We all know that one of the golden rules in personal finance is to never try to keep up with those darned Joneses.
We all know at least one or two people who are our coworkers, neighbours, friends and even family that are constantly trying to emulate the Joneses. They show off with their big houses and fancy cars and you can think one of two things, either they are making a ton of money and thus can afford to pay for these things (but the million dollar question we need to ask is: Are they SAVING a LOT of money as well? If they are, then all the more reason to hate them, right? Ha ha), or they are in deep debt and want to keep it a secret.
Who Should Try to Keep Up With the Joneses?
So you might be thinking who would need to keep up with the Joneses? (Or maybe for all the Gen Ys and millennials, it’s keeping up with the Kardashians)?
People in sales, real estate, investment bankers, that’s who. If you’re selling something, you need to look like you can sell. Image is everything in this case.
I’ve had very minimal experience in sales and haven’t had much to show for it. All I can say is that I’m horrible at it and kudos to the people who are amazing at it. They have the right look, attitude, and confidence to gain a person’s trust. They always know exactly what to say.
Presenting Yourself Well
Regarding looks, as superficial as it seems, if I saw that my realtor was driving some sort of economy car or their car was in a bit of rough shape, I would think to myself, Is he/she really good at selling houses? Or can he/she find the right house, for the right price?
I think we’d all rather have someone who was a successful realtor and aside from word of mouth recommendations and perhaps their company’s reputation, what else could help determine if this realtor was good enough? The type of car they drive seems to be a common type of assumption. If they have a higher end car (maybe they did buy it used, but we don’t have to know that), then it seems like a symbol of success. It’s a symbol that indicates they have made a lot of profit on the houses they’ve sold and this is what they have to show for it.
The same can go for any type of sales position. My partner’s friend gets a company car for work and it has to be relatively new. The model can’t be any older than 2009 or something like that. Looks seem to be everything when it comes to sales and that look is bright, shiny and somewhat new. Whether or not you have to pay for it, you have to show your buyers that you are successful by having a high-end image. You need to show them you can make money for yourself and/or money for your company and that they should do business with you.
They also have to wear the nice suits, which is also can cost a lot of money if you’re looking for good quality and the right fit. Again, you can always buy secondhand, but it may not have that same new look to it.
There may be such a thing as the “Wealthy Barber”, but I have yet to hear the term the “Frugal Salesman”. There are also “Next Door Millionaires”, but I doubt many of them are making the big sales pitch.
Can you think of other occupations in which people need to look like they are keeping up with the Joneses? Have you judged a realtor by what type of car they drove? Maybe I’m the only superficial one here. 😉