Before I opened my wood floor business I was in the world of sales, wearing a shirt and tie every day. Now that I’m a wood floor pro I spend a lot of days covered in sawdust. When I call on customers now, I’ve noticed a huge difference in sales depending on what I wear, but it might not be what you expect. I’ve found I have a better chance of getting the job or the order if I turn up to the job in my work clothes instead of a shirt and tie or a polo.
All of the clothes we wear are branded; they look good but are still a work outfit. Now when I’m going to talk to a potential customer and try to win a job, I make sure I turn up in my work outfit. I find the way people talk to you is different when you’re in your work clothes, because they’ll ask you questions about what you’re going to do on the job, not what the workers are going to do. When you’re dressed up to sell, people are assuming they’re getting sold to, and their defenses are up. And people are getting sold to all the time—being cold-called, getting spammed with emails, and even people knocking on their doors. But these days it’s hard to get a tradie to your house—if your toilet’s blocked you’ll be waiting three days to get a plumber to come fix it. So I find that when a tradesperson shows up to your house, people don’t have a wall up and they aren’t hiding their checkbook. Instead they’re figuring out how to get you to come back.