Before you can sit down at that computer and design the most beautiful vehicle wrap ever seen or put your shop to work installing vinyl, you have to make the sale. And remember, the sale you make today could be the referral that makes your next sale that much easier. Let’s review some key steps to making sure clients choose your shop and keep coming back for more.
So many people want the quick fix of starting a wrap shop and immediately having the install bay full with customer vehicles. While this does happen sometimes, it is not the norm and is not usually sustainable from the beginning. What I mean by that is there are many accounts that you will get only after they have secretly watched from a distance to see that you are going to be around for a while.
We are in our fourth year of business now and I can tell you for certain that the first three years were the hardest. I have several friends in the wrap business around the country that have been doing this longer than I have and when i would talk with them on the phone or email I would get frustrated because they would tell me of the accounts they got because someone walked in the door or was referred to them. This became evident to me that in order to grow my business I would need the help of my customers. I began to groom my customers to sell for me. The way I did this is I educated my customers on the wrap process and what they need to know to make an educated decision. I always let them know the information that I was telling them was good to know regardless if they went with us or one of the other shops in town.
Educating your clients and setting them up for the expectation that they will be helping you sell wraps is both good for you and them. The way it is good for them is that when they get stopped at gas stations and in parking lots for people to ask them questions about their wrap and its effectiveness, they are prepared to deal with it. You can supply them with some of your business cards or brochures to put in their glove box, which will give them an easy out when they get stopped. This will obviously help you and your business but for your clients you can work out a discount on their next vehicles if they send you business.
The best way to close a deal with a potential client is to let them know that you have their best interests in mind.
When a person feels comfortable and they trust you, they will want to do business with you and also refer business to you. One thing you must know is that when selling and building rapport with potential clients, you must be doing it for the right reason and truly have the client’s needs in mind because they will see right through you over time, and you will eventually lose clients. The closing process has always been this slimy polyester suit term to me. I always felt like a client with all the right information who wants your service will close their own deal. You just need to make sure that you can supply the goods or services that they need and always keep their best interests in mind.
So what do you do if you have not been in business for years? The best thing to do when you are new is to make sure that you under promise and over deliver. This holds true after you have been around a while too, but it is easier to deliver after you have been around the block a few times. Always make sure to set the customer’s expectations so that they know exactly what you are and are not going to wrap for the price that you are quoting them. I used to make the mistake of letting the customer tell me, “Oh, I want that wrapped and this wrapped,” while pointing at areas of the vehicle that we really should not have been wrapping. I always thought that if a customer said they wanted something wrapped, that if I told them otherwise, it would be a deal breaker. Had I known from the beginning what I know now, I would have been able to tell the customer that it was not the best idea to wrap certain parts of the vehicle, as it would have a high potential to fail or not look good.
A good example of this is when customers want you to wrap plastic and rubber moulding. As a rule of thumb, we do not wrap anything plastic or rubber. If you wrap the black plastic pieces on a car, there is a good chance that the plastic will be a grey or white color when you remove it, causing you to have to repair or replace them. The other reason to tell the customer for not wrapping these types of areas is because it has a higher failure rate. Setting the expectation with the client is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned. This will always ensure that you have happy clients that want to refer business to you.
Things will inevitably go wrong in all stages of the sales and production process at one time or another. The only thing you can do is choose how you handle it. Always do your best to make it right and fair for your client.