Have you ever remembered a fact or other information but could not remember who told it to you? “It’s on the tip of my tongue” or “it will come to me later”. That happens to other people as well. If you are the source then you just lost a lead or a contact or a reference. You just lost credit for something, and potentially a new client. It does not matter how good of a salesperson you are, or how good your product or service is, you will not achieve your full potential success in business. Outstanding people are worthless if they are not remembered, because since they are not remembered, they are not considered!
The human Being is a visually oriented creature who uses visual perception to categorize their memory. That is how we are “wired”. Here are a few key things to help ensure that you are “Remembered For Success”:
- Dress for Success: Dressing for success here means to dress to be visually noticed and remembered.
- Use the Proper Stance: Stand or sit straight. Lean forward toward your audience when speaking. Project a confident and professional image.
- Use the Proper Amount of Body Language: The proper amount of body language is very important. Too much, or too little, projects the wrong image.
- Use the Proper Vocal Tone: Even though your voice is audio, it does affect the image that others perceive of you. Tone, pitch, inflection, and cadence all affect the overall image that you project.
- Attention to Detail: You must apply the same attention to detail to the image you project that you apply to your business. It is the fine points that tend to stand out. Are your clothes straight, your shoes shined, your hands clean? These minor items greatly enforce the overall image that you project.
Of course it is important to know your product very well, use the proper language & terminology, and to be professional. That is sales & marketing basics. Those we can discuss another day, even though they also greatly affect the overall image that you project.
Let’s go into our key points in more depth now.
Dressing for Success
Dressing for success encompasses many things including style, cut, presentability, and fashion. But the most important aspect of your clothing is the color! Red should be incorporated into your daily dress, even it only red in the pattern of a man’s necktie or a lady’s scarf. Avoid earth tones (light browns & greens especially) like the plague! Men: you need to pay attention to your shoes. Most men don’t think they notice other people’s shoes – but you do! As a rule most men don’t think they pay attention to shoes but in actually they do, and it is mentally processed as well as the other aspects of people’s appearance.
Do not wear flashy, bright, loud, clashy, or very distinctive clothing. They give the wrong impression about you. For example: flashy clothes give the impression of untrustworthiness. By wearing flashy clothes you appear to be trying to distract or otherwise hide something. Wearing very distinctive clothing can do the same thing, or it can give the impression of a showman (not a business person!), give the impression that you think you are better or different than others, or that you are not serious. None of these results are desirable for a business person. Bright, loud, clashy, and very distinctive clothing all give others the conscious or unconscious appearance of a lack of seriousness, professionalism, or commitment to anything but yourself. Again, this is not a desirable image or impression for a businessperson to project. You can have your own style and distinctiveness; you just need to be moderate or modest about it.
Women especially need to consider the cut of their clothing. Do not excessively project your sexuality. You are a woman – do not try to hide it. That gives the impression that you are not comfortable about your sex or that you are in a business that women don’t belong in. Likewise, do not over accent your body – that gives the wrong impressions as well. It will likely be held against you more by other women than by men.
The most important thing that you will do each and every day is to get dressed!!!
Using the Proper Stance
Using the proper stance projects the image of confidence, seriousness, and professional ability. Always sit or stand straight. Leaning back, slouching, or leaning on something gives the impression of the lack of attention, interest, seriousness, commitment, or professionalism. Leaning forward when not speaking can give the impression of aggressiveness or arrogance. But leaning forward when not speaking can also give the impression of in-depth attention. The appropriateness here changes with any given situation, topic, or speaker and can be highly subjective. Always lean forward slightly when speaking. This gives the appearance of confidence, honesty, and has a true belief in what you are saying. Unless you are in the military, do not project “military bearing”. Do not sit or stand stiff or “ramrod straight”. This is expected of military personnel and is not considered a defect. But in the business world, or in society in general, it is considered a sign of arrogance and leaves a bad impression. In fact, statically speaking, prior military (with at least 8-10 years in service) personnel, as a demography, have an exceptionally high failure rate in the business world. No other demography even comes close, be it race, education, financial background, or any other classification. It is generally accepted that there are three reasons that combine to create this result for the prior military in the business world, and one is the perceived arrogance. They take off the uniform, but they do not lose their military bearing.
Proper Body Language
The proper amount of body language is a highly subjective issue. Too much can give the impression that you are using it as a distraction or trying to hide something, thus giving the impression of dishonesty. It can also give the impression that you are flighty, too emotional, unconfident, or that you need something to augment your belief in the subject.
Proper Vocal Tone
Using the proper vocal tone is very important. Your tone can imply confidence, sarcasm, lack of interest, or a wide variety of other impressions. The pitch of your voice can be pleasing, annoying, soothing, or be charismatic. Your pitch of voice can be as important as your appearance in defining your image, and though it is audio, it unconsciously blended to your physical image.
Cadence, like pitch, can be pleasing, annoying, soothing, or be charismatic. It may also be unconsciously linked to your physical image as well. But cadence goes on to help others remember your message. Cadence can help with the verbal association of words, facts, or other information. Cadence can be more important to your message than the actual verbiage. Cadence can be the second most important thing that helps others to remember you. Others may not consciously notice the cadence of your voice, but it can be greatly important in the way your message is associated and remembered, thus causing you to be remembered.
Attention to Detail
Attention to detail is the most important thing you will do each day! Earlier we said that getting dressed was, but without in-depth attention to detail you will not get dressed properly or most efficiently, maintain the proper stance and body language, nor will you properly control your voice and cadence. Each and every minor thing is so greatly important that they cannot be overlooked. That outstandingly sharp suit just got negated by poorly maintained shoes or hair. This applies to each and every part of the image that you project.
First impressions are lasting and you will provide that first impression before you meet someone! You give your first impression when you enter a room or an area, as you speak with others, or as you relax. It is seldom that you give a first impression when you meet someone. They have already seen you. They have already drawn that first impression. When you first meet, others draw their second impression of you, and second impressions are not lasting!