You should take a shower

As a marketing consultant, I’m frequently called upon to implement programs requiring writers, designers, illustrators, photographers, and other sub-contractors.

And because I get called in to strategize and service every imaginable industry, I need a deep bench of talent. Therefore, I’m always searching for new additions to my stable.

To ensure quality control, I typically meet potential service providers before hiring them. I do this not only to confirm their abilities, but also to determine chemistry in our working relationship.

As the gatekeeper, I need to verify these vendors have the right personality for working directly with my clients.

So when I was introduced to a reputedly talented photographer, I met him for coffee…and immediately decided not to hire him.

Mom always told me that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and this guy’s first impression was one of pungency.

Yup…he needed a shower. BADLY!

Okay, I understand not all cultures see the need to bathe daily. Furthermore, it was his camera and his eye that I’d be hiring…not his scent.

And if I was certain he’d never meet my client, I’d have held my own nose and hired him. I mean, this guy was GOOD!

Yet despite his obvious talent, I feared for the inevitable face-to-face. Should it happen, my client’s delicate sensibilities would almost certainly be offended by this man’s body odor.

So my dilemma became choosing between a talented photographer sure to chase away my client or finding another supplier. I opted for the latter.

As I see it, in addition to protecting my client, I’m also protecting my own interests. A great deal of work goes into new business development, and relinquishing control on the hope that a vendor will bathe that morning is just too risky for my tastes.

Truth be told, to me there’s little more offensive than body odor. In my world, working side-by-side with someone who smells bad can be nauseating.

And while I’d never tell someone how to live their life, I’m certainly not the only one who reacts this way.

Suggesting that if you’re not a daily bather and want to sell more, you might want to re-examine your morning regimen.

Look at it as an exercise in cleaning up your bottom line.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Make your marketing smell sweeter at

2 Replies to “You should take a shower

  1. I agree with you on this statement. However, why not suggest the (smelly) candidate be advised of his offense? He could certainty learn (if he choses to) from such an observation. He’ll hear it from someone else at some point anyway. Why not advise your client regarding the risk your client faces if your client decides to hire this obvious talent? I guess I’m just tired of people not hiring very talented individuals for reasons that the candidates were never advised of. If the man was of another “culture,” as you mentioned, it may even more important to help assimilate the candidate , and others similar, into our culture. Especially if your statements were broadly broadcast! No? Response to the Pomerado Newspaper Group edition of 8/15/19.

    1. You make a very legitimate point, and perhaps I was being unfair. Yet I’ve seen similar situations where someone was advised they needed a shower, only to have it devolve into bad language and harsh words. In situations like that, the easiest solution (and best use of my time) appeared to be walking away.

      As a business owner, my first loyalty is to my client and my business. I would argue that it’s not my job to educate every potential supplier about social norms he may not be aware of…beyond a little friendly advice in a newspaper column.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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