“Clothes make the man” observed Shakespeare, and research in psychology has shown this to be true. We attribute different traits to people based on what they wear. So it stands to reason that altering our outfit can change how people see us and respond.

Stability, Trustworthiness, Work Ethic

How you dress impacts the sale. If you wish to convey stability, trustworthiness, and a strong work ethic, select a conservative business suit, usually black, navy blue, or dark brown. The shirt or blouse should be a solid color such as ivory, white, pastel blue, or pale yellow. Stay away from busy designs or costume jewelry. Keep the shoes and accessories tasteful and plain.

Hip, Adventurous, Freedom

On the other hand, if your prospect is hip and adventurous, then your clothing should be trendy and fashion-forward. Get noticed with flamboyant footwear. Quickly be in tune by wearing a designer outfit. To convey the idea of being free and on top, choose highly saturated colors, bold patterns, eye-catching jewelry, and colorful eyeglass frames.

Relationships, Feelings, Comfort

Sellers who are relationship-oriented should stock their wardrobe with sweaters. Sweaters evoke feelings of warmth. They encourage touch. They soften the way people perceive the wearer. Couple the sweater with comfortable pants or a flowing skirt. Keep with pastels and earth tones.


Your prospects are evaluating whether they want to do business with you all the time. Information about personality style is transmitted through your apparel. Even if you choose to pay no attention to clothes, your audience is subconsciously making notes and inferring meaning to your appearance. Thus mismatched and out-of-date clothing broadcast messages of indifference and laziness.

Dress to Clothes Sale$

Just as you can diagnose individuals buying style by how they dress, prospects are evaluating your sales style by what you wear. How you dress does close the sale.

About Dr. Nancy Zare

A retired professor and psychologist, Dr. Nancy Zare originated the AlikeAbility™ System to teach business owners and sales professionals how to read buying styles and close more sales. She offers a complimentary AlikeAbility™ Assessment that includes the strengths and challenges of your buying/selling style. Contact her at nancy@RapportBuilderz.com to receive your copy by email.