Is it Possible to Appear Too Successful?

Several years ago, we needed a new roof on our home. Multiple hurricanes had blustered their way through the Central Florida area and took their toll on our aging shingles, so the only real option was replacement. I called a few roofing contractors and made appointments for quotes.

Most of the contractors were what I expected. They arrived in decent work trucks, presented themselves in a professional manner, and supplied their quotes. One, however, surpassed my expectations – although, not on the positive side.

He pulled up in what I’ll call the aircraft carrier. It was one of those pickup trucks that seems larger than every other vehicle on the road. Not a monster truck, but it did ride sky high on premium rims and new tires. It couldn’t have been more than a year or two old, and there wasn’t a spec of dust anywhere to be found. This wasn’t a work truck, it was a show truck, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much he had in it.

Man appearing too successful.

When he got out and approached, I immediately noticed he was very different in appearance than those who had come before him. There was a gold chain around his neck, and his shirt as unbuttoned enough to reveal it. A gold bracelet hung from his wrist, and he had a deep, dark tan. However, I'm guessing it wasn't the result of working up on rooftops.

I just kept thinking to myself, either this guy has made a such a killing off of previous customers that he has money to burn, or he desperately needs to make a killing off of me in order to keep up with his payments. Regardless, I wasn’t giving him a dime. He had blown it in the first 30 seconds.

Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with working hard and being successful. Every person who does so deserves the rewards of their efforts. My only point here is how you, me, or anyone else presents themselves to the people they want as customers or clients.

Showing a certain amount of success is mandatory if you want future successes. After all, not many people will want to work with someone who appears to be broke. However, there is a fine line between showing enough and showing way too much – and everyone’s line is different because they are targeting different clientele.

Find your line. Think about what your clients would consider to be the right amount of success, and toe that line during all interactions with them.

This includes your law office signage.

By design, our collection of signs and plaques ranges from modest to upscale, with many examples in between. This is no mistake. We know there is a look and size that will be right for you and your firm; one that will resonate best with your clients, no matter where they fall on the spectrum.

It’s just a matter of giving this some serious thought, maybe imagining your best clients and the types of firms they would consider using in your area, then bringing your firm in line with that image.

This may mean you need a new sign or plaque, to elevate the image of your firm to a level your clients expect. It could also mean toning things down a bit.

Either way, don't be that roofing guy.

Bart Baker
Bart Baker


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Sizing Guide for Law Office Signs