I see construction companies, and specifically roofing companies, all the time that don’t take their appearance seriously. They send their guys out with mismatched shirts, clothes with holes in them, or worse yet, no uniform at all. But I want to remind people, perception is crucial. The customer will create a perception, misguided or not, in their mind about you as soon as they see you. This will drive them to form an opinion about you. We do it all the time.
“So how do I get my customers perception of me match the truth?”
If the salesman did a good job selling the job, then the customer already has a certain confidence in you and your company. He or she may be expecting a crew to show up looking like a NASCAR pit crew. Or they may be expecting a bunch of guys looking like their going to head to the bar. So it starts with you pitch. In the pitch, or sale, you should dress professionally. I used to wear the same uniform as the crew when I sold, which is fine, but after a while I realized this wasn’t good enough. So I started wearing a polo or button up shirt with our logo on it. Note: You will be surprised at who takes notice when you start dressing like you are already successful. I used to have people say to me,”Well, it doesn’t look like your going on the roof today!” or “It doesn’t look like you work anymore!”
My reply to them was just ,”I work, I just have a different job description now.” And after a while people start assimilating your nice dress habits with your business habits. If you are dressed clean and appropriate (and hip doesn’t hurt), they will see your business as efficient and professional.
This then trickles down to the clothes that the employees or crews wear. I remember a sales coach from Certainteed telling our class that out of the 12 of us, he only noticed about 4 of us wearing any shirt that carried the company name. He then proceeded to ask how many of us provided or required installers and crews to wear uniforms. Still many of them didn’t require workers to wear uniforms. He then continued ,”You walk into this conference center, a very professional place I might add, and nobody even knows who you are. The business man in the parking lot doesn’t know. The lady behind the counter in the hotel doesn’t know. Even the other roofers that you are now rubbing shoulders with don’t know. Without a logo on your shirt, you just a “wannabe”.
I’ll leave you with a word picture. If you had a plumber show up at your house to do some repairs and looked like the pictures below. Would you get a better perception from A,B or C?
Say what you want, but you have a preconceived notion about each one of these pictures. What does your clothing style say about you? Feel free to comment or chime in!