What do you wear as your sales attire when calling on referral sources?
I received an inquiry from an agency owner last week that talked about this subject, and I thought it would be perfect to discuss in this forum. The answer is surprisingly straightforward (but often challenging to put into practice, as you'll soon see).
"Dress at, or one level above the people you are calling on"
There....simple, clean, and clear.
Here's a cheat sheet:
They Wear You Wear
Scrubs Scrubs or Business Casual
Casual Business Casual
Business Casual Business Casual or Business Classic
Business Classic Business Classic
What are the definitions of the above styles?
Scrubs = Scrubs
Casual = Jeans, tee shirts, athletic shoes, non business clothes of any type, revealing clothing
Business Casual = Khakis, polos, casual skirts & blouses (no athletic shoes, no jeans, no tees)
Business Classic = Shirt and tie (or coat and tie) for men, Classic business suits, dresses, or skirts for women
Ok, so where does it get complicated? Let's say you are calling on referral sources who wear scrubs in the morning, business casual referral sources in the afternoon, yet you have a sit down meeting with the hospital CFO after lunch....what do you do? You dress at the highest level you'll need for the day, but with options to dress down to the appropriate level. For instance, men can ditch the coat and tie, open their top button, and wear a pair of business casual shoes to get through most of the day, yet still be ready for the CFO meeting. Women can also bring a jacket, scarf, and other accessories that will dress up their outfit, yet lose those when calling on people where that type of dress would feel out of place (the same idea for shoes goes for women).
Why is this important?
I remember vividly a sales call I made while working for the agency I was employed by before forming Power Shot Training. Our mandated wardrobe was classic business dress every day. Along with my sales rep Brian, we walked into the Phoenix Indian Hospital in our suits and ties. We were met by the case management admin assist. When we asked to speak with the Director, she eyed us suspiciously and asked in all seriousness "Are you guys with the IRS or something?". I've also been asked if I was FBI, a detective, or with CMS. When the Director did meet us, the meeting didn't go well as she was on high alert until we could explain who we were, and what we were there for. Dressing below the people you are calling on also invites the possibility you might not be taken seriously. Make the best impression possible, this time and every time.
In sales you want to stack the odds in your favor at every chance possible. Details ma