As an Image Consultant, occasionally when I am conducting a corporate workshop or seminar on the topic of ‘Business Attire’, I will have someone in the audience who just can’t understand why professional looking business attire might be important.
And I tell them, it is all about being appropriate and fitting the expectations of your clients. So my question to you is, “Would you hire this man as your Attorney”?
Whether you like it or not you will be judged on your personal appearance, inside or outside the law court.
Have you ever wondered why some people move up the corporate ladder quickly, while others consistently get passed over for promotion? Or why certain people do so well in sales? Yes, education, talent and people skills are major factors, but image also plays a major role.
Most companies spend a lot of money each year developing and maintaining their company image. As a representative of your company it’s up to you to reinforce this image by presenting yourself in a way that’s consistent with the company brand. Let’s face it, when we meet someone for the first time, whether we like it or not, we instantly form an impression about them. If the impression matches what they are trying to communicate, we are more likely to trust them. Once trust is established, it’s easier to build rapport and strong business relationships.
I have found many dictionary definitions for the word ‘image’. But in regards to’personal image’ it really boils down to this: “Your personal image is how you are perceived by others”. Many different things go into your image such as: ‘non-verbal communication’which is your body language and the way you carry yourself and ‘visual communication’which is your personal appearance, your grooming, what you wear and how you wear it; and ‘verbal communication’ which are the words you use and how you use them;
Although the spoken word does carry weight as we develop rapport. Initially we are judged by what people see. Each time you meet someone new, they will evaluate you either consciously or subconsciously. They will notice your clothing, your hairstyle, and your accessories. They will notice how you are groomed and how you carry yourself. Every aspect of how you appear is pieced together forming a picture or an interpretation of your image. This interpretation will lead to their comfort level about you and help them determine whether they will listen to you.
Given the choice, most of us would rather do business with someone we are comfortable with and fit’s our definition of a ‘Professional Business Image’.