Grooming tips for the novice seller


Grooming tips for the novice seller

Being a novice seller is no excuse not to look presentable. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Being a novice seller is no excuse not to look presentable. Looks matter in selling. How the seller looks could determine how the sale goes. Few sellers start with a fat salary and company car; both which are offered because the employer wants to display a certain corporate image. Such employers are few and these sellers should be grateful. They already have a leg up. For many reasons, the vast majority of sellers are not this lucky. But still, this is no excuse for them to go around pitifully displaying desperation.

Basic hygiene and grooming do not call for a fat salary. It is as pointless to be in a creased Hugo Boss shirt, as it is to be a salesperson of means but not brush your teeth. And so to help these novices, here are three tips.

Did you sneer at that? Well, ugali is the food of choice for multi (dollar) millionaire, global icon, marathon record breaker, EGH, Eliud Kipchoge. Selling, can be physically taxing. You need to keep your levels of energy up the better part of the day while dispensing of the cost of buying lunch. A breakfast with ugali will keep you pulsating late into the afternoon and looking fresh with every client visit.


You walked to the client premises. The dust on your shoes and sweaty face are evidence of this. Telling yourself that you had polished your shoes in the morning, it’s not your fault that they are now dusty and that the buyer will understand, is misguided. He won’t.

At best, he will patiently await you to speak your piece and leave, having formed a (negative) opinion about you and your company. So, instead of wishful thinking, first make a stop by the askari’s (security guard’s) gate and ask for a shoe brush. Yes. Even askaris understand the importance of grooming and always keep a shoe brush and polish in their cubicles. Alternatively, make a beeline for the washroom and wipe your shoes to a shine with tissue, and freshen up.

Lastly, it is amazing what a YouTube video on grooming and a thousand shillings or three of mitumba (second hand clothes) can do to revolutionise your wardrobe and therefore, confidence. Yes, there’s the stigma associated with mitumba. This shouldn’t concern the seller who wants to look presentable, affordably. Stigma won’t get you a foot in the door; how you look will. In any case, statistics show a different situation on the ground- the majority of Kenyans dress in mitumba.

Stigmas don’t reflect reality. When you arrive at the buyer’s office, your presentability is what he will be drawn to. As a friend in Mombasa once said: “If the job interview is for 10am tomorrow morning in Nairobi, that I travelled by road at Sh1,000 and you flew at Sh10,000 is irrelevant. What is relevant to the interviewer is that we were there at 10am looking the part.”

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