Advertising executives are in the business of selling image. As such, they must present themselves to potential clients in a confident, successful manner that conveys an air of trust, prosperity and professionalism. Dressing like an advertising executive means selecting clothing and accessories that establish you as an effective, high-energy personality who can make things happen in a sales arena.

Develop a High Quality Appearance

Clients buy advertising because they want to make money selling their products and services. To dress like an advertising executive means that you project an image of quality, and to some extent, of wealth. Select tailored, high-quality clothing items, including tailored suits, dress shoes, and accessories such as leather brief cases or portfolios. If you can’t afford a full wardrobe of the “real thing,” select a few well-made core pieces that you can pair with lesser-value pieces, or look for quality imitations.

Add Bling

Advertising customers want to see a bit of flash and pizzazz, so add color or unique touches to your wardrobe choices. A colorful silk tie or scarf, custom cuff links, or an unusual jewelry piece will establish you as someone different who thinks outside the box, and can bring that same type of attention to a client’s advertising portfolio. Avoid wardrobe choices that are drab or poorly made, or that lack personality. The customer will see your advertising abilities as lacking luster as well.

Groom Appropriately

While you don’t want to come across as a “slick” ad salesperson, you should give careful attention to your personal grooming and present a polished look from head to toe. Choose a classic haircut and style. Maintain a good manicure, and don’t overuse fragrance. You want potential clients to see you as a “total package,” which will build their confidence in your ability to present their company to the public in an equally effective manner.

Represent the Client’s Industry

There are a few exceptions to dressing in full advertising professional mode at all times, and that’s when you are making a sales call to an extremely casual or outdoor-based business. You won’t be perceived as a super-bright go-getter if you arrive at a muddy construction site wearing high heels or expensive Italian loafers. Use common sense when calling on clients, and tailor your look to best represent the company you’re pitching. It’s still important to dress in a polished and professional manner, but it’s equally important for prospects to see you as someone who understands their business and can represent it effectively.