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In the city I live in, there is a run down, nasty looking house taking up some prime commercial real-estate that I'm pretty sure every Realtor in town has taken a crack at trying to sell. Seriously! Every couple of months there is a new sign out front from some poor real-estate professional who gives the property a try. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure this property has been on the market for quite a few years. 

Last night, my wife and I were driving past the house and I couldn't help but think that it was the appearance of the property that was causing the lack of interest. Think about it, even though the for sale sign mentions the great "Commercial Property" potential, there has been no movement on it whatsoever.

The solution I came up with is simple. Tear the sucker down. Pull out the grass and weeds and promote the empty dirt lot. Right now, the house is causing a major distraction in the minds of potential buyers because they can't see their business operating in such a disgusting place. Tear the building down and clean up the property and I think you'd be surprised at how fast this thing will sell. 

So How Does This Relate To Automotive Sales?

It actually relates well to any form of sales, but since this is an automotive and RV community, let's talk vehicle sales. You see, there are a couple of fundamentals about appearance that every sales person looking to improve their game should be mindful of. Let's take a few minutes to break a couple of them down. 

Dress For Success

I'm sure you've heard this one before right? According to an article on; Gladys Edmunds shares an experience she had at a major mortgage firm where everyone from the receptionist to the executives had too casual of an appearance. 

If you're interested in boosting your sales, take some time to consider whether or not your appearance at work is too casual and what effect it has on your demeanor. I'm not suggesting that you need to wear an expensive three piece suit to work (unless that's you're thing), but what I will say is that dressing for success has a positive impact on how you conduct yourself and how others deal with you. I'd encourage you to test it out and see if you notice any positive impact on sales and personal productivity. 

We talk about this all the time. Vehicles are often the second largest investment that people will make in their life, so think about what kind of experience you are offering if your appearance is too casual. What kind of experience and professional would you want to deal with if you were expected to fork out thousands of your hard earned dollars?

Eliminate Distractions

The whole idea here is to eliminate anything and everything that will shift the focus of your customer away from the vehicle. I'm not going to waste any time beating around the bush, so I will just come out and say it. Do you stink? Let's face it, we've all been in a situation where we've had to talk to someone that smells foul. It's pretty awful isn't it? 

I was in a dealership not too long ago and had a conversation with one of the sales consultants who was A.) Wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt and B.) Had the worst body odor I've come across in a long time. Oh, where's your compassion Mike?!? This article is my compassion. If you or anyone you know has an issue with smelling like a dumpster fire, you pass along this article for them to read.

Think about it though, how can your customer possibly stay focuses on your presentation if throughout the entire visit, they are trying to discreetly hold their noses, hold their breath or fan the air around their face? They're distracted and don't want to be around you anymore.

On the flip side, and in defense of smelly people everywhere; this can also be said of sales people who take a shower in cologne or perfume.

Think about the house again for a second. The reason I'm sure that property hasn't sold is because nobody can envision what their building will look like there because every time they do, they see this nasty looking house that get's in their way. 

I think you get where I'm going with this - let's just say if you create distractions for your customers, they aren't able to fully focus on what you are presenting.


Your appearance definitely has an impact on your sales. Of course there are a variety of other things that may impact sales performance, but how you present yourself is the easiest to change because you can do it as early as your next shift. Give it a try and see what happens.


Question: Have you had an experience where appearance (either yours or someone else's) has impacted you positively or negatively? Share your experience in the comments below!

Views: 697

Tags: appearance, car, dress, for, professional, sales, success, training


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Comment by Michael Cirillo on August 11, 2012 at 8:43pm

Thanks for the comments Ketty and Ralph. Success is in everyone's capable hands - let's make it happen!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 11, 2012 at 8:27pm

This is such a true concept... Michael, thank you for reminding all of us, and especially for anyone new to the business, that there are many subtle influences on consumer behavior. If you want to be more successful, pay attention and take to heart the recommendations that Michael has made in this article.

Comment by Ketty Colom on August 10, 2012 at 6:21am

If I walk into a store that smells horribly over perfumed, I will walk out. Then again, if that store has the right mix, I will be reminded of it forever! 

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