The statement your car makes

Regular readers know I gave my daughter my 2002 Saturn. Despite having 142,000 miles on it, it ran well and was paid for.

My bride persuaded me it didn’t adequately broadcast my success. My new Honda Civic better reflects who I am, suggesting the importance of public image.

I admit it; she was right and I was wrong. It reminded me how my mom admonished me that nobody wants to buy from you when your shoes have worn-down heels or your jacket’s fraying.

A car is both an extension of your personality and a symbol of your success. But if you’re looking to sell your home and are debating between two realtors, are you more likely to choose the guy in the new BMW or the 1973 Pinto?

I suggest you’ll choose the BMW driver, reflecting your belief he’s successful and your desire to be connected to that success.

Still, not all old cars signal frugality or lack of success. My driving a DeLorean would probably elicit jealousy.

So…does driving a Bentley project an image of extreme success, or generate a “Thurston Howell III” effect? You’re probably okay if you’re selling to the Rancho Santa Fe crowd, but most people will probably not relate.

Southern California’s car culture demands your automobile reflect your achievement, but within reason. My new Honda makes a better, albeit modest, statement about my being good at my craft.

And how do you balance appearing successful and relatable? Take a good look at your customers to see what they drive, and take your cue from them.

A great place to start is with your customer’s profile in your business plan. What do they buy from you, what’s their average sale, and where do they live? Examine their income and demographics, then find a balance point between conservative and flashy that will help customers recognize you as one of their own.

For two reasons this is good to remember this time of year. New car models are being sold, and you’re plotting your growth strategies for 2019 and beyond.

So consider to whom you’re selling to improve your chances of projecting a relatable image. This, in turn, will make you more likable and trustworthy.

And, as we all know, people buy from people they know, like and trust.

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

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