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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene

By Steven J. Schmidt (2/26/09)

Appearance is a huge part of selling. Your personality is what will get you sales. Do not forget that. However, the first interaction that you have with a customer is when they see you, as long as we're talking face-to-face sales, of course.

You could be the best salesperson in the world, but if you are trying to make a sale with a backward hat or sweat pants, and your breath smells like fresh manure, it will not work out for you.

You may be laughing, but I am dead serious when I say that I have seen many, many, people come into sales interviews with sweat pants. That is an embarrassment to the sales community as a whole. In addition, I have seen people out in the field with ripped jeans or ketchup all over their shirt. A customer will never take you seriously if you are trying to sell them a service or product while looking like you took a swan dive into an Olympic-sized pool of trash.

Now, there are certain sales people who can get away with the scruffy look. That is where you look like you have not shaved. If you are trying to sell home services, like roofs or a new bathroom, then you could very well be the contractor doing all the work. For some reason or another, there has always been a stereotype that contractors looks scruffy. Therefore, it will fit the stereotype, and you may even look more professional.

Even if you are a mall kiosk selling cellular phones, you need to look as professional as possible. The customers will come up to you most of the time because they want to buy a cell phone. However, suppose you did not shave, and you are wearing a shirt with purple gum on the right sleeve. Your colleague, meanwhile, is wearing a nice pair of slacks with a clean, white buttoned-down shirt. Unlike you, he has a shaved face. The customer will look at both sales reps, and whom do you think that they will go to first? Not you, bozo!

Once again, what is the first interaction that the customer has with the sales rep? The visual of the actual sales rep. That is why they will gravitate to the sales rep that appears to look better than the other.

When you are going through a checklist of things you should do, appearance should easily be at the top of the list. Do I have a clean shirt? A nice pair of pants and shoes? Are my nails cut? Does my breath stink, or do I need to invest in some mouth wash? These measures that need to be taken may seem basic and stupid, but many salespeople take this for granted.

Think about when you went on a first date with that girl or guy you really really liked? Remember all of the preperation you did in order to make sure that you looked good for her or him? Well, I hate to break the news to you, but this is the same type of scenario. It's not a lot of work to do at all, especially once you get yourself into a routine. You want to look as professional as you possibly can because that will be the difference between getting your foot in the door or you getting the door slammed in your face.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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