Eric Lopkin

Eric Lopkin

As a business coach and consultant with The Modern Observer Group, I insist my clients dress for success. Business casual is fine when you’re sitting in front of a computer all day and no one sees you. If, however, you are interacting with people, you want to give the best impression you can. In the workplace, this is done with a suit and tie. A customer’s perception shifts when they see someone dressed in a suit. They expect professionalism, but more than that they subconsciously give more weight to what the person is saying. When you improve the image you present, it spills over into other areas.

One salesperson I work with discovered this on his own. He started wearing a suit and tie when he went on sales calls. Nothing else in the presentation changed. The product was the same, the pricing was the same, and the presentation was the same. His sales increased, simply because by wearing a suit, he was perceived as a serious professional. In fact, there have been studies done that show not only does a suit increase your influence and create a better image, but a blue or black suit will cause more of an impact than a brown suit will.

There is also a cycle to this. You were a suit, people respond better to you, which makes you feel good. Customers sense your positive attitude and responds in kind, giving you more self-confidence, which brings you more success, and so on and so on.

When I first explain this to a client, I often get a response that include “but what about…?” with Steve Jobs being the most common name to fill the slot. Steve Jobs is a world class speaker and an excellent CEO, who wears what has become a trademark for him, black turtleneck and jeans. The simple answer is one of credibility. The suit gives you credibility to someone who does not know your capabilities, and projects professionalism to those who do know you. Steve Jobs revolutionized the computing when he created the Apple I, which was the first personal computer. He then changed music with the iPod and telecommunications with the iPhone. When you have a list of accomplishments that substantial and that well known, you can dress however you want. Until then, don’t you want every advantage you can get?

I consult a Fortune 500 company that does not require ties. Whenever I walk in, I am always dressed in suit and tie. The response is immediate. Attention is paid to when I start speaking and  I am immediately taken seriously, where I have seen consultants with the same information that I have, attend a meeting dressed in business casual and not be given the same attention. In fact recently several people have commented to me that they feel more comfortable with my recommendations because I come across as professional. These same people have commented on the fact that most people around their office have given up wearing ties. Clothes still make the man.

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1 Comment on Dress For Success by Eric Lopkin

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deepak Gupta, Deepak Gupta. Deepak Gupta said: New blog posting, Dress For Success by Eric Lopkin – […]

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