How Important Is Appearance When Pitching For New Business?
Posted on: May 25, 2016 in Branding Marketing Networking by Alan Tomkins
Knowing how to pitch convincingly and effectively can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal, so to speak, when aiming to attract more business for your company. Convincing a potential customer that your company is the one most capable of meeting their needs is no mean feat. But how crucial is your appearance to an effective pitch?
Appearance: is it really such a big deal?
Especially if you’re relatively inexperienced in business, it’s tempting to think that your appearance can’t possibly have much influence on how compelling your pitch is. After all, business pitches aren’t fashion shows; why should your audience be concerned whether your suit is from Armani or the discounts rack in your local Tesco?
Of course, they likely won’t be – but that doesn’t mean your appearance still won’t exercise some degree of influence. The effect could be subliminal at times; even subconsciously, many potential buyers could be deterred from handing their hard-earned money over to a disheveled individual with little obvious regard for how they look.
A Dragons’ Den star explains why, yes, appearance can be a big deal
So, how important exactly is appearance to your pitch? A good assessment comes from successful businessman James Caan, of Dragons’ Den fame. Though he’s full of advice for putting together a good pitch, including having a strong team, showing proof of demand and being careful not to over-complicate with the details, he still sets aside space to explain why “presentation is crucial”.
He advises that “if you want to be taken seriously, then dress seriously”. He implies that going too eccentric with your attire could lead the audience to “think this pitch is not as important to you as it should be”, while a clothing mismatch – such as “black trousers with white socks” – can make a similarly bad impression. Caan explains: “These may seem like minor things but they tell me that you don’t pay enough attention to detail”.
Don’t overlook the personal touch
Nonetheless, putting a lot of care into your appearance as you plan your pitch doesn’t have to mean stripping out all of your unique visual character. Even Caan acknowledges that how you should present yourself will depend, to an extent, on who you’re pitching to. And, indeed, it has been advised elsewhere that you should consider what clothing would make you in particular feel comfortable during the big presentation.
So, while you should remember to stick with clothes that look smart, professional and suitable for both your audience and your own company, you also shouldn’t overlook the need to don clothes that help you to be confident and showcase your unique talents. Ultimately, if you feel that you are visually appealing, so will your audience!
Along similar lines, if you and other people helping you during the pitch decide to wear name badges to help that audience to more easily remember you, your colleagues and the company, you could benefit from turning to us and ordering a big batch of personalized badges. There are many different such badges available.