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I’m meeting a new customer – do I need to wear a suit?

Making the right impression to a would be customer when you meet for the first time is an important process that should not be overlooked.

The prospect has some interest in your offering or service already or they would not have agreed to meet with you. They’ve most likely checked out your website and credentials too.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make it count.

The dress code in modern business is much more relaxed than in years past, particularly for the residents of Tech City where Jeans and T-shirts are common in the workplace.

That said, having never met your customer before, they could well be ‘old school’ in their Business Dress, and turning up in your Mr.Men T-shirt and ripped jeans may not reflect your business offering in the best way.

It is believed that we make opinions of people within the first 7 seconds of meeting them.

Play it safe

The best advice I was given as a budding software sales person was to take no chances when it came to dressing for business meetings.

I typically sported a white shirt, black or navy suit, shiny black shoes and a relatively understated tie, and I would suggest any male Technology business owner or sales person do the same.

Tie is optional, however as you are the ‘face’ of your company, it is better to play it safe and wear one if you are comfortable doing so.

Dressing this way meant I minimised the chance of compromising my sales pitch, rather than having the audience distracted by a Mr.Grumpy T-shirt or Homer Simpson tie.

As for females, the unwritten rules are slightly more relaxed, however a suit, blouse and heels (that aren’t sky scrapers) would work just fine, leave the Louboutin’s at home.

Following your first or second meeting with the client, you should now have be in a position to judge what attire is appropriate for future meetings.

I would still encourage you to play it one level above their dress code, if they wear jeans and T-shirt perhaps try wearing smart casual.

This will increase the likelihood of being held in high regard, and your professional opinion will more likely be taken seriously.