Packaging Maketh the Person

The multi million pound cosmetics industry is acutely aware of the value of packaging. You'll know this if you've ever bought anything from those glamorous ladies whose counters are always just inside the front door of Department stores.

However, from time to time we're presented with surveys about the creams we rub on our bodies which take years off our age and make our skin as soft as a baby's bottie. The surveys tell us "Buy the cheap stuff or the own label one from the supermarket, 'cause they're all the same."

But do we? Of course we don't. Human beings are driven by emotions not logic and never more so when spending their money. People buy with their eyes, we love packaging. The marketing and merchandising experts have it down to a fine art and know the colours and shapes that we're most likely to buy. They then design their packaging accordingly and make sure it grabs our attention. The product in the packaging has to do what it says it'll do, however if it looks like it can do the business, then we're more likely to believe it can.

It's just the same with people. Whether we like it or not, people are likely to make judgements about us by the way we're packaged. They'll then decide whether they like us, whether they'll give us a job or even just believe what we say. This seems to be so obvious. Yet I've seen professional speakers with scuffed shoes, business leaders with outdated suits and politicians wearing clothes that don't fit them or suit their shape.

A few months ago I attended a function where an accountant was invited to speak about his business. He told the assembled audience how efficient his business was and about their attention to detail. However his tie was undone and his shirt looked like he was breaking it in for a smaller friend. His suit, though probably expensive, wasn't the right colour for him and merely drew attention to the fact that its wearer liked his grub. All of the things he was saying were totally contradicted by how he was packaged.

Lawyers, accountants, plumbers or software engineers; it doesn't matter what you do, other people are very liable to make a judgement about your abilities by how you're packaged. Your colleagues and your boss will all make decisions about the quality of your work and your promotion prospects by your dress and image.

There's the famous story about the 1960's pre-election television debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. These debates were also heard on radio, which was much more popular at the time. After the debates a poll was taken of how TV and radio audiences had reacted to the two participants. The radio audience voted for Nixon, however the TV audience voted overwhelmingly for Kennedy. The TV audience liked the look of Kennedy better than Nixon - they liked the packaging.

We also tend to make decisions very quickly about people we come into contact with. Psychologists have established that we subconsciously make around eleven decisions about other people within the first six seconds of meeting them. Personnel managers have admitted in surveys to making a decision about a job applicant within the first thirty seconds of an interview, these decisions being made primarily on how the people looked and carried themselves.

How we look will confirm or contradict what we say. Imagine someone in a policeman's uniform at your door telling you he's come to read the gas meter, I doubt if you'd believe him. First impressions are also lasting impressions and take a lot of changing.

Okay, so we can't all have the perfect looks or the perfect body, what ever that is. It doesn't matter what shape you are but it does matter how you package that shape, if you want to make an impact on other people.

How you package yourself can also make a huge difference to your self-confidence. Have you ever noticed how confident and self-assured you feel when you dress in something you feel good in? Particularly when someone genuinely compliments you. How you dress can have a huge impact on how you carry yourself and project to other people.

The problem is that many of us don't have a clue as to what really suits us and compliments our shape. This is why so many business people are turning to an image consultant to improve their personal impact. This may seem like a costly luxury however consider the cost of restricting your career or possibly not winning a new account.

Dress down Friday is a particular challenge for men. The temptation for many guys is to pull on an old pair of chinos and a worn out polo shirt and hope for the best. The only thing is you end up looking scruffy and certainly don't impress anyone.

So what do you do? Well you could ask your nearest and dearest to be honest with you and tell you what they really think about what you wear. The thing is, you really need to listen and take heed of what they say.

Buy some of the fashion magazines and keep up to date on the latest fashion. It can also help to find a good clothes store where the sales assistants will give unbiased advice.

It's also important to look after the details. Do your spectacles suit your face? Are you in need of a more modern haircut? What does that cheap plastic watch say about you? Men need to be careful about novelty ties and fancy socks with a business suit. Women need to take care with make-up, colours and perfume.

You may have a lot more to offer than a jar of anti wrinkle cream or a packet of cornflakes; however no one is going to pick you off the shelf if they don't like your packaging.

Alan Fairweather is the author of four ebooks in the "How to get More Sales" series. Lots of practical actions you can take to build your business and motivate your team.- http://www.howtogetmoresales.com

In The News:

Stop the sales  Mumbai Mirror

Aikido and The Art of Cold Calling

Imagine being in a crowded concert or bar. All of... Read More

The Prejudging Predicament

There's a direct correlation between sales experience and prejudging. The... Read More

5 Ways to Encourage Impulse Purchases

I just bought six square pieces of spongy fabric for... Read More

How Can a White Paper Support Sales and Marketing?

A white paper supports PR, marketing and sales because it... Read More

How to Reach Purchasing Agents of Big Corporations

Now business owners and sales professionals can develop a Faster... Read More

How To Set Goals and Achieve Them

We use only 5% of God's given potential, 95% of... Read More

Planning to Realize Your Goals

Recently, I wrote about about creating specific, compelling goals that... Read More

How To Profit From Initial Consultations

"I'd love to work with you, but?"How many times have... Read More

What Not To Do With Your Leads

Anyone that works in sales knows just how important it... Read More

Create A Killer Product by Writing Your Sales Letter First!

You may not realize this, but when if you are... Read More

Finding a Used Mannequin

Many stores on a budget choose to buy a used... Read More

Why Executives Wont Take Your Call

Do you hang up on telemarketers? 9 times out of... Read More

If I Wanted To Sell For A Living, I Would Of Majored In It In College

By a show of hands, how many of you grew... Read More

How to Blow Rapport Really Fast

Do you have 5, 10, or 20 years of sales... Read More

The Allure of Antique Store Fixtures

They say if you wait long enough, a style you... Read More

Getting Past the Gate Guard

Over the years, many prospects have hidden behind their well-trained... Read More

To Sell Successfully, You Have to Be Willing to Be Different

We are complex. We confidently assert that we are independent... Read More

Selling the Dr. Seuss Way

"I am Sam. Sam I am. Do you like green... Read More

Freebies

Freebees--Freebees--FreebeesWHY PAY, WHEN "YOU CAN HAVE IT FOR FREE?"There are... Read More

Obtaining Self-Confidence

A reader recently asked me the following: "I enjoyed the... Read More

A Look at Mannequin Heads

A mannequin head is a life-size head that includes all... Read More

How To Dramatically Improve Sales Closing Ratios

A closing question asks for a final decision. A trial-closing... Read More

Why Cold Calling Is Dead

Our world of selling is closed off from other areas... Read More

The Biggest Mistake In Selling!

Some trainers and sales managers teach that there are prospects... Read More

Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up

The above quote, "Eighty percent of success is showing up."... Read More