I recently had to rent a car while my wife’s car was in the shop. I was upgraded to a Cadillac XT5 from the Toyota Corolla I had paid for. It was a nice treat to get to drive around in a car I only dream about owning. I happened to have an appointment for a lighting design consultation so I rode out there in style.

Because I met with the homeowner in his back yard he didn’t see the car that I pulled up in. It was a very pleasant consultation and we had a very good rapport. Then we walked to the front yard and his demeanor suddenly changed. We finished discussing the lighting design options and I gave him a ballpark figure knowing that I would need to get prices on a few special items that he had requested for his outdoor kitchen. He was not enthused.

“Why are you so much higher than the other guy I had out here,” he questioned?

“There may be a variety of reasons,” I replied. “Who was it that you had out here?”

“That doesn’t matter. I’m not paying more so my contractor can drive a Caddy!”

I have to admit I was a little taken aback. First, a contractor is the person you call when you know exactly what you want and you’re hiring them to do the labor.  I’m a lighting designer. People call me when they don’t know what they want and they don’t know where to start. I am here to create, consult, and execute the outdoor lighting plan for your home. But what really threw me was the idea that a nice car would reflect poorly on a business. “Why shouldn’t I drive a Caddy?”, I thought.

When you hire someone to do a job for you, you look for the most successful company- the one with the highest ratings and best reviews. You can be assured that they use quality products and don’t cut corners, and that they come with a long list of happy clients.

We left on a good note because I just laughed off his comment. By the time we were through I think he really understood why there was value in what I was offering. But I thought about his comment all the way home. I returned the rental the next day but I think I know what my next car will be.