A career as a consultant in factoring and commercial finance means you will be engaging with all types of individuals and many on a very professional level. As we said, having good communication skills is essential. But just as important is how people perceive you when you walk into a room. Do you project the image of a true professional? If not, you may need a “personal tune-up”.
As it is always said, you only have one chance to make a first impression. And you will find that making a good first impression will make the processes of networking and relationship building just that much easier. We’re not talking about hiring a professional image consultant here. But spicing up a wardrobe, changing a hairdo, or shedding a few extra pounds can often work wonders for your confidence when entering new and unfamiliar territory.
- UPGRADE YOUR APPAREL: Financial consulting tends to be a suit and tie business. You will be networking with professionals such as bankers, accountants, and attorneys. As a whole, this is not a casually dressed group. When attending your first meetings and events frequented by such professionals, it will always be better to be a little overdressed rather than under dressed.
- GROOMING: From time to time, almost everyone tends to get a little lax regarding their grooming. Take a little time to take personal stock and make improvements as needed.
- HIT THE GYM: There are too many benefits to mention here regarding exercise. It’s positive effects on productivity are well known and for many people, shedding a few extra pounds can greatly improve your business appearance. If you already belong to a gym, use it. If not, become a member of a large one. Exercise facilities can offer exceptional networking and relationship building opportunities as a membership bi-product since you will already have something in common with everyone you meet.
- TRANSPORTATION: As shallow as it may sound, you will be judged by what you drive to appointments, meetings, and events. It is also unavoidable that there will be occasions where you will be the designated driver, transporting those you are trying to impress. You will probably have need for occasional four passenger seating. No matter how you are dressed or groomed, if you pull up to a meeting in a dented or rusty vehicle with rips in the seat cushions and smoke coming out of the tailpipe, you’re doomed. So, the rule here is don’t go crazy, but upgrade if necessary. You certainly don’t need the latest version of an expensive German import, but your vehicle needs to be clean and free of visual signs of age and neglect. The right vehicle will greatly enhance your image as a successful industry consultant so don’t make the wrong personal impression with what you drive. Think very conservatively, however!
In any business involving sales, having a high level of self esteem is vitally important to success. In short, you just really need to feel good about yourself and your appearance to be effective. If there are some personal characteristics about yourself which you feel need some attention, start to address them now. Get help and advice from those you trust. There are also thousands of excellent books and publications available to help you along in this important area.
The great news here is this. There is very little about a person’s personal appearance or lack of particular soft skills that cannot be addressed and remedied. For many, a successful entry into the business development side of the factoring and small business finance industry can represent an incredible opportunity for a total lifestyle makeover. This is a career path you should look at as much more than a simple business opportunity. You can make your entry into this extraordinary industry a lifestyle “happening”.