The suits advisers should wear – Part 1

01 July 2022 Myra Knoesen

Michael Ferrera, a fashion designer and image consultant who holds licenses as an investment adviser says the image of a financial adviser has changed, but the business suit will always be a staple.

“There is an eternal question of what suit the financial adviser should wear and the answer is never the same. The reason it will change is that times change. Just as your portfolio strategy adapts to the times, so should you for your suits and style. However, there are some rules that will keep you on top of the game when meeting with clients,” says Ferrera.

The suits you wear, Ferrera says, should change depending on the type of meeting you are having.

It is about color

“The colors you wear play a significant role in the impression people receive. You must use this to your advantage. The suits you wear on first, second and subsequent meetings should be strategic in your consulting and sales process,” continues Ferrera.

“The color for your first meeting suit should be in the area of navy blue or medium to light grey. Why? Theses colors put your client or prospect in a position to be more open and share information with you. Blue and grey suits and jackets give a welcoming presence and openness when paired with a light blue, white or a light-colored shirt. This positions your potential client’s mind and they do not even know it, which is vital to your strategy as a financial adviser. The more information you know about the client the more valuable you can be to their financial wellbeing. This is all strategically done by using the appropriate colors to control your meeting. Hues of navy blue or greys are the key to positioning success in the first meeting,” says Ferrera.

“Interestingly, the suit you should wear during the second meeting is the reverse of the color you wore the first time, but still staying in the same grey to navy blue range. You are still priming your client’s mind for the professional relationship you are establishing. At the beginning of the relationship, you are learning from them, but they are also measuring you. They are learning your communication style, the meeting flow, the investment options you can offer, and the way you present yourself as a financial adviser. When you give a strong professional image from the start, your clients will know what to expect. This will also create an easier opportunity for you to be casually dressed in the future when appropriate since they have already been primed with your standard image,” continues Ferrera.

“Lastly, with the third, fourth and subsequent meetings, it is more important for you to stay consistent in your professional image to continue strengthening your relationship with your client. Rather than the importance of suit color, the colors you wear in your accessories, ties, pocket squares, lapel pins and so on will be more valuable. However, avoid tan, light brown and other light-colored suits, and maybe black as well, until after the fourth or fifth meeting with the same client. These color suits can come off too casual and should be used when you have a good relationship with the client,” emphasizes Ferrera.

In part two we take a look at the importance of accessorizing.


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