Originally Posted by Costanza
The point of this thread approaches something I've been thinking about as I'm about to spend some dough: do you want to dress a lot 'better' than your prospective clients if the purpose in wearing a business suit is to go out and rustle up some business? I've got two distinct groups of 'prospects': Interior Designers and Leasing/Property Managers. The former are no problem as they are largely female. The latter is trickier as they are largely middle management males and tend to wear less than lovely stuff, while some of them are salemen and tend to be flashier dressers. Can you dress too well, or too conservatively, in these situations?
I was recently in Singapore where I ws hoping to be introduced to an important Japanese businessman who could help me with a specific commercial problem. Anyway, my friend, Tiro, who is a bank manager with UOB Bank in Singapore knows the guy and offers to set up a meeting. So-o-o-o-o, on the second day of my trip Tiro meets me at my Hotel for breakfast and says "sorry mate, tough titty, your Japanese contact does not want to meet with you because you are from Australia (and I am not actually from Australia!!!)" So I asked Tiro - "but why?" - and the reason was that the person is a prominent Japanese businessman in Singapore who has had a lot of experience with Australians and New Zealanders - all of whom think it is really great to dress as shitty as possible" for fear of becoming what they call "tall poppies" - which is actually just an weak excuse to behave like a mob of cheapskates really. So there I was, in Singapore, missing out on a great opportunity because of a bunch of cheapskates living in Oceania - I was not going to take that crap lying down just because a big bag of bums from Oceania don't know how to dress properly. Anyway, long story short, I finally convinced Tiro to talk the Japanese guy into having a coffee with us just for a brief meeting to find out what his issue was - so at the meeting my first angry question to the guy was to ask what the guy's problem was with "westerners" whom he felt he was too good to meet for business - Guess what his reply was, he said that as an Asian he brings to the task that measure of self respect and dignity to make certain that he is always spotlessly clean and impeccably well dressed, not as a token of his own arrogance, which is what Australians and New Zealanders seem so afraid of projecting, but he cleans himself up and dresses properly as a token of his respect and humility for OTHER people who have to put up with having to meet him!!!! He dresses up as a token of gratitude, a token of his respect for others! How weird is that??? He said that if certain European cultures (eg New Zealanders) can't bring to the task that same measure of self respect to clean and dress themselves properly, well then how the bloody hell did we expect him to expect people like us who show no self respect for ourselves to then show any respect for anybody else - including HIMSELF? Ipso facto, if we were going to show no respect for him, well then he was going to extend F-all respect for us either, which was why he refused to meet with me when he found out I was living in Australia. I dress properly in Singapore now, and anywhere in Asia where my business takes me. So the hell with what other people think, if you know how to dress properly, and you have the right gear, chrissakes, dress yourself properly then, and fuck everyone else!!!!!