Imagine meeting a potential employee or contractor at a coffee shop. As you sit outside you watch them pull up in a dented rust-bucket that must have 400,000 miles on it. Your first impression is a question- is this person frugal, broke, or unsuccessful? There’s enough doubt in your mind that you decide you just don’t want to get involved and chance your business on this person who is a giant question mark.
Now imagine you’re the person showing up to the meeting, completely unaware that you blew it just by driving your old college beater. It turns out that first impressions are very important, and what you drive says a lot about who you are.
Celebrities know this as well, and they often choose a vehicle based on how it will enhance their public appearance. After all, they know the paparazzi are waiting for them everywhere they go and their car is going to get almost as much scrutiny as they do. Paris Hilton drives a pink Bentley GT Continental with a diamond encrusted dashboard, which is an ode to her own personal flashiness.
Chris Brown has an F-86 inspired Lamborghini Gallardo, which highlights his comfort with negative attention. Beyonce drives an elegant Rolls Royce, highlighting her status as the Queen B. Oprah Winfrey’s Tesla shows she isn’t trying to stand out because she has already made it, and now her biggest concern in life is her carbon footprint.
You don’t have to drive a Rolls Royce to adequately represent yourself, however. Being fuel efficient in a hybrid or even an electric car signal that you are responsible and socially conscious. And even if you do find you need to keep your old college beater, you can get it updated with a vehicle wrap in order to bring it into the modern era. It can even be a rolling billboard for your company!
There are some things in business on which you can skimp and some things on which you can’t. How you present yourself to the world and to your potential clients is crucial to how successful your business will become moving forward. Skip the free business cards, invest in a decent suit, and make sure that your vehicle is saying what you want it to say about you. After all, as the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.