can show a lot about your work ethic, integrity, passion, and professionalism. Expert advice shows you how to create the best first impression, starting with your shoes.

Like it or not, a first impression can make or break a sale.  Details of your appearance can show a lot about your work ethic, integrity, passion and professionalism.  If what you demonstrate upon a first encounter is slouchy, people assume your business habits are probably equally slouchy. Say you’re a car salesman driving a less than representable vehicle, it’s clear to see the client has the foreground to create a preconceived opinion of your work habits. It’s the same concept with your physical appearance. The key to a successful first impression is to present yourself appropriately, while paying attention to detail.

I’m not saying run out to buy an Armani or Prada suit, but take the time to iron out a neutral colored, tailored suit.  Beyond the wrinkles, you’re fine, right? Wrong.  Attention to details in the presentation of yourself reflects your attention to detail in your business habits.

Appearance and body language (visual image) accounts for fifty-five percent of an invaluable first impression.”

Take, for example, your shoes. Studies show that one of the most important features of a first appearance is the pair of shoes you’re wearing. According to research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, as reported on www.businessknowhow.com by Nina Jamal and Judith Lindenberger in their article, How to Make a Great First Impression, “appearance and body language (visual image) accounts for fifty-five percent of an invaluable first impression.” Shoes show your attention to detail, your work ethic and the pride you take in what you do.  It is also a factor in the level of professionalism your prospect sees in you. 

If you’re wearing scuffed up shoes, people will likely look at your business as though it is merely your hobby, and a lack of care for the industry.  While sales can be a great hobby, it is important that you’re getting out of it what you put into.  That said if you put so little effort forward when it comes to attention to detail in your appearance, it is likely prospects will take little effort in speaking with you. 

Colorful shoes are great fun when you’re wearing neutral clothing, but don’t go overboard.  Fashion trends for fall 2010 are going back to tailored clothes and “pretty” shoes.   Shoes that show a slight peak at your bold personality while still say, “I’m serious about what I do” are making their debut.  For ladies, don’t hesitate to explore new trends, but be sure to leave your sky-high heels in the closet for Friday night. Gents, your shoes can have a slight texture to them, without being so bold as to say, “Whoa, I’m a showstopper.”

Spend as much as you can afford on a pair of quality shoes.  It’s usually safe to stick to leather, as it shines up the best and is the most presentable to a client. It’s especially important that whatever shoe you have, they are clean, shiny and scuff-free. Shoes speak to your clients, what are yours saying about you?