A lot of us are employed in jobs where we’re required to spend much of the day in our cars. We’re not talking about those occasions where the daily commute runs into a traffic jam on the I-10—for some people, it’s part of their job responsibilities to drive from Point A to Point B (and sometimes Points C & D, as well), while average 9-to-5ers are sitting around in air-conditioned buildings.
Often, they have a client along with them in the passenger seat. Real estate agents and Uber drivers are just a couple of examples of working professionals whose day largely consists of transporting clients around town.
When your job involves having strangers in your car, it’s best to do what you can to ensure that your vehicle conveys the right impression. Nobody wants to sit in a filthy car. Believe us, even if you’ve learned to ignore that pile of trash in the back seat, that’s the first thing your next client will notice as they climb into the vehicle. It’s just not the way to create an image of professionalism and trustworthiness.
Maintaining a professional-looking car isn’t only about keeping things clean. There are a number of little tricks that you can utilize to convey the right impression to your clients. What follows is a handful of suggestions that you might consider to keep your automobile in suitably professional condition.
Clean Out the Junk
Remember that pile of trash in the back seat? Your first task is to get rid of it. All those old McDonald’s bags have got to go.
“But,” you protest, “What if that stuff lying around on the back seat isn’t really junk? What if it’s engine coolant, Windex bottles, or other items of a similarly useful nature kept back there for convenience”?
You need to find a better place for them. A lot of people have bottles of oil or radiator fluid in their cars for quick “topping off,” but there’s no reason to have items like that just lying around in the open. It looks sloppy. Put them in the trunk where they’re out of sight.
Clean the Seats
Car seats tend to get all kinds of little spots and blemishes on them, so you need to remember to clean these as well. Be sure to get a cleaning agent suitable for car seats—the wrong chemical could leave ugly stains on the material. You can purchase an interior cleanser that can be safely used on all fabrics found inside your car.
Vacuum the Interior
To make sure your interior is as clean as possible, you really need to get out the vacuum cleaner. It’s the only practical way to remove all those little crumbs and dust balls that have a habit of getting in little gaps all over the inside of your car. This is one of those tasks that might be best handled by your neighborhood car wash, which should have vacuum services available at a reasonable fee or as part of a more comprehensive cleaning service.
Use Air Freshener
Your car should smell nice in addition to looking nice. You can accomplish this with the use of air freshener, but be careful—not all odors are created equal. It’s not a good idea to fill your car with a powerful scent that could offend the noses of your guests. Go with something light and mild.
Fix the AC
When the air conditioning weakens or fails altogether, some of us prefer to save money on repairs and attempt to get by using natural air—i.e., rolling the window down. However, your clients may not be so comfortable with these kinds of improvised solutions. Make sure your AC stays in prime working condition for those day trips under the Arizona sun. Your guests will appreciate it.
Keep Useful Items in the Car
Now that we’ve cleared away all that trash, let’s talk about some things you need to put in your car.
- Important Business Forms – If your job requires you to get signatures from clients, it’s a sound policy to keep paper copies of these forms in your car for immediate access. You don’t want to find you’ve run out at the wrong time. That makes you look unprofessional, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. By the same token, be sure to keep a few pens in there. A blank notepad for scribbling on is also quite useful.
- Business Cards – If you’re a real estate agent or a professional in a similar line of work, you don’t need to be told about the practicality of business cards. They’re incredibly handy. Don’t just keep some in your wallet; make sure you have a backup supply in your glove box, as well.
- Microfiber Towels – No matter how much effort you put into making your car spotless, it takes just one little accident to mess things up. Keep some towels handy for quick clean-up operations.
- Jumper Cables – When it comes to ruining your day, there’s nothing quite like a dead battery. Everything is going just fine … and then suddenly the car won’t start. In this case, jumper cables will help save valuable time.
- First Aid Kit – There are a million ways how you, or a client, could cut a finger while on the job. Having some bandages nearby can save you some aggravation. A good first aid kit will also have a few other items in there, such as a little flashlight, some aspirin, duct tape, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and so on.
Get Rid of the Noise
You want to be able to communicate easily with clients while you’re riding with them. To ensure that you can do that, try to fix anything in the car that might be unnecessarily making loud sounds: screechy belts, grinding AC fans, squealing brakes, etc. Correcting these little nuisances will also help you maintain a professional appearance.
Wash the Exterior
An old-fashioned car wash is just the thing for giving your clients a solid first impression of your vehicle. If you do it yourself, be sure to clean all areas of the car, including the tires (you can find special tire conditioner solutions on the market), and use high-quality wax to lock in the shine for as long as possible.
Follow Your Maintenance Schedule
Are you getting your oil changed according to schedule? Don’t forget, though, there’s more to automotive maintenance than just your oil. Your car is loaded with a number of different fluids, gears, belts, and other items that need to be replaced every so often.
You should take your car to the shop at least twice per year—more often, if you drive a lot or in harsh conditions—to make sure your car remains in good operating condition all year round. This will not only increase the lifespan of your vehicle but also minimize the likelihood that bothersome mechanical issues will suddenly develop while you’re on the road with your clients.
Come to Cobblestone
For busy professionals, it’s not easy to find the time to carry out these cleaning and maintenance tasks. There’s always something that can take priority over vacuuming the back seat of the car, for instance.
Luckily, Cobblestone Auto Spa is here to make things simple for you. You don’t need to worry about buying the right kind of cleaning solution for your automobile—as your local car wash experts, we’ve already figured out things like that. Just bring your vehicle to one of our locations in Arizona and let our auto detail service pros clean up your car.
Whether you just have time for a quick car wash or want a comprehensive interior/exterior cleaning, our team will get the job done ASAP. It’s a quick, inexpensive to make your automobile look good—and impress your clients.