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Look too young? Any Suggestions?

Okay I am in swimming pool sales in Texas. I started my business a few years back and have been doing fairly well. Here is my problem. I am 29 which is not overly young BUT I look a lot younger. As far as personal presentation here goes: I am there on time, pressed clothes heck even my vehicle is spotless. I sell enough to meet my overhead and a little extra but I feel like I am losing the big ticket pools because of this. Am I crazy? - by jvoyles
I don't know anything about swimming pool sales or how young you look but I have seen many salespeople from various industries ask this same question. I've also seen the opposite, "I'm too old". In general, more likely than not the challenge is yours alone. Chances are good that your perception is the culprit not your customers. - by Liberty
How to look older:

Squirt out a few kids, start smoking, drink whiskey each day, come home and lay around on the couch, sit in the sun and get that "dry" look, eat fast food each meal. Don't worry, you will be looking much better very soon! :)

Poor dear, you look too young. Never thought I'd hear that one! Lucky YOU! If it bothers you that much tell your customers in light conversation and assure them it's not a big deal. Make jokes about it! Lighten the situation. Tell them about your accomplishments and your passion for your business.

Hey, show us some pics!! ;) - by EyeCandy
How to look older:

Squirt out a few kids, start smoking, drink whiskey each day, come home and lay around on the couch, sit in the sun and get that "dry" look, eat fast food each meal. Don't worry, you will be looking much better very soon! :)

Poor dear, you look too young. Never thought I'd hear that one! Lucky YOU! If it bothers you that much tell your customers in light conversation and assure them it's not a big deal. Make jokes about it! Lighten the situation. Tell them about your accomplishments and your passion for your business.

Hey, show us some pics!! ;)
Actually I've got a two kids. Not much work on my side of that equation I'm afraid. ;bg
Actually I realize after reading your post how my original sounds. That was not my intent. :bl

Take it easy
-J - by jvoyles
J,

I don't think looking too young is a silly thing to worry about. I think there is age discrimination on some people's part - for both young and old. And, if you're seeing a trend of not closing the big jobs, and you think your age might be part of the issue, that could very well be valid.

I'd work to counter that possibility without making a big deal out of it. Do you have all the trappings of a company? A business line that is answered professionally (by a person or machine) in your absence? A business address? Professionally designed business cards and brochures?

Do your brochures include comments or testimonials from previous clients? If not, put together some questions and get some prior clients to answer them for you. Make sure to include questions that address issues like what did you think of J's level of professionalism, skill, customer service, on-time delivery, and all the kinds of things that indicate a well-run company.

Do you talk about your past successes? Why did you get into the pool business - is there anything in your background that contributes to your ability to get jobs done that you can stress?

If you have lost bids to competitors, do some research on your competitors. Were you competitive with price and turnaround? Are there other things you could be doing, besides getting older, to win the business? ;bg

Just some thoughts - hope it's helpful.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
I have the exact same problem. When I gradute from my college in May I'll be 22. I'm going to start working at a car dealership in July and I look VERY young. Though I am 22 and have the mindset and work ethic of a very motivated sales person, my apperance sometimes will set people a bit off. I can honestly say that I have had customers in my previous job, I sold watches when I was in High School and college for SEIKO, tell me that I looked 16 when I was 20. It's almost heartwrenching to hear someone say that, but as long as you know what you're selling and can provide the information they need to like you and your product, you'll do fine. I realized that after working my sales job that when I dressed nicer than the rest of my cowokers I was