Looks matter! Sadly, we have come to accept the fact that appearances, though sometimes deceiving, do play a part in how successful we are in life in general. It may come as a surprise to some, however, that looks matter in business as well. Although this may be a tough pill to swallow for those who believe that clients choose you based on your knowledge, products and customer care, looks do play a large part in the business world. Here are five reasons why:

The first impression is a lasting impression
You only get one chance to make a great first impression, and it’s rather difficult to recover from a bad one. The initial part of a first impression is based solely on the way you look; when someone sees you for the first time they make a snap judgment about you before you even have the chance to speak. Thus, it’s important to make sure your look represents the message you want to convey through your words.

Potential clients are more likely to listen to people they find attractive
This may sound a little off-putting, but research, along with many hidden camera TV shows have proven that it is in fact true. If we find a person attractive we would like to spend more time speaking to them and listening to what they have to say. Although what each person finds attractive differs individually, the overall package you present (i.e. yourself) should come across as well groomed, friendly and professional.

A professional look helps establish trust
Trust is a key component of winning and retaining clients. In order to gain a client’s business, you have to win their trust first. You can gain a client’s trust simply by looking the part – just think what you would like a client to think when they see you. Clients usually like to do business with people they can relate to and those who offer a professional service. It’s important to portray an image of professionalism and approachability. Clients need to know that you have the skills required to provide them with top quality products and services, but they also need to know that they can come to you and speak with you directly if they have a concern, so a mix of professionalism and personability is key.

Looking healthy portrays energy and motivation
Clients ultimately want to do business with people who work hard for them and provide them with the best products/services. If you look like you take time to look after yourself and make healthy choices, clients will notice; looking healthy conveys the subconscious message that you are motivated and energised. You don’t have to be a fitness model to portray this image, but you do need to take time to evaluate your own health and fitness, an area that many entrepreneurs overlook. We all know that software mistakes can cost a company thousands, but not many know that contracts are often won and lost on these subconscious decisions.

Your look represents your brand
The way you look is a non-verbal advertisement for your brand. Whether you realise it or not you make a fashion statement every day with the clothes you choose, the way you do your hair and makeup, and the manner in which you carry yourself. As an entrepreneur it’s important to make sure that statement accurately represents the brand you’re trying to establish. People will judge your outfit, accessories, behaviour etc, and try to draw parallels between them and the product/services you are trying to market. So, before you step out each morning ask yourself – are you on brand? If not, it may be time to re-think that outfit or hairstyle.

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