Looks Do Matter

In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell makes the statement that people form opinions of others in the first two seconds of seeing them. These impressions may or not be accurate. How accurate they are is irrelevant because people act on their first impressions.

I know this is stupid and doesn’t make sense. Heck, I am the same person whether I am wearing a pair of shorts and a tee shirt or if I am wearing a Tuxedo. It’s the person on the inside that counts right. Wrong, according to research that Gladwell points out. Knowing this you would be wise to package and present yourself in the most attractive manner possible. That means dressing in traditionally accepted business attire. Think banker here.

For years I had a full mustache. And a nice one if I do say so myself. I was proud of that mustache and considered it part of my personal identity. However, when I got in sales I read somewhere that 10% of prospects distrusted men with facial hair. So I shaved it off and have had a clean lip ever since.

If you desire to become a powerful person of influence in business you will ignore your personal preferences by packaging and presenting yourself in a manner that will be impressive to the people you are trying to influence and persuade.

In selling it ain’t about you it’s about them.

Ayo Fashola

Nice blog by the way Steve and very valuable information. I totally agree with this blog. As a style and fashion engineer, i educate my clients on the value of having a personal style yet balancing it with the image you want to project. I don’t agree with “That means dressing in traditionally accepted business attire. Think banker here.” I pride myself on being modern, current, cutting-edge and up to date in my personal style and it’s important to my clients that i project that. They are paying for modern, new and fresh ideas. Nothing less. I want to do business with an individual who has a strong sense of style, someone who is “with it” and “gets it.” and their laser beam focus is apparent. I do not want to do business with a suit. It’s boring, it’s says nothing about your passions, likes and dislikes and i’m bored looking at you before i even get the opportunity to even care what comes out of your mouth. I want to know that you’ve got a creative edge, it’s the edge that i’ll expect to experience each and every time. If i wanted to look at a banker…I’ll visit a bank.

Geri Seiberling

And, it is just as important to package your business in the same way. You discovered that 10% of your clients were not attracted by your facial hair, and so shaved your mustache to become a powerful person of influence. You can tailor your business appearance, everywhere your business is in touch with the customer, and package your entire business with the same philosophy. Each touch point can be designed to meet the expectations of your ideal audience. First impressions DO matter, whether it’s your face personally, or whether it the face of your entire business. You never catch the right fish using the wrong bait.

Blink, though it is a newer book than E-Myth, will also become a cult business classic, because it is based upon common sense. Thanks for the recommendation again.

Craig Breitsprecher

Presenting yourself well can definitely – in and of itself – increase your credibility.


This makes a lot sense …. thus the reason why 94% of all policemen have a mustache…just to intimidate and make us not like them. 🙂

Betty Cope

I agree with your post! People do respond to you based on what they see. We have an opportunity to show who we are and first impressions do count.
Blink was a very interesting book. I have it on disc. I helps you rethink actions and reactions. Thanks for the reminder.

Sheppard Salter

Interesting points here Steve. Food for thought.

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