Dealership Dress Codes

Ron Henson
What is the dress code at your dealership? Do you think it matters to the customers? Does it vary by geographic location? Shirts & ties / Dresses & Skirts? Logo polo shirts? Even more casual?
Lauren Moses
Ron, can always count on you for great forums! I whole heartedly think that it has all to do with Geographic location. Lord knows that our jeans and cowboy boots wouldn't fly in New York, actually most places now that I think about it. But it is really what our community has come to know us by. We are required to look good, no wrinkles, clean clothes, hair at least not all a mess. We tend to dress nicer during the week then jeans on Friday and Saturday.
Dustin Lyons
The dress code that we had was shirt and ties during the winter months, and logo polos and slacks in the summer months. I think that looking good and professional is important and that customers do appreciate it, and it does show the customers who the employees are however I do recommend "dressing your brand". In other words, if you are at a dealership with a mainstream brand like Toyota, Honda, Ford Etc... and your customers are coming in dressed more casually then a more casual dress is probably appropriate because wearing a suit and tie may make the customers feel a bit uncomfortable, and underdressed. It also doesn't help closing the gap between salesperson and customer and doesn't help with rapport and creating common ground. Of course if you are at a high end store, and your clients are mostly well dressed professionals etc... then wearing a suit and tie would probably be a better choice. It just comes down to you wanting to look good and professional, but also making things as comfortable for your customers as well. Comfortable happy customers that can relate to their salesperson are more likely to open up and more likely to purchase.
Ron Henson
And I can always count on you for great participation Lauren! I tend to agree that location dictates dress code standards in many cases. I spend a lot of time with 20 Groups and it is interesting that the dealers in the groups have the same tendencies. Some will be in jacket & tie, some in dress shirt without a tie, and some in t-shirts and shorts. Granted, a 20 Group meeting is a much different environment than a dealership, but the diversity within is a good indicator.
Ron Henson
Great points Dustin! I agree that the brand being sold also influences the required attire. I don't think that Wrangler jeans would fly at a Lexus or BMW store, but they sure would at a rural domestic store, and even many metro stores.
Lauren Moses
Wranglers and a white Wrangler button down shirt, with a black leather vest, and cowboy hat are ALL that our owner wears. It is in their grand opening picture and he still wears it to this day. The only time you can catch him out of that is when he is going to play in a golf tournament. Brand does influence it a lot. Wee have Buick and GMC, but we sell more GMCs. We are definitely in truck territory, so there fore the more laid back dress code does make customers more relaxed. A lot has to not only do with the dress code but also the sales persons attitude. You can have someone who dresses to the nine's but don't feel very good about themselves, they will portray that and it does make customers a little uneasy (or it does me), but you can have someone who dresses to the ones...and feels like they are wearing Armoni, same effect, it turns off the customer.

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