Didn’t think I’d be blogging about *looks* today, but I’d be lying if I said this stuff hasn’t crossed my mind in the past either :) Maybe you’re the same?
Here’s a convo I recently had with a reader, and would love to get your take on it too…
Is it all a bunch of malarkey, or are there certain times when spending more on our looks just makes more sense?!
Let me tell you something which opened my brain on purchases this last year. This is a memorable purchase for me which really surprised me.
One of the things that I have been rethinking is how much I get out of what I purchase. For an example, your Goodwill story. I love Goodwill and shop there all the time. I know you can get great deals there.
Last year I met up with a life insurance agent who cleared $300k last year and he was telling me how he bought these suits at $1k-$3k price points. I was shocked and told myself I would never. Clothes depreciate. What a waste.
Then it struck me. He made almost 3x money as me last year! Maybe he understands something I do not. I still shop at Goodwill, but I started buying very nice and expensive Polo shirts after this thought struck me. Direct from Polo at $80 a piece. I thought if I presented myself better and opened stronger with a new nice Polo shirt it might help me generate more business like my friend.
I’m a realtor and as soon as I did this I started getting much more respect and picking up clients at a faster rate. I just inked a contract for a $340k property from one of my last open house leads. That’s a $10k commission check from an $80 shirt purchase.
Of course, some may say that it’s just in my head and maybe I got lucky, but the reality is that I did feel more confident in my abilities to close more business for myself. I feel that’s 100% worth it.
If I was on the outside watching myself buy a piece of clothing for $80 I would shake my head and think how superficial. But now I have been buying branded t-shirts that say “Realtor”, “Real Estate Agent”, “I sell real estate,” etc and still to this day when I order off eBay I cringe. I never have paid $20-$40 per shirt as most of my clothes have always been hand me downs from growing up in a family of 6! And I’m the Goodwill guy like you.
That being said, the opportunity for my business and ROI from being a walking billboard and spending just a little bit more to “redeem” a depreciating asset is amazing to me. This took me by surprise, and made me think to myself that maybe cheap is not always best in every circumstance. I feel strongly that if I had worn my Goodwill polo shirt at that last open house it would have been more difficult for me to close that deal.
I always used to wonder why the Uber rich purchase things that don’t make the most sense to the rest of us, but maybe your money really is a mirror of your priorities. By prioritizing my appearance and professional image and nothing more, I was able to pick up more clients for my business.
What are your thoughts around this?
Here’s what I wrote back, which may surprise you?
I think you could be very right on that!
And even if it IS just in your head, does it really matter since business is booming?! :) I’d be buying $80 shirts left and right too if I was experiencing that, haha…
So I say keep going with it and see how far you can take it. What does your car look like for example? Whenever I see realtors in Beemers and Benzes I’m always thinking they’re much more successful/skillful whether it’s the truth or not.
In areas where perceptions matter like in realty/sales/etc I def. think it’s worth “putting on a show” more, so long as it doesn’t go overboard. You only need so much to milk 90% of the rewards, and you could pick up a 7 or 8 year old luxury car for the same as you can a normal car but get that “oomph” out of it.
So yeah man – I’m with you! Sometimes spending money really DOES help you make money in the end. Just gotta know *where* to spend it :)
Let’s see if you can get close to that $300k this year!
We went back and forth a little bit more (turns out he already rocks a luxury car), but that was the gist of it all. Spending more in order to gain more – in this case with business. It sounds stupid and really shouldn’t matter at all what you wear/drive/etc, but perception is a silly thing and sometimes you have to play the game.
My thoughts on it anyways. Ever catch yourself spending more in certain areas to get better results?! Whether in career or goals or *cough* love? What do you wear on a first date – your everyday duds or your nicer ones? ;)
I remember being a realtor myself years ago and how lame I looked rolling around in my bright yellow Ford Mustang when I was trying to get people to take me seriously. I had no problem with those who already knew me (my only sales! Hah!), but I guarantee I would have been more successful had I *looked* the part more. Thank God I had normal hair at least!
On the flip side, it eventually led me to becoming a professional blogger which ironically means wearing unprofessional clothes too, haha, so this stuff can work in the opposite way as well :) The trick is knowing what makes you more credible in people’s eyes and then taking advantage of it.
ADDENDUM: I was reminded of another article of clothing to consider when trying to boost your confidence/sales ;) From my friend Hélène Massicotte: The Sexy Underwear Trick
[Photo credit up top: distel.com]