I’m going, to be honest….. You are being judged right now as we speak (or you read)
The greatest men in history knew this, and from Twain to Gandhi, Churchill to Reagan, they used their personal presentation to set the stage for their message. Too many men fail to understand that how they look is how they are perceived by others; and how we are perceived by others can have a huge effect on how successful we are at work, at home, and in life. If you look terrible, you will be treated as such and will have to do a lot of things to change that. If, however, you appear to be well dressed and groomed, people will assume you are and more doors will be open for you. Dressing smart doesn’t make you intelligent, but intelligent men ALWAYS dress smart.
With that said, so many people in the watch community have been asking me, “What do I wear when meeting clients?” The truth is, there is no right answer as to what to wear, but rather the vibe you give when you wear it and what you’re trying to convey. In the following paragraphs, I will outline how you should approach each situation in watch trading, whether it’s buying or selling
Meeting Type: Selling
Examples: Pitching your business to an investor; a job interview; the first meeting with a client
Goal: To persuade.
Feeling: Credibility, charisma, competence.
How to dress to project that feeling:
Dress as sharp as the situation allows.
The first part is the most important: dress sharp. You are the advertisement for whatever you’re selling. You need to be the best, most compelling advertisement you can possibly be.
But the second part is important too. ‘As the situation allows’ means that if you’re a computer programmer and your colleagues come to work in black jeans and Star Wars t-shirts, you don’t show up in a three-piece suit. It means that if you’re the manager of a high-end clothing store, you absolutely show up in a three-piece suit, and it comes from your store, and it’s tailored to fit you.
Seersucker might be appropriate in the South or cowboy boots in the West, but neither of them is likely to fly on Wall Street. You get the idea.
And it can be much subtler. Accessories matter. A selling meeting is not the time to show off your individuality. Leave the pink polka dot tie at home. If your meeting is on a farm, maybe leave all the ties at home. Of course, you don’t have to be an identity-less robot – just remember that when you’re selling, no detail is too small to count.
Meeting Type: Buying
Examples: Buying a used car; asking for a discount; negotiating the price of your new kitchen.
Goal: To get something, at a good value.
Feeling: High power, OR low power, OR solidarity.
Suppose you have a lot of sellers to choose from. You want to interest as many as possible in selling to you, so they’ll compete with each other to drive prices down and you can choose the best. In that case, you want to look like a valuable client who might be good for a lot of repeat business. You want to project power.
Now suppose you’re buying from just one specific person. You don’t want to telegraph to them that you’ve got plenty to spend, or they’re going to ask a high price. You want to downplay your spending power.
Finally, suppose your seller has a lot of buyers to choose from. It’s no longer about price, it’s about persuading them to pick you. In that case, you want them to like you. You want to project solidarity.
How to dress to project that feeling:
High power: To look like a man people will fight to sell to, just look like a man people will fight to buy from. In other words, dress as sharp as the situation allows. Not sharper – there’s nothing stylish about being inappropriately dressed. By dressing appropriately, you show that you’re a man with class and savoir-faire as well as spending power.
For the same reason, don’t wear the most expensive thing in your closet unless it also fits well and complements your body type.
One difference between a seller and a high-power buyer: you have more freedom. You don’t have to stick with your safest navy tie. This is because you’re the one with the power. If one out of 20 sellers is put off by your pocket square, you’ve still got another 19 sellers to choose from. Individual touches show you’re a man with confidence – you don’t need other people’s approval, they need yours.
Low power: Dress down, not down and out. If you feel as if you’re lying or playing a character, you’ve gone too far. You need the seller to trust you.
So show integrity, just don’t show them too many clues. Leave any expensive or branded clothes and accessories at home (that includes your watch – it’s easy to forget!) Just wear clean and simple clothes.
Solidarity: Know your seller. Google your seller. Find out something you have in common with them. Then find something you can wear that tells them about it. It could be a team sweater, a class ring, a lapel pin, or even a gift from your children if your seller’s a father too.
You can combine this with the high-power approach or the low-power approach.
Most men in America buy suits and shirts that either make them look like they are playing dress-up with daddy’s clothes or are so tight you can see a whole new side of them.
Well-fitted clothing is viewed as stifling and uncomfortable, the product of a time where the phrase “Beauty is pain.” Was thought to be true. The important thing to remember about the not so distant past before the early twenty-first century is that menswear was still a tailor-dominated industry; most suits were still made to measure or unique to you.
My company, Tailored Timepieces has that in mind, coming from the fashion industry I do tailor most of my clothes but in another sort of way, you, as a watch trader are tailoring the timepieces you offer to your client. You will never offer a Sky-Dweller to a client buying a Tag Heuer the first time you dealt with them. It would make you both uncomfortable because you know physiologically that someone buying a $1000 watch will not immediately be able to afford a $25,000 watch.
So.. If I have to leave you with anything dress in clothes that both fit you AND fit the occasion and when you can’t do that. Knowing your product is always the most important thing
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