The Enska say “The clothes make the man” could perhaps be considered a business truism or fundamental, and in no industry is this more evident than the consulting industry, where appearance and perception is everything.
advice sector relies heavily on the reputation regardless of size. Whether your business is a global big four, such as Deloitte or KPMG, slightly firm or boutique company, credibility and pipeline both depend on the success of your projects and the resulting positive brand reputation and profits that come from them.
Consider the legacy of Arthur Andersen, perhaps one of the finest examples of how reputation can make or break action. Andersen was known worldwide as a tier one consulting firms, and services to worldwide customers in all industries, ranging in size from SME market the Fortune 500. However, after the collapse of Enron was Andersen ended up in a scandal in which it was alleged that they tried to pervert the course of justice, by way of federal research and destroy evidence, to try to avoid criminal liability.
The perceived reputational damage created by study, Andersen customers fleeing in droves, seeking refuge in other, safer, audit institutions. Then, when the company was found guilty of dishonor, accounting company’s license was suspended and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs because no company would buy services from such a bad apple.
After all, what would the customers think?
The Andersen collapse shows that the perceived image of the company directly affects the acquisition, engagement and customer retention.
Today, large organizations advice utilize social media, YouTube, traditional media and commentary to change, features, and improve the perceived reputation. In layman’s terms, we call this “brand”.
As employees, when we visit customers, to represent the brand agency, and is a living example of business value, customer fulfillment and business professionalism. All these factors combine to create a psychological impact on customers, which ultimately will shape how they perceive both efficacy consultant, and quality of their institution.
As consulting manager, I have delivered services across many industries. In each, the business will be different expectations for professional standards of dress, caused by company values, reputation management, security or even culture. But despite these differentiators, consulting industry is a very different animal. When an external consultant comes to your site, whether an accountant or management consultant, the customer is looking for professional services business function that is either high risk, very complex or not fully understood. Therefore, a consultant is considered to problem solve, to be well-educated, highly articulate, and able to provide services that will be understood and championed all levels of the business from the coal-face worker manager.
In such a game, perception is everything. For that reason, in any other industry is how a person dresses and gifts important.
Traditional business attire is a must, and should also be taken to extremes. The “dark suit, dark tie” mentality of International Business Machines is probably the best starting point, however, known also pin stripe issue is perceived in organizational psychology showing both strength and traditionalism. So therefore, to provide a picture of traditional conservatism mixed with power, the consultant should be dark, three-piece, pin-stripe suit, preferably in black, navy or dark gray; stripe should not be confrontational and should be the only vertically, without supervision, and the width should be judged by the tailor to provide increased height perception.
Women should not wear pant suits, and should always there with a pencil skirt, dark pin-stripe suit, supported by natural or dark sheer stockings. Research suggests that male customers have significantly positive response to women in power when they are not trying to undermine the “perceived male power”. With an emphasis on femininity, are female consultants get more innate bias of human sexuality and physical attraction in reputation management game.
shirt or blouse should be white, crisp and ironed inside or for work. Coloured shirts should be avoided as they have a bias response compared colors. An inappropriate choice could consultant marked in different industries; for example, choose a pink shirt while working with the petrochemical or mining customer could easily have advisers labeled as gay. Such signals will then influence how the consultant, and also their work is perceived by the customer due to strong conservative bias that many employees in this blue collar industries hold.
Everyone must be conservative tie, with matching or contrasting pocket square, and all links should be a double Windsor knot. The tie will be worn under vests at all times, and the tip of the tie should not be visible at the base of the coat. Women may have an open-necked blouse, and need not be a volume
Shoes should be traditional, full leather, black and handmade quality. they must be worn with dark socks for men and sheer stockings for women. An excellent choice “Shoemaker men’s Crockett & Jones, from the UK, and women should consider Premier manufacturer like Ferragamo; women’s shoes’ will be high heeled in all cases and not support heel in excess of four inches, in cold climates, heeled shoes below the knee are permitted. Shoes should be considered a priority for more than 70% of customers generate value opinion based shoe quality when they first meet a person, therefore, shoes should also be maintained and kept very polished at all times. When damaged, shoes, either immediately repaired or replaced completely.
coats, gloves and outerwear will be dark in color and the traditional high value materials such as cashmere, the only exception to this rule is the traditional camel foreskin, which is also permitted. In colder climates, such as northern and eastern Europe, China or Canada, a lot of fashion length leather or furs are allowed. It should be noted, however, limit the use of full-length leather in men with Jewish customers, because the perception of leather and colloquial its connection with the Nazis. Furs should be limited to full length fashion in clothes, and may not be short fur jacket, which are often associated with evening wear. Outerwear also be removed upon arrival at the client, and suit jackets must be worn at all times, but can be unbuttoned for comfort.
Men and women can wear silk scarves of conservative color in cold climates, or can choose a fur scarf. Under no circumstances, however, fur scarves matched with fur coat.
Accessories are also a difference in the appearance of consultants and should be part of the standardization process in all companies. Under no circumstances should tier one adviser to wear or carry any product that is not natural material. All folders, luggage, briefcases, belts and wallets or other accessories should be made of leather, being dark in color, and made of premier brands such as Mont Blanc, Gucci or Louis Vuitton.
Jewellery is also an area where many candidates apply either too much or too little, to make the most useful customer impact. Advisors should limit jewelry to yellow, rose or white gold and should be more than two rings every time, this should be limited to engagement, wedding, gold ring and class ring only. Watches should always be worn on the left wrist, and must be able to fit under a shirt cuff when fitted with a cuff link. All clocks should be from tier one manufacturer such as, Omega, Panerai or IWC. On the right wrist bracelet a bangle or men is acceptable, again from yellow, rose or white gold only.
Finally, only women should wear earrings, they should be either single studs through the ear or small hoop style. Under no circumstances should other forms of body art, such as multiple piercings ear, face or body piercing or tattoo to be visible.
By utilizing this tier one dress follow, consultants will not only dress to impress, they will present to the impeccable standards expected of the big four, or management consultancy such as McKinsey.