Customers Smell and Judge You

“Ya know what I do almost every day? I wash. Personal hygiene is part of the package with me” – Jim Carrey

In some form or another people are judging you and you will make their decision to buy or not buy the product or service.

A little under a month ago I was shopping for some new clothes in Melbourne and had visited the local DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) hoping to snare a bargain. The DFO above Southern Cross Station in Melbourne is on of the largest DFO’s I know and is wall to wall with clothes, electronics and accessories from some of the biggest brands. It is simply a shoppers heaven and if you had a few dollars and enough time it is a fantastic place to stock up your wardrobe… but I had a problem. No I had plenty of money and I snuck in during late night trade on a Thursday, it was the sales assistant.

You see the fine young man representing ________ (and company name isn’t really important) sold me on the reasons not to shop here.


Messy hair, unshaven, disinterested and poor body odor were just some of the many traits he brought to work this Thursday afternoon. As I browsed the racks of clothes in the store I was approached by the said gentlemen who either ran a marathon prior to work or had not had a shower for days. Either way he had a pungent odor which I wanted nothing to do with, however; being his only customer at the time I was his primary focus (and his way to ensure a sales bonus). I was followed around the store as he attempted to engage me into a conversation. Have you ever had to talk to someone that had poor body odor? I don’t know about you but I look for any excuse to exit stage left!

It makes me sad to think that sometimes people are just not aware of their implications to a buyer. He would not have woken up this morning and purposely thought “I’m going to piss off a few people and ladies don’t think you are safe from this because more often enough you are in the opposite side of the scale. Over powering perfume and too much make-up makes me lose respect for you.

So instead of me telling you what not to do, let me give you some tips to ensure all of your conversations are the best they can be;

  • Dress neutral. You might think what you wearing is normal, however; in another persons world it is unprofessional
  • Keep your hair a natural colour and avoid hair styles and colours
  • Men – be clean shaven and moustaches/beards should be trimmed
  • Women – one pair of earrings (men should avoid earrings)
  • Reapply deodorantregularly if required
  • Keep jewelry basic (one watch, one ring, one necklace)
  • Smokers should use breath mints after smoking
  • Remove facial piercings (nose, eyebrow, tongue, lip)
  • Ensure your clothes are washed and ironed
  • Cover tattoos

If you choose not to take my advice that is OK. Just remember that the people you talk to have a different perception of ‘normal’ and even though piercings and tattoos are socially accepted, some of the older generations still may perceive you as a degenerate. YOU make the choice to make your job a little harder through pre-judgement and if you are cool with that, then so am I… but I know what it is like to be in those shoes. In my early twenties I had ear stretchers, eyebrow piercing, tongue piercing and facial hair in a sales job.

Below is a photo with one of my closest friends David as he drinks his drink with a straw through my ear hole (I did say I had ear stretchers)



  1. This is the same with my workplace/industry. We are told a good clean looking workshop and clean work reflects a good image of the company.

    No one wants there car worked on in a pigsty of a workshop.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s