What comes once you are done with a super pitch for your prospective clients? Power Dressing for a confident you! DO NOT pay heed to friends/acquaintances when they say, “Dresses don’t matter anymore!! No one cares about how you dress!! It’s not about your dress; it’s about the results you produce.” Research says that more than 95% of people judge others in the first 3 seconds of a meeting without even speaking with them.
This means that — you are profiled and cornered in people’s mind even before you open your mouth! Dressing right, therefore, is as important as your preparedness in your business’s technical capabilities.
At the cost of sounding like a preacher, we emphasise that an entrepreneur should always dress professionally and appropriately. After all, you never know when you may run into a potential customer or an investor. And believe it or not, they are going to form their first impressions by how you look and it is often a lasting impression.
Here are a few handy tips for Power Dressing:
• Keep it strictly professional for client meetings and new business pitches. That includes a formal full sleeve shirt (preferably plain or fine stripes) and a matching trouser. In case you need to wear a business suit, make sure that the colour of the suit is subdued and is well-cut.
Shabby outfits make you look careless. Ladies, stick to a formal western outfit. Should you decide to go the Indian way, wear a comfortable, well-fitting salwar-kameez or a well-starched cotton saree. As a rule, avoid tight-fits, cleavage-revealing dresses, loud colours, bold accessories and super-ethnic traditional wear!
• When you need to meet your client on a regular basis, say once/twice a week, and therefore share a certain rapport and comfort level with him/her, you may get somewhat relaxed in your dressing. That, however, doesn’t mean that you can go completely casual. Stick to Business Casual for you don’t want your client to think that you are going lax in the relationship in any way. Half sleeve shirt, T-shirts with a collar along with formal pants, moderate length skirt and a formal shirt for women, well-toned Indian wear falls in this category.
• Colours and patterns of your dress play a major role in how people perceive you. Some colours grab attention while others your confidence. Choose the colours and patterns in a way that they add to your confidence and gives out the right messages. Party colours, outrageously checked shirts, zari work in Indian outfits, etc are a few examples of terrible corporate dressing.
• In case you have signed up for networking events or have been invited to a business conference in your line of business, make sure you find out the dress-code applicable for the event and then dress accordingly.
• Work on a clean and professional look. For men, that include staying well-shaved, a good hair-cut, polished shoes and ironed clothes. For women, it means a simple and elegant hair-do, clean and polished nails, simple sandals/shoes, clean and ironed outfits. Well-dressed people are often perceived to be smarter and sharper.
Dressing professionally can also make people think you are responsible and committed to your goal. Of course, appearance is not everything as others say. However, how you look and dress go a long way into your brand building.