Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where everyone is given the opportunity to be fully understood, before others make judgements about them?
That doesn’t happen. Even though we (as individual human beings) may strive not to be judgmental – or con ourselves that we aren’t – it is inevitable that we do judge others. At least to some degree.
And we judge them quickly! Research continues to show that we make judgements of others within seconds. Maybe within the first few minutes at most.
Here’s yet another article citing research that identifies the impact of unconscious bias and stigma (in other words, when people make judgements based on appearance):
- Job candidates with facial blemishes such as birthmarks or scars, fared worse in interviews than those who didn’t.
- A significant wage gap between those within a healthy weight range and those who are obese. Wage gaps were especially pronounced among females, and it was found that obese women incur an average remuneration penalty of 14.6%.
Some people might argue that our desire to sum people up quickly is a throw-back to our primitive past when we had to make life-and-death decisions quickly about people (friend or foe) and situations.
No matter… if you are involved in selling you must be aware of the impact your appearance has on your ability to work smoothly with your clients.
Years ago I worked for a company that forbid men to have facial hair (beards or moustaches). This was on the basis that having some facial hair – no matter what the style – may offend some clients or make them feel uncomfortable about you as the company representative.
The principal was – why take a chance?
I think it’s still good practice today. Why risk creating a hurdle for you to get over?
Pay attention to what clients expect. I’m not just talking about facial hair (Girls, this applies to you too.)
Your appearance could be any one or more of:
- Attention to time
- Language, choice of words
- They way you walk, sit, or drink your coffee
It’s OK to express yourself and damn the consequences. Just don’t do it when your sales results (and possibly your income) depend on it.