Auto Industry 'Uniforms'?

Anne Shaneen

I came across an interesting article the other day that piqued my interest and got me thinking. It was an article from a consultant who broke down how much he was being offered for his consulting services based off of what he was wearing at the time.

Maybe you've heard of the guy? Neil Patel? He's a self-described t-shirt and jeans kind of a guy, but when he went to conferences and to drum up business, he was barely getting any serious offers. So, he went out and spent a good chunk of change on a couple nice pieces of clothing and sure enough, he started closing more and at higher percentages. 

He brought up a good point about an industry 'uniform'. Not all industries have prescribed uniforms, but when you go to a lawyer's office, you expect a certain decorum. 


With that said, what do you think the 'uniform' is for an auto salesperson? I know there's obviously one for a service tech, but does your dealership have a specific dress code? Do you feel it rings true to the perception of what a car salesperson should look like? If not, what should a car salesperson look like? Business casual? Business formal?

Chris K Leslie

We have a dresscode for all of our dealerships. It's pretty simple. Our shirts are provided to us. Polo for summer and button shirts for winter. 

For pants we ask people where khakis or slacks and for shoes they can either be white sneakers or dress shoes. Sneakers are only ok in the summer too. 

In additon to your points above it also ensures that a customer can easily spot someone who works here from someone who doesn't.

Clint Jones

We used to do the khakis, dress shoes, and dress shirts that were embroidered with our company logo.  Over time, we went to NICE jeans, dress shoes, and the same shirts.

I have been giving serious consideration to going back to the khakis.  I believe what the consultant guy is saying.  I am sure it does make a difference.  

Customers say that they like the "layed back" vibe of the store with the jeans and such, but I am not sure that I buy it.  I really don't see a customer being turned off by khakis.

Chris K Leslie

I think you kind of have to go with whatever works in your area. I mean suits and ties probably are going to do well  in rural parts of nevada for example. But I think at any business the people who work their should dress just 1 step up from their average customer. 

Anne Shaneen

All good points. I think the overall 'feel' of your dealership comes into play, too. If you're at a dealership who's whole message revolves around being casual and 'laid back', then a polo t-shirt and jeans may be the best uniform - say for maybe a Subaru dealership. But for a Mercades Benz dealer, I'd expect the salespeople to be in full business formal dress - nice blouses and skirts or slacks for the women, and business suits for the guys. 

mark rask

We are doing the khakis/dress pants and company polo shirt thing.....we are about to open a high line store and the dress code at that store will reflect that

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