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The ConsumHERist: Cleanliness is Next to Salesmanship

Posted on | June 18, 2008 | 1 Comment

By, Delia Passi

I recently had the occasion to visit a local tire dealer to buy a new set of tires. The counter person was pleasant enough, the price was reasonable, and once I paid they set about working on installing my tires. It was going to take the better part of an hour so I looked for a place and a way to occupy myself.

They had a nice sitting area with the day’s newspaper, a decent assortment of magazines, somewhat stale coffee in the coffeemaker (it was late morning so I can forgive that), and a television tuned to CNN Headline News. They got decent points from me at this point.

Then I decided to use their bathroom. Ugh!

The quality of the fixtures rivaled those of your typical roadside gas station, circa 1955. This bathroom was apparently used by all the mechanics as well as customers, and it was dingy, grimy, devoid of any niceties and totally unacceptable. All the other positive feelings I had for this experience were washed away. Or maybe flushed away.

It is important for any business that receives customers, especially women customers, to attend to appearances. Women can make sweeping judgments about your concern for her based on many elements of the experience, and cleanliness is a very important one.

You may not anticipate that customers will use your bathroom, but the occasion will arise and the impression it gives will make a difference in how your customer thinks you feel about them.

Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you don’t normally enter through the customer entrance, then do so. Take a look around. Try to see it as your customer does. Is it neat, tidy and organized? Is it clean? Could it use a new coat of paint? Paint doesn’t last forever.

And while you’re at it, take a look at yourself and your customer facing employees. Do you allow them to look unkempt or sloppy? Do you continue to wear that favorite tie or shirt even though it has a barely visible stain? Trust me, she’ll see it, and take away points for it.

Because you want her to tell her friends, associates and family what a great place yours is to buy from, you should make an effort to raise your standards of appearance. If she likes being in your place of business she won’t mind sending someone else there.

Next: That’s My Boy!

attachment-1.jpegDelia Passi, Founder of WomenCertified® and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women is a regular columnist on eBrandMarketing. Want my take? Email me and visit my sites,


One Response to “The ConsumHERist: Cleanliness is Next to Salesmanship”

  1. Holly Buchanan
    June 24th, 2008 @ 11:21 am

    I’ve always thought you could tell a lot about a person by their bathroom – same is true in a personal and a professional setting.

    Maybe it’s more of a woman thing, but I couldn’t agree more, nothing tanks my opinion of an establishment like a dirty restroom.

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