Here are suggestions for a favorable first impression when making face-to-face sales calls.
Be neat in dress. Wear clothes on the conservative side. While your business may lend itself to more casual attire with some clients and prospects, most professional salesmen should wear a tie and professional saleswomen should wear a business-style suit if in doubt as to what will be appropriate.
Be clean in dress and body. Clothes should always be neatly laundered, never rumpled or soiled. Shoes must always be shined. Fingernails must be very clean. Men must always have a good, close shave. Hair must always be neatly combed. Deodorant must be used; perfume and cologne must never be over-used. Special concern must be given to clean teeth and fresh breath.
Maintain a confident bearing and manner – not superior, nor inferior.
Talk with a smile, with a pleasant tone – never sour. Smile almost to the point of grinning, because a smile radiates warmth.
Come on softly so you relax the prospects rather than scare them and cause them to become defensive.
Always have the names correct, and pronounce them properly. Ask your prospects, if necessary.
Don’t carry a coat. It may detract, and you want your prospect’s attention directed only to you and your presentation.
Have a good handshake. A good rule is to let the prospect dictate the type of handshake. A good, firm handshake is best. Never use a bone-crusher or a dead-fish handshake. It is now generally accepted that the salesperson shakes hands with both men and women.
Look in the prospect’s eyes.
Do not smoke. A cigarette detracts in many ways from your presentation, even when it doesn’t antagonize the prospect. Do not even smoke if the prospect invites you to join him. DO NOT SMOKE.