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Dec 7, 2008 2:51 am

I'm not made of money just yet so I still drive a 2002 Ford Escort and door knocking is right around the corner. I'm thinking until I can afford to buy something new I'll hide my car in the bushes and walk a little bit to where I'll be targeting my prospecting activities. My Escort is very well maintained but it's...well.....just an Escort. I don't want to cause potential clients to think I'm a crappy FA predicated on my used four-banger when they think a successful FA should be driving something a little nicer. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Anyone else drive a beater early in their door knocking days?

Dec 7, 2008 4:55 am

I would think the car is up there with the other "playing the part" gadgets like the nice cuff links and the Rolex.  Then, again, some probably actually CAN afford it.

Dec 7, 2008 5:37 am

Thanks for the info. My car's not necessarily a piece of junk it's just an inexpensive ride. My 2002 Escort is a very modest 4 cylinder car and I was just curious as to whether experienced FAs have been scrutinized to the level that the public picked at what they drove that day and if it really affected their production. I felt that I had the ability to be discrete in regard to what I drive anyway because I'll park in a low visibility area and walk a few dozen extra yards to where I'll be door knocking. No biggie.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I do like the economical, environmentally friendly American made vehicle idea. Very nice.

Dec 7, 2008 8:36 am

Make sure you flush the toilet after [email protected]#ing before work, don’t want to affend any prospects.

Dec 7, 2008 2:18 pm

I would not write a check and invest with anyone driving an escort - how in the world would he manage my money if he can’t his own would be my first thought.

 When you drive up to a business and the owner looks out the window he is already starting to form his opinion and probably thinks you are there to sell bathroom cleaners … not investment advice.  I’ve seen alot of people comment on nice cars … never on junkers, so you might not have a chance to give the “american” speech.

If you live in a more urban area where you can “hide” the car I’d think it would become less of an issue.

Dec 7, 2008 3:00 pm

I built my career while driving a crappy car.  I bought it for cash as a demo model when I first started.  I drove it until it wouldn't go anymore.  I kept wanting it to fall apart, so that I could buy a new one.  Instead, every time that it broke down, it was cheap to repair.  By the time that I could no longer justify putting any more money into it, we had young kids with more on the way and a minivan was a necessity.  I paid cash for a used minivan for my wife and I have ever since had the "pleasure" of driving her old car which now has in the neighborhood of 200,000 miles and is in no danger of dying anytime soon.

We all get decisions on how to spend our money.  I could afford to buy a nice new car every year.  Instead, I'll be paying 6 figures in private schoold tuition.    The point is that your car won't make a difference.
Dec 7, 2008 6:29 pm

I would see it as a good characteristic. You’re expecting people to trust you with managing your money. If you drive an economical car then you’re keeping costs down and not wasting your money or your clients’. 

Dec 7, 2008 7:03 pm

your car will not make a difference. but many of the new fa’s who were doorknocking while i was at jones would park a few blocks away from their intended target area for this same reason. really makes no difference, but if it helps you overcome the anxiety you will feel the 1st week or so, do it. bottom line is, do what works.

in the midwest, where i live, most of the top earning advisors i know do not drive flashy cars. and by flashy, i mean anything over the cost of a chevy tahoe, gmc yukon, or lexus 330.

Dec 7, 2008 8:20 pm

You’re doorknocking.  Not only that but you’re doorknocking prospects DURING MARKET HOURS telling them you can help them with their investments.  I don’t think you’ll have to worry about prospects wondering if you’re broke or not.

Dec 7, 2008 8:48 pm

I heard this story about a business doorknocker.  (I know the guy and he is now hugely successful, but I don't know if the story is true.)    He drove his car to the bus stop.   He only brought enough money for bus fare.  He took the bus a couple of miles.  He got off and door knocked his way back to the car.  It forced him to do what needed to be done.

Dec 7, 2008 10:05 pm

That is a great story!

Dec 7, 2008 10:15 pm

You’re doorknocking. Not only that but you’re doorknocking prospects DURING MARKET HOURS telling them you can help them with their investments. I don’t think you’ll have to worry about prospects wondering if you’re broke or not.

because you'll make more money watching the market during market hours instead of prospecting?
Dec 7, 2008 11:17 pm

Just tell them you bought the cheaper car so you could put the max in your Roth IRA that year.

Dec 8, 2008 1:46 am

The topic is about prospect perception of the advisor. If I’m a million dollar prospect and some guy knocks on my door at 2pm in the middle of a market crisis telling me he can help me w/my investments, I’m thinkin if you’re my advisor I don’t want your ass doorknocking while my account is tanking! I know prospecting is something we all have to do, but when it comes to perception, I’d worry more about upgrading those $40 kenneth cole reaction shoes than upgrading the vehicle.

Dec 8, 2008 2:03 am

I agree with 3 on this one completely.   But on the topic of a car it is very simple what is your target market?  The midwest would be a place where I don’t see your car being an issue.  Now if you lived on the West Coast like myself in a more city environment then there will be more people who won’t be impressed with your car.  However at the end of the day people are investing with you because you have developed a relationship with them and not because you drive a certain type of car.  Focus on helping people solve their investing problems and make them a client and you will be able to upgrade your car sooner than you think!