Visual Perceptions can make or break you. One visual perception frequently overlooked is your car. I’m not suggesting you run out and purchase a BMW or Mercedes, but wouldn’t we all love to. What I am suggesting is you maintain your vehicle and keep it clean. This is especially important if you’re entertaining clients. The cleanliness of your car is a reflection of you and your business.
1. Keep both the inside and outside of your car clean at all times. If you don’t care about your car, why would your customer believe you are in tune to detail and take care of their account?
I remember visiting a company in Florida as a potential customer. They wanted to give me a tour of the company’s business locations, but when I went to get in the car, the seats and floor mats were covered in straw. Even though the company representative apologized profusely explaining he picked up straw for his children’s Halloween party the night before, I couldn’t help feeling as though I was sitting in dirt and dust wearing a designer suit. He did know in advance I would be traveling with him. Needless to say, that company did not receive my business.
2. Evaluate the situation. If you’re trying to close a big sale and your vehicle is not in good condition to transport your guests, consider renting a car for the evening.
3. Do not use your passenger seat or backseat for office storage. I know many business professionals spend a great deal of time on the road and need access to materials, but use the trunk. Also, keep the trunk well organized in case your client happens to see it while it is open.
An insurance professional once told me he was considering two highly qualified candidates for a promotion. He made his decision after viewing the organization of the contents in their car trunk.
4. Even if you do not entertain business clients, your boss sees your car in the parking lot everyday. Make a good impression.