Business Guides

The Small Investment that Pays a Big Return

The Small Investment that Pays a Big Return

January 20, 2015

by Dan Solin

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Have you ever noticed that male news anchors at the major networks wear similar clothes? They wear perfectly fitted suits in dark, neutral colors (deep blue, charcoal gray or black), white or blue shirts with spread collars, and muted ties of high quality. The overall look is elegant and understated.

TV news anchors are often ranked based on their Q scores, a measure of “likability.” A recent survey gave the highest Q score to Scott Pelley at CBS Evening News, followed by Anderson Cooper, Lara Logan and Brian Williams. Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, came in last.

Importance of likability

In a previous article, I discussed the importance of likability and how it positively correlates to success in sales. If you haven’t read this article by Michael Lovas, a consultant specializing in the financial industry, I highly recommend it. “If your target market does not like you, they will not hire you,” Lovas observes. If you are not likable, according to Lovas, 83% of people will also perceive you as untrustworthy.

Follow the lead of TV anchors

Television anchors have discovered something that has eluded many financial advisors, both male and female. The clothing you wear has a significant impact on whether you will be perceived as likable and trustworthy.

There is a “uniform” that maximizes a favorable impression on the likability and trustworthy scale. It is not to look “average” or just “okay.” The goal is to look stunning. This means allocating an appropriate amount of the funds in your marketing budget to your wardrobe.

Budget to dress for success

Registered investment advisor firms spend, on average, 2% of their total revenue on marketing and business development. On $1 million of revenue, that is $20,000 a year to spend on marketing.

There are many vendors competing for your marketing dollars. These include coaches, trainers, social-media consultants, web designers and others. I urge you to take 25% of your marketing budget (think of that as a minimum of $5,000 a year) and invest in your wardrobe.

If you are starting from scratch, this budget will permit you to easily purchase one great outfit to use exclusively when meeting with prospects and clients. The goal is to build up your wardrobe gradually so that you will eventually have at least five terrific outfits.

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