Men, first impressions DO count. We DO judge a book by it’s cover; when last did you read a book in a bookstore before purchasing it? So what impression do you make when people first meet you?

If you’re selling business opportunities, investments, or professional products, this applies. Not if you’re flogging pot or lawnmowers or building supplies.

If you smell of tobacco or alcohol, or worse still, weed, shoot yourself now. Or wet dog. If you’re covered in cat or dog fur or sport dandruff on your collar, or if you don’t trim your hair, beard, or those horrific ear and nostril hairs, the only people you will impress are people like yourself. If you wear jeans or pants with threadbare bottoms, or suits that have worn shiny over time, or your shirts are not ironed, you’re going to recruit losers.

Check your fingernails. If you reek of aftershave or eat like a pig, stuffing your mouth and eating with it full of food, or handling your fork like a spoon or a pitchfork, you will lose credibility with cultured people. If you don’t drink alcohol or curse, you’re five steps ahead. Always be better dressed than your prospect. If you’re offering wealth and success, you had better look like you personally enjoy wealth and success, or you will be deemed a conman. And ponytails appeal to a very tiny proportion of people. Most will think you’re trying to compensate for something or you’re never grown up.

Oh, and yes, you will be judged by whatever female you bring to a meeting. If she looks like a slut, talks like a slut, acts like a slut, or smells like a slut, you’re done. If she’s 20 years younger than you and she’s not your daughter, watch out.

If you don’t have a role model, consider modeling successful accountants and lawyers. Be a gentleman. The way you treat any female with you will be carefully observed by astute people, too.

As far as talking or laughing too much or too loudly, that is usually seen as insecurity and fear. And watch your body language carefully, too. And your LinkedIn and Facebook photos and posts will also be carefully perused by smart people before they even meet you. If they see pictures of you falling around in pubs and your posts indicate “loser,” don’t even bother to show up at that meeting. And tattoos and piercings? Give me a break. Do you honestly think Donald Trump would have his nose pierced and sport a tattoo on his arm?

Your binders, bag, pens, papers, documents, notebooks, shoes, watch, jewelry – everything is taken in, consciously or subconsciously, within seconds by the people you meet, and they WILL judge you during that time. It will be very hard to come back from a bad first impression, because first impressions are lasting impressions.

Be calm, confident, relaxed, alert, a good listener, and well informed.

Finally, ladies, if you’re hooking up with a man and you sell professional products or business opportunities or investments, and he doesn’t conform to the above, hide him away from your prospects.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com