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16 October 2005

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Poor dress sense will harm your business

Business | Press | News

Thousands of business men and women in the region are unwittingly damaging their firms’ fortunes – by just not looking ‘right’ when they meet potential new customers.

These vital ‘unwritten laws’ of personal appearance apply equally when dealing with existing customers, and ignoring them will almost certainly hamper on-going relationships, reduce, trust and may even encourage established customers to look elsewhere.

These stark warnings come from local image consultant Jackie Pendray, who’s set to deliver her formula for looking ‘right’ at this month’s Bigger Sales Network meeting in the city on April 14 at the Peterborough Milton Golf Club.

Jackie Pendray in colour session with Kev Lawrence

Peterborough-based Jackie - featured in the local business press recently after giving Evening Telegraph Business Editor Sarah Gunthardt and Lite FM’s Kev Lawrence make-overs at a Business Club event - says: “Businesses spend a lot of time and money getting their products, services, logos, stationery, reception areas, and vehicles looking just ‘right’ to make a good impression on potential clients, as they know that first impressions count. Yet so often all that image-boosting is wasted when those potential customers meet people from the company face-to-face - if individuals aren’t dressed for the part.

“Sadly this kind of thing isn’t taught in school, and without a little specialist help it’s easy to assume that putting on the same old suit, shirt and tie will do. Wrong! Your personal ‘image’ has immediate impact. The way you turn out is noticed subconsciously by clients and customers. When your appearance is a natural extension of who YOU are, you’re ‘in focus’. Your visual and verbal messages are heard and make more sense.”

The trick she says, is to get people to notice you, not your clothes. “Once you achieve that, it helps them to take in what you’re saying about your company’s products or services, opportunities and issues…. Building client/customer rapport easily and quickly is important to the growth and development of lasting business relationships, and achieving the right look is vital. One of the most important applications for this is when networking. Looking right can make you a magnet for potential new customers in a crowded room, whereas looking wrong can mean no-one wants to talk to you.”

Additional benefits of being ‘in focus’ adds Jackie are that individuals will “look more professional, friendly, approachable, trustworthy, younger, slimmer and fitter – overall you will have the appearance of someone who is both interesting and confident”.

One of her customers is local full-time professional speaker John Bell who admits: “I used to pride myself in my sense of style and quality of clothing. But then, without denting my ego, Jackie made me realise that the clothes I’d been wearing over the years didn’t show me at my best. What I find utterly amazing is rather than costing me money, I’m now saving when it comes to shopping for clothes. Using my new-found dress sense means part of my wardrobe is now made up with clothes and colours that complement one another. The result is amazing, and what’s more, I’ve now managed to double my fees with no fall-off in the number of bookings!”

April 2005




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