I was asked recently if I'd thought of chatting with people in a networking meeting situation, being a bit more pro-active in my approach, and asking if they'd be open to a bit of feedback regarding their image/style/personal brand. I recoiled in horror! This is just not my way at all...I'm more about getting to know my client first, their likes, dislikes etc so that any advice I give is more likely to be taken. it reminded me of this story...
I met a lady one time called Kate who was presenting at a conference I was at. She’s a very successful businesswoman in her field and is an inspirational author and speaker. She refers to herself as a fat lass with a laptop and a pack of tarot cards – it’s tongue in cheek, I don’t sense any confidence issues. (But who knows?)
Anyway, she told me that one time when she was presenting somewhere an image consultant had approached her at the end of her talk and said something like ‘You know what would suit you better? A wrap dress.’ I would call this uninvited ‘style advice’ downright rude! She knows how to ingratiate herself with people – not. This is the type of person that gives colour and image consultants a bad reputation as being judgemental fashion police types.
Being kind, I would like to think that this woman thought she was being helpful by sharing some of her styling knowledge and passing on free advice. She was giving away something that she would normally charge for and I expect she was keen to demonstrate and share her expertise with a view to gaining a new client. In truth I think this was quite presumptuous.