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“The first time, ABSOLUTELY! I want to make sure I’m dealing with a professional. A dress shirt makes a very professional impression,” according to an operator, which was the general consensus of those surveyed.
Whether you look professional or not can reflect on the perception of the quality of the product or service you represent. When you enter a prospect’s establishment to make a presentation, your clothes subliminally set the tone for what you’re going to say.
78% of Foodservice Operators said it matters what DSRs and any other Sales Reps are wearing when they meet on that first sales call. Some of these operators said, “I won’t hold it against them, but I will remember it.”
22% of the Operators said that it did NOT matter what a Sales Rep was wearing; the only thing they cared about was their attitude and how they were going to help them. Many of these operators did say that how a Rep is dressed says a lot about their style, organization skills and how they might manage their business affairs.
63% of DSRs said they DO NOT think it matters what they’re wearing the first time they meet a prospect. Many of the DSRs from the survey said, “Customers don’t care anymore what I wear. Things have changed, and nobody wears shirts and ties in this business.”
Type of Operatorswho responded: Bars and taverns (independents and multi-units), college foodservice, K-12, bowling alleys, pizza joints, Asian restaurants, large chain restaurants, theme parks, church foodservice, Greek diners, breakfast and lunch/casual, coffee shops, casual dining, fine dining, country clubs and golf courses.
Advice from an operator who’s an industry veteran and who used to be in sales with a distributor says, “DSRs who don’t want to take the chance of having a customer adversely judge them because of their attire would be better off to be safe and wear a shirt and tie at the first meeting.”
Advice from DSR Dave: Some customers care about how you dress and some don’t. But it is quite different when you’re already doing business with a customer, versus when you first meet somebody you want to do business with/impress. Remember, you are trying to close this deal and the first step in closing any deal is making a good “first impression”! You are not making “hot-shot” deliveries to this prospect yet.
Every time you enter a room, you make a statement before you say a word. A professionalism statement or even a fashion statement. What kind of statement are you making?
You may not care about how you look, but your prospects and customers do.
A professional image is mandatory to succeed at selling. It also creates a positive attitude. When you look good, you feel good.
DSRs, Be a Resource...and Sell Something!