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Part of my life was spent in Southeastern Oklahoma. I remember teenage boys coming to the ranch dressed in their "good jeans" with a tucked-in "nice shirt" and driving their daddy's "dress truck". The purpose was to show my aunties and uncles, that they were gentlemen and worthy of the responsibility of the social company of the young women in the family. Then I went to Japan, I took notice of the polished professional uniform. Even though this population of the labor force looked a bit like they were cut from the very same bolt of fabric, the lack of individualism or variety did not deter me from being overwhelmingly impressed with how extraordinary they seemed to be…they looked ready to do some serious business.
Clearly, human beings use visual cues among others to determining credibility. Cultures have unique demographical “dress to impress" codes. As a professional, you need to be able to determine what is acceptable in your demographic as impressive professional attire. If your demographics are not formal business suits, then dress to impress your demographics. When unsure, it is best to be overdressed than under-dressed.
So why should we care about our appearance? If you walked into a bank and your teller was wearing flip-flops and a tank top, how closely would you be clutching your money? If someone looks too casual to be serious about the business at hand, then consumers subliminally will be influenced to think they are going to be too casual to handle the serious business they bring. And there goes credibility, walking out the door in flip flops.
Automotive recruiters represent dealerships that want to be entrusted with their consumers business. This might seem obvious, but automotive sales staff recruiters may need to instruct perspective automotive sales people on how to dress like an individual who can be trusted with a client’s hard earned monies. Sometimes this task is easier said than done if you really want to have an impact over a lecture. The way to overcome this obstacle is to share this information as a story. Start with thinking back to your last job interview and the time you spent preparing. Then tell applicants the story of how you wore your best clothes, polished shoes and brought your refined look with you to the interview. When you left your house, you took the first step out the door with your best foot forward. Your clothing was screaming, "I'm serious about getting this job. I am going to perform well when you hire me. I am the best person for this job."
Molecules over time will return to their least excited state without external influences according to the Law of Entrophy/Disorder. Apparently, human beings are subject to the Law of Entropy. Given enough time, we cool off to tepid unless something keeps us motivated and energized. Automotive management, when you notice that casual Friday starts to find its way into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; it is time to tighten up the dress code. The first place to start is with the management, as those you manage are looking to you for cues. Once the management team is dressed for success, you can inspire your team during your on-going automotive sales training program, to start off each day as if they are going into work for the first time with a put-together look that shouts, “I'm serious about making this sale. I look like I am capable of handling your money. I am going to perform above par when you buy from me." Take note of how this changes their performance. Nothing boosts self-confidence like knowing you look good. Nothing boosts success like a dose of self-confidence. Challenge them to not only dress for the job they have, but to dress for the job they want.
Look business ready and you will be business ready!
Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is also the current Ms. Florida Forestry Queen, promoting her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.
Copyright © 2014, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.