‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is the age old proverb that we all secretly ignore. Particularly in the professional realm, appearances are vital to portray the right message of your company. From our office space and dress code to the car we drive to important meetings. It’s all taken into consideration.

What do you think your clients see when they look at you?

Despite the sharp suit and firm handshake, perhaps they saw you park up just before your meeting. Our outfits are easier to control, but in most cases, the company car isn’t. Whilst you might have gone for the most cost effective option, you may find that it doesn’t exactly have the professional look you were going for. So, what does your company car really say about you?

Energy efficient

Buying or hiring a green car can show that your company is not only ethical, but also takes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) seriously. It would be rather awkward if your firm constantly preached the importance of energy efficiency, only for the managing director to turn up to a meeting in a Hummer.

For clients who perhaps aren’t moved by your environmental ethics, they will at least be able to see that you’re true to your word and aren’t just spouting an eco-friendly business stance in order to create a more amiable image.

Fast and flashy

Do you really need a speedy motor for work? Even if you’re running late, British roads don’t allow you to exceed certain limits and surely you wouldn’t speed, would you?

Having a speedy sports car for your company could make clients question where their money is going. If you’re making heaps of profit and they see you buzzing around in a flashy car, they may feel as if they’re being cheated out of money.

Of course, you shouldn’t hide your success, but you certainly shouldn’t rub it in your clients’ faces either.

Clapped out motor

Rusty and unreliable, your clients won’t want to see you driving an old banger that might not even make it to meetings. It’s not the most professional image to portray, is it? If you’ve gone for the cheapest option, you might find it’s not the most cost effective.

Imagine driving to an important pitch, only to break down half way there. Your clients rely on your services and failure to turn up on time shows them that they can’t lean on you like they thought they could.

You only get one opportunity to make a first impression on your clients, so make sure the vehicle that you choose reflects you in a positive light.

By Gregory Allen-Smith, C&A Mackie