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Have you ever been treated with less respect than you should be given? Did you ever have people waste your time or keep you waiting unnecessarily? Did you answer "Yes" to either of these questions? If so, you may be surprised to learn that your appearance could have something to do with it.

Emails, newsletters, chores, bills, and our jobs demand more and more of our time. As a result, we become particularly annoyed when our time is wasted. "Can't they see I'm in a hurry," we grumble. But everyone else is in a hurry, too, so why should you be given deferential treatment? You may secretly be thinking, "Don't they know I've got important things to do? They're definitely more important things than those other people have to do."

An image consultant would deduct that you might not look important enough. In today's business casual world, we often look more like we're ready for a weekend getaway - or retirement. Think about it, if you saw a distinguished-looking business professional who was obviously an important person, would you keep him or her waiting? Would you be disrespectful? Chances are you wouldn't. Often, we treat important people with more respect, and the service they receive is of higher regard.

If you‘re not getting treated like a V.I.P., then change your image. It could be that the missing ingredient is right there in your closet! However, it's not your jogging suit or comfy Bermuda shorts.

Clients of mine report that changing their image results in "overnight" and dramatic differences in the way they are treated at the grocery store, the drugstore, and the up market boutique - not just at work. They are suddenly given deferential treatment and increased respect. Instead of being treated like "everyone else", they get "noticed"

Do you ever wonder what would make it immediately obvious to others that you are important? Take a look at the basic ingredients:

1. Look as polished and professional as possible – from head to toe.
2. Messy hair, in particular, will prevent you from looking important.
3. Wear authoritative or bold clothing and colors. Darker colors give more authority, for example, than pale colors; and stylish-looking suits immediately suggest clout.
4. Women: wear bolder earrings and other accessories. Remember, you want to look like you are going to a board meeting rather than a bridge game.
5. Stand tall and erect. Good posture implies that you are a person of "stature."
6. Assume the attitude and persona of a VIP, because you know you look like one!

So, before your next trip to the grocery store, don't go in your usual T-shirt and jeans. Instead, put on your best face and your best suit and see what happens. Going on a business trip? Don't wear your usual jogging attire. Instead, dress up as if you were going straight to the office and see what happens. When I'm "dressed", I always receive superb service. In contrast, I'm totally ignored when my attire is too casual.

During a recent overseas flight, I asked the flight attendant for a glass of champagne. She replied that it was not available in tourist class. Then, she immediately re-considered and said, "Wait just a minute. I'll get you some from first class." She brought me not one, but two glasses of champagne. I can only assume she thought I looked important enough to fulfill my request!

Do you have a wish you would like to have met? Cinderella had her wish fulfilled when she changed her image. But you don't need to have a Fairy Godmother to get your requests fulfilled. Just make sure you look like a VIP by revving up your image.

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