The Green Sheet Online Edition
March 28, 2016 • Issue 16:03:02
Keep it neat and clean
Have you taken a good look at yourself lately? Seriously, when was the last time you considered how merchants and potential partners are responding to your clothes and hairstyle, your facial expressions and your posture? In Good Selling!TM: The Basics, Paul H. Green stated, "Sales are 7 percent what you say, 38 percent how you say it and 55 percent how you look."
In a blog post titled "The Importance of a First Impression," author and sales coach Brian Tracy (www.briantracy.com/blog) stated, "Everything contributing to the way you look on the outside is important. If it's not helping you, it's hurting you. While you cannot control your physical features, you have total control over your dress and grooming." The post goes on to say that clothes are responsible for 95 percent of the first impression you make.
Sales guru Zig Ziglar once put it succinctly: "You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure." Clearly, it's essential to look and act the part of a reliable, intelligent, trustworthy professional if you want to carve a career in payments.
The basics matter
How can you make sure you are doing just that? Here are a few tips:
- Match your customers: Consider what your customers' style is, and endeavor to dress in a manner that is compatible with their garb. If you're specializing in independent coffee shops that host local performances and other cultural events, you'll want to dress more casually than you would if your sweet spot were medical offices. That said, while it's fine to be more formally dressed than your customers, it's rarely a plus to look scruffier than they do.
- Care for your attire: This goes without saying for the pros, but it's a necessary reminder for some that it's essential for your clothes to be neat and clean and for your wardrobe to project wholesomeness. Even when you are dressed casually, your clothes should be wrinkle, stain and cat or dog hair clean, and your shoes should be scuff and stain free. Your attire should never be too tight or low cut.
- Be well groomed: Specifically, your body must be clean and odor free. Your hair must be combed, your hands clean and nails trimmed. Make sure your face is clean, too, and if you wear make up, check to be sure it hasn't smeared since you applied it. Maintain your dental health, as well, so that your breath is fresh and your teeth aren't discolored. And never smoke before or during a presentation.
A payment professional's job is far more demanding than it used to be. Not only do you need to know the ins and outs of transaction processing, but you also must know what other products and services you can offer to help merchants grow their businesses. You need to be a trusted consultant with whom they are unwilling to part when a competitor offers a lower price on processing. Dressing professionally will enhance your credibility and help you gain respect.
Then it's a matter of continuing to expand your expertise and having a positive attitude and a genuine smile to help you bring those deals home.
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