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By Eric Barker
April 16, 2015
IDEAS
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Research shows you should either:

1) Dress formally or,

2) Dress like they do:

Via The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism:

In the 1970s, when young adults’ dress styles tended to fall into either the “hippie” or the “straight” category, researchers experimented with the effects of clothing choice. They approached college students on a campus, sometimes wearing hippie clothes and other times wearing straight clothes, and asked for change to make a phone call. When they were dressed in the same style as the student, the student said yes two-thirds of the time. When they were dressed in the opposite style, the student said yes less than half the time.

One company that understood this principle and used it to its advantage was American Express. They made their first good move when they started sending their salespeople to college campuses dressed like college students. They then went one step further. They didn’t just dress them like students, they hired students. And that’s when they saw their sales rates soar.

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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

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