Improve Your Personal Presentation in Five Easy Steps

1. Get your hair cut – regardless of how well you are dressed, unkempt and out of control hair will make you look untidy. 30 minutes and £10 well spent! Make sure you have any facial hair under control too.

2. Wear a suit – so many people these days go suit-less, and this gives you a great opportunity to stand out and look professional and more presentable. However just any old suit will not do. It must be 100% wool (please, no polyester) and preferably in dark navy or charcoal grey. You may even have something suitable in the wardrobe already; however if you bought it ready to wear IT DOES NOT FIT YOU!. A poor fitting suit is worse than no suit. Go to a good alterations tailor and get it fitted; It is not expensive! By the way, you really do need two suits so you can alternate each day. If you are really skint look on eBay or in a nearly new shop.

3. Wear a proper shirt, and one that fits – so many people wear casual shirts to work and usually with the wrong length arms and neck. Go to a store that sell shirts in various arm lengths and reasonably constructed to look good with a suit. If you are on a budget T.M. Lewin often do 4 shirts for £100 which are more than adequate, and will be enough to get you going – I suggest two each of white and light blue plain as a minimum.

4. Wear a tie – why, oh why do so few people wear a tie? A man is not completely dressed without one; a suit is not casual so why dress casually underneath it? The silk of he tie (and do ensure it is silk) offers a contrasting texture to the matt of the suit and shirt and is a great opportunity to express your personality through colour.

5. Shoes – So many people wear a suit and then finish it off with totally inappropriate shoes. Wear some black traditional, welted shoes in an oxford style. These will last a lifetime if looked after so don’t skimp.

These five simple steps can make you look more professional and presentable.

Focus on the Present – How to Get and Stay Mentally Focused on Now

How can you stay in the present (mentally) – or get to the present? Here are 5 strategies:

  1. Breathe. The idea is that you breathe in. Then you breathe out. This helps you to get centered – and somewhere I read that the space between breathing in and breathing out – that’s the present. So actually, right now, breathe. In. Out. In. Out. It’s amazing that we need to be reminded.
  2. Stand up straight or sit up straight (if you are physically able to do so). Just pull your head up, straighten your spine, pull in your stomach, and of course, breathe. It’s interesting how making sure we are doing all of these behaviors just pulls us to the present. Apparently there is no chance of multi-minding when we are focused – just for a moment – on standing up straight, pulling our head up and our stomachs in – and, oh, yeah…breathing. Those four tasks take all our concentration and are sometimes enough to break us out of whatever past tense, future tense, or too tense thinking we were in just before.
  3. Say, “One thing, right now.” It’s a calming phrase. It helps you to get centered again. “One thing, right now.” “One thing, right now.” “One thing, right now.” Say it over and over as needed. Let people around you know that if/when you get into a “state,” they might help you by saying, “One thing, right now.”
  4. If you have an object that helps you focus on the present – then use that. It might be something physical, it might be a picture, it might be a quote. It’s whatever will calm your mind enough to focus on now – just now.
  5. Make marmalade. This recommendation comes from D.H. Lawrence’s suggestion: “I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.” The idea, of course, is to take up an activity where you need to be focused. Making marmalade, doing repair, engaging in some kind of intricate work….all of these activities require your focus and that you be present. Figure out what your marmalade activity is.

I promised that these were simple – and they are. Yet, we often don’t apply simple solutions. Give one or more of these a try when you need to bring yourself back to NOW – and see if you aren’t more focused and much more peaceful, too.

Negotiation Skills – How to Increase Your Sales

Nearly everyday of your life you are negotiating for something, usually many times a day. And that doesn’t include the sales negotiations you participate in as your job.

Yet, despite the fact that you spend so much time in negotiations, during the big negotiations, many salespersons don’t employ the effective skill set and tactics that they use in other aspects of their lives.

For example, have you driven a car today? If so, you are negotiating decisions throughout the entire drive. Using your turn signal is a nonverbal negotiation with other drivers about where you want to turn your car. At every stop sign, you were part of a negotiation as to who should be given a turn to go ahead through the street corners.

By learning what works as a small negotiations, you can learn what works at the bigger discussions and negotiations.

There are three key steps in negotiation skills.

1. Know your sales goals -

It’s very difficult to obtain what you want if you don’t know what it is or why you want it. For example, knowing where you want to go in your car provides the focus you need to get to where you are going. And despite this basic first step and how simple it may seem, many salespersons enter into the larger negotiations without knowing what it is they want and why. Remember, the sales process begins way before you have your first conversation with the potential client.

2. Do your research -

Justifying the price for anything from a new vehicle to a corporation becomes much easier if you can show the buyer the item is worth every penny they are about to spend on it.

This means you must be responsible for the research your potential clients don’t have time to do. By doing this, you make the decision to buy your product or services easy for them. Provide them with as much information as you can to justify why the decision you want them to make is the right one. Many potential clients are waiting for a salesperson to bring them an actionable solution to their problems. Do yourself and the potential client a favor, do all the legwork ahead of time. If all they have to do is sign on the dotted line after hearing your presentation, you are more likely to get that signature.