As with any product, making potential customers aware that you offer vehicle wraps is just the first step. Connecting with the customer and pricing competitively will help close the deal.
Whether you specialize in vehicle wraps or have added them to your other services, it’s important to specifically promote them. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Highlight vehicle wraps in all of your advertising, on your business cards and especially on your website.
Full color brochures and business cards that promote wraps in particular are handy to have. Hand these out to existing and potential customers and make them part of your cold calling materials.
The back of our shop faces a busy overpass so we printed a large 12’x14’ banner advertising our wraps and attached it to the roof of our shed.
Wrap your company vehicle as a great way to develop your wrapping skills, and to showcase your work. Large banners or other signs on your building help to target-market wraps as well.
Train your outside sales team specifically on wraps. How wraps are designed, printed and installed. The more helpful information the salesperson has, the better equipped they are to make the sale.
Don’t rely solely on the Yellow Pages. Over the last 16 years in business our company has invested as much as $1,000 per month in yellow page advertising. This year we chose to drop our ad completely. We will still be listed in the white and yellow pages with our name and number for those who look us up by name, but according to the tracking we did, through our yellow page company, we were only getting an average of six calls per month based on the ad.
Instead of a Yellow Pages ad, we will invest in search engine optimization (SEO). A large percentage of our customers have found us online.
We also invest in the Yellow Pages’ online directory (www.yp.com), since it’s fairly inexpensive, and it works well on a local level (it has a direct link to our website).
BEEF UP YOUR WEBISTE
If you are going to invest in SEO to get people to your website, it’s important that your site makes a great impression. Whether you hire a web designer, or do it yourself, be sure that it has good photos of your work. In a visual industry, photos of your work will help spark ideas and build confidence in your work. The site should be professional, well organized and easy to navigate. Like a properly designed vehicle wrap, your site should say who you are, what you do and how the potential customer can contact you.
Our new website gives us the ability to update photos and information as often as we would like. The blog allows us to highlight specific services with additional information.
Listening to the customer, taking notes and sketching ideas shows the customer that you are interested in their project and builds their confidence in your company.
Early on, our company designed our own websites, but they were very basic. A few years ago we had a web designer build a site for us and we provided the photos and informational content. Although we are graphic designers, web design seemed like a foreign language.
The biggest problem we had with the site was that the web designer had to make the changes and additions for us, charging us each time. We needed something that we could constantly update and change ourselves. We also wanted a blog feature since adding content through a blog helps your SEO.
We found success through a WordPress-based site, choosing to use a “theme” or template from www.elegantthemes.com to build our site on. It has been extremely cost effective and simple to setup and update; and they have great customer support.
While a more traditional site may be preferable for your company, it’s important to be able to have some control over updating your site to keep it fresh and current. The ability to add a photo of a recent project, with a description and link to your customer’s site, also helps build a connection with your customer.
CONNECT WITH THE CUSTOMER
One of the things I do as I walk to the front counter is grab a clipboard with plain white paper. As the customer explains what they’re looking for and starts offering up specific sizes, colors, etc., I take notes.
I find it helpful to start listing some of the specifics so we can refer to them as we flesh out what they need. If the customer starts to get really specific about what they want to see on the vehicle, I will often grab a vehicle template that we keep in a binder at the front counter to sketch on. The binder contains printouts (from Pro Vehicle Outlines) of common vans, box trucks, pickups and cars. We also keep our Wrap Checklist in this binder.
I recently had a customer come in to inquire about a partial wrap. I grabbed my clipboard as I was greeting him and we quickly launched into what he was looking for. I enthusiastically sketched out what I understood he wanted and we started discussing sizes of the graphics.
Vehicle templates and our wrap checklist are kept at the front counter and are helpful for taking accurate measurements and gathering information for vehicle wraps.
About 10 minutes into our conversation he stopped me and said “I have to give you a compliment.” Okay, I thought. “I just left your competition down the street and fully planned to place my order with them, as I had dealt with another company at that location. But the person who came to the counter showed no interest in my project, so I left.”
He happened to drive over the overpass behind us, saw our sign, and stopped to give us a try. My note taking and enthusiasm impressed him. This customer just placed an order for 6' x 18' graphics for the sides of his box truck as well as smaller graphics for the back. We’ve also completed two job site signs for his other company.
I know our prices are competitive for our area, but in this case the connection we made with the customer is what closed the deal. It has to be genuine interest and excitement for the customer’s project and success.
Part of connecting with the customer is building their confidence in your abilities as well. Samples of your work in the lobby, information on the cost-effectiveness of vehicle wraps and being knowledgeable in effective design, make the customer confident that you will be able to handle their project.
To market our vehicle wraps we printed business cards highlighting our wraps, as well as created a larger section for wraps in our brochures.
Connecting with the customer and building a relationship with them once they’ve met with you, are just part of the equation. The final step is to price competitively and stay on-budget. Be aware of market trends, new and improved media options and supplier pricing. Check out what your competition is charging for wraps if possible. Know your own costs and target profit margins.
Ask the customer about their budget for the project and break down the design, graphics and installation pricing for them. Explain to the customer how you set your pricing so they understand how the costs are broken down.
Consider offering a pricing scale based on the size of the graphics. The larger they are, the cheaper the per square foot price. This allows you to ‘reward’ the customer for larger graphics, and to also up-sell if the customer is close to the next price break.
Work with their budget and be honest about an unrealistic budget. For graphics to be visible they need to be big enough to read. If they cannot afford a full wrap or even a large partial wrap, then keep the information simple and large, and plan ways to add to the graphics in the future.
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
When you get the order, work hard to create an effective ad, so they will see results from the investment. Stand behind your workmanship and materials.
Keep the customer’s artwork on file and ensure them that it will be ready to use on future jobs. You can also offer a discount on the next project since the artwork is already on-file. This helps encourage repeat customers.
The old adage that a happy customer will tell one other person about you, while an unhappy customer will tell ten others about you holds true. Positive word-of-mouth advertising is always your best sales tool.