Back in 2009 my wife and I were looking to sell our home. So like any average couple we decided to hold an interview process with some of the more popular real estate agents in an attempt to choose the best agent for us.
I believe we met with 3 or 4 different agents, based on popularity, signage and referrals. One particular agent seemed like a really good fit, he listened patiently and understood our needs, he asked all the right questions and spoke transparently. He was so confident that when we told him we were interviewing other agents but we were still already 99% ready to sign with him. He told us to take our time and left the contract with us instead of getting us to sign that very night and trust me, we would have signed right then and there. You probably know how this story goes though and that didn't happen at all.
So what happened, why did we change our mind, what crucial mistake did he make that would cause us to suddenly shift directions? What happened in the next 45 seconds would result in the death of the sale. Even though we verbally confirmed going with him only 1 minute before we had changed our minds quickly and right before he even put his shoes on to walk out the door. You’re probably intrigued at why we had changed our minds, after all we all want and should know more about sales psychology. What was this $30,000 mistake that this poor guy made without even realizing? Well, I’ll share it with you in attempt to help those in a similar situation avoid this very expensive oversight!
During the last 45 seconds of our meeting, he crossed his legs exposing his socks to us. What was wrong with his socks you might wonder? How could his socks lose him a $30,000 deal?
My wife quickly noticed, shot me a look and I knew it was too late, the damage was done. We had both observed instantly that he had holes in his dress socks. Sadly enough the entire momentum he had built up, the level of trust he had established had changed suddenly and he was completely oblivious to it. Being totally transparent we probably further justified our reasoning with more negative points that weren’t apparent before we saw the socks but it was the socks that killed the deal. Truth be told, the mental image of those holes in his socks was enough to leave a mark. It spoke to us strongly and told a different story of lack of confidence, trust and responsibility and when you are trusting someone to sell your biggest asset, that person better know how to take care of themselves first otherwise how can they be expected to take care of you.
I won’t deny that this guy was great at first. He had a great presentation, he seemed confident and successful and he created strong rapport with us. He even came as a referral. But it was too late, when you’re a professional you should exhibit professional qualities. Countless studies have been done proving that your body language, eye contact and a person’s tone of voice plays a strong role in influencing your prospect. What you wear and how you dress, but even more so, how you carry yourself also plays a critical role in the outcomes of your everyday encounters whether it’s business related or personal. Everybody has heard the slogan, that clothes make the man but I bet you to this day that he never would have imagined that he lost a $30,000 dollar deal simply because of his choice in socks.
So what could he have done differently? Obviously wear a nice, clean, unscathed pair of socks. Unfortunately in today’s competitive market where there are 100 agents per square block, being confident, experienced and sharp witted is not enough. There has to be more. These days agents have to turn it up a notch and, one way to do that is to dress the part of confidence and individuality. But lets be honest, the days of wearing suits and $10,000 rolex watches is pretty much over and may even come across as ‘old school’ and in many ways passe perhaps even slimy.
Today, style plays a big role in attracting the right kind of attention and you don’t need to wear designer thread to be stylish. It’s all about putting yourself together properly and differentiating yourself from the rest with a style that’s all your own. This will allow you to earn trust and new business, a promotion at the office, the girl/guy you’re hot for, the friends you always wanted and more. So what can you do? Make sure you always put your best foot forward (pun intended) and stand out from the rest! You don't have to have a stylist or read every fashion magazine. We suggest starting with one or two cool and unique accessories that will instantly amp up your style. Try a funky pocket square you can fold into your shirt or blazer pocket or even a pair of colorful and funky pattern dress socks by DapperGanger. Whatever you do, stay true to yourself and good luck in all your future endeavours.