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Sean Luce

Stripping And Dressing For Success


Here are some odds and ends from the road as I finish up my vacation here in Kelowna, British Columbia.

There is a reason they call it Beautiful British Columbia. It is like no place on earth. Kelowna is the hidden gem of the world. Even though the city swells up to 400,000 people over the summer, they all fit in quite nicely. Besides the best boating and fishing in this part of the world, they also have five world-class ski slopes within a two-hour drive. Apex Mountain in Penticton (60 kilometers south of Kelowna) is where many of the worlds top skiers perfect their trade. Kelowna is also home to some of the most beautiful women in the world -- just check out those beaches in the summer!

I had dinner with one of my owners the other night and he asked me a question: Do any of your sales staffs have dress codes? I answered, Many of them do, some dont, though the manager always lines them out on how to dress. Its a tough thing for a manager to do even if you have a dress code. What some people feel is cool does not always look professional.

The following happened in San Antonio before I became a sales manager, in my early days in sales. I thought I'd dressed halfway decently, though halfway wasnt good enough for my GSM Chuck Wall. He said perception is everything when it comes to that first impression when you walk through a clients door. Its not easy to go stock up a new wardrobe when you just got a new gig in a new market. So, Chuck took me to a consignment store and bought me suits. He took me to buy ties and shirts and finally instructed me on what shoes I needed -- those lace-up Johnston and Murphy shoes were only acceptable to him. He said, "If youre ever going to be a sales manager, for me, you need to look a lot better than you do now." I ate my humble pie and it made a huge difference. Sales went up and so did a new management gig.

Here are some tips on dressing for success with or without a dress code:

Lets start with the men...

1)  Cologne: Put on half of what you think would do the job.
2)  Jewelry: Only two acceptable pieces to wear: A good watch and a ring. Watch: conservative and not gaudy. Ring: wedding band and nothing more.
3)  Fingernails: Dont think they notice? Try again. Clean and well-manicured nails command respect.
4)  Mouth: Nothing ruins a first impression more than bad breath. Clean your tongue for more than just kissing! Your tongue is where bacteria builds up and where breath odor comes from.
5) Suits: Its the style and the fit that matters. Buy the best you can afford. Houndstooth can do the job too! Navy blue is the most trustworthy color.
6) Shirts: Buy shirts that are at least 50 percent cotton. They will wear better and keep you from sweating. If you have a dress code of wearing suits, white is the preferred shirt color.
7) Ties: Silk is the finest, so wear it. The tip of your tie should just touch your belt buckle and never dangle below the belt.
8) Shoes: The foundation of your wardrobe. Black and brown are the preferred colors and command the most respect.

Some tips for the women:
1)  Jewelry: Any dangling earrings and bracelets only distract from you. Be subtle, thats your power base in sales.
2)  Fingernails: Patterned nails and overly long gives the perception that you are something other than a sales professional unless you're selling something else.
3)  Dresses: Hems should be within three inches of the knee. Preferably closer to the knee than not. Stay away from the open cleavage. It takes away from your message. You want them to look at you, not stare at you.

"Stripping and Crack": Make sure you really preview your ads before they run.

Vanessa is our sales rep in the Ozarks who works with Kristi who handles the advertising for Supreme Sealcoating, Striping and Crack Sealing. Recently, there was a problem with an ad.

Vanessa did listen to the ad, though she was more concerned about the timing of the ad versus the content. The ad that ran on the air said stripping instead of striping. Throw in hot rubber to fill the cracks along with the stripping and youve really got a commercial that rises above the clutter! We were fortunate the client had fun with it. In some cases, we might not be so lucky. Moral of the story: Preview the whole ad and pay attention, before it runs!

Watch your texting too! Another client sent an incomplete text to Vanessa saying he wanted to provide some plugs for the radio stations on his Facebook page about the promotion they had going on with his company as a sponsor. Instead, he sent a text that just said, I want to plug u. Careful! J

PS: Bye, bye British Columbia! See you soon! I hope my owner doesnt see any of my "stripping" pictures!

Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at or

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