What should you wear when you are in outside sales?

Published 08/10/2018

We often have new outside sales people ask us this:  What do I wear when I go out to sell merchant services?  The simple answer would be a suit – but it’s not always the right answer.

The easier answer is to tell you what NOT to wear.  Wearing any of the following is a sure way to NOT succeed when it comes to selling credit card processing:

  1.  Anything with rips or holes.  No matter how much those ripped jeans cost and no matter how fashionable they are – they are NEVER what you want to wear in any outside sales job.
  2. A t-shirt.  It could be the nicest t-shirt in the world ( even one of those super expensive ones sold by famous singers)  It is just not appropriate to be a sales person wearing a t-shirt.
  3. Flip flops.  Save em for the beach and Jimmy Buffett concerts.  ( Hawaiian shirts fall under the same category.)
  4. Pretty much anything would make your mother ask you if you are really leaving the house dressed like that.

That essentially covers the what not to wear.  So how should you dress when you are going out to sell credit card processing?  It really depends on your audience and who you are selling to.  Here are some of the RIGHT things to wear.

  1. A suit.  The obvious choice. BUT….if you are selling to a farmer or a mechanic it may be a bit too much for them.  This is a better choice to wear if you are talking to retail customers , doctors, lawyers, or any other white collar profession.
  2. Khakis and a button down or polo.  You can never go wrong with this outfit – especially if you throw a tie on as well.  You are showing that you can dress like a professional but also be just a little bit laid back as well.  This is a great outfit for every type of business you are talking to – including those mechanics, farmers, etc.
  3. A blouse and skirt or a nice dress.  Try to keep it a little bit dressier and not too summery.  You want to look like a professional and not like you just walked in off of the beach.

The most important take away for you is that you need to dress the part.  You are working in the financial services field and you need to show it.  Remember to dress for your audience  - that suit might be over the top for some of your clients  - but not all of them.  Keep it clean – use an iron – and look professional and you should be just fine!

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