There are literally hundreds of books out there that will teach you how to sell. It depends on how much time you have in your day to read any of them, and then put in place what you read. Selling a vehicle wrap that costs thousands to someone who is either just starting out or has felt the crunch from the economy can be challenging, and sticker shock is something we deal with on a daily basis. With knowledge and a little common sense the sale should be easy for you and your customer. A vehicle wrap is the most cost effective form of advertising available today with the best return on investment. A business card size ad in a phonebook can cost hundreds to thousands a year depending on how many books the ad is in. Its simple math to see which one is less money over time.
From concept with a design, the installation of a vehicle wrap is not a one step process, and all the steps have to be done correctly for a wrap to be successful. Selling a wrap is not any different.
Perception is reality. Although I’m not against self expression with body piercings and tattoos, and have them myself, understand that it will be the type of clientele you will attract. There is nothing wrong with that if you’re only into motorsports and wrapping motorcycles. If you’re looking to get work from a professional side, (furniture stores, local florist, mechanical companies, etc.) The business owners expect you to look professional. Wearing a nice polo or button down shirt with your logo embroidered on it, removing the face jewelry, hiding the tattoos if possible, and carrying yourself in a knowledgeable and professional manner will get you far.
The time it takes you to call back someone who has left you a message or emailed you for information or a quote is critical. The faster you get back to somebody, the better chance you have to win their business. If you respond within the first day your chances are 90 percent you’ll be the first one they have talked to. If you wait until the second day, your chances of winning the business will drop to 75 percent. Every day that goes by lessens your chance to work with that potential customer. If you never get back to them, don’t ever expect them to try you again. Call them even if you’re too busy to do the work. They will remember that.
Practice what you preach. Your vehicle should be a representation of your work, so make it the best wrap you can do. Show it off to a potential customer so they see first hand what a good quality vehicle wrap is. I can’t express this enough. All my local competitors have their vehicles wrapped and they look terrible. I use it against them by telling the customer to see my competitor’s work first before buying their services. If you have other services, bring samples. People are very visual.
Know who your competitors are. Find out as much information you can about the materials they use, what kind of printers they have. Do they have a good or bad reputation and why. Familiarize yourself with their work so you can differentiate yourself from them. Know their pricing. Most people shop for price first and quality second. This is good information when talking with a customer who asks why they should pick you over the other guy when you’re more expensive. If you get into a pricing war with a competitor it’s better to walk away than lower your prices. Lowering your prices to meet a competitor’s is just a race for who is going to go out of business first. Why would you do a better job than your competitor for less money?
People buy from people they like and trust. They buy you first and your company second. Educate them on what a vehicle wrap is. Have a positive and outgoing attitude and make the customer excited about how it will benefit their business.
Most people don’t have any idea of how a vehicle wrap is printed and installed. If possible, walk them through your shop, explain to them the steps needed to design, print, and install a wrap. Leave an impression that you are the best and know exactly what you are doing.
If you’re going to warranty you work, have it in writing. Have pictures of vehicles you’ve already done that show examples of full and partial wraps. I don’t try selling full wraps, and instead start with partials. A partial wrap puts more money on your bottom line and the price is usually easier for most to budget into their advertising. Partial wraps are a great way to sell to customers with multiple vehicles.
You would be surprised how many times I’ve walked through the door to have a meeting with someone just to have them show me a drawing from another company and say, “I told the guy what I wanted and this is what they came up with,” and it won’t even be close. Write down what they tell you and repeat it back to them. Avoid getting caught up with a customer who tells you they don’t know what they want and to just come up with something. Most of the time they know exactly what they want, but don’t know how to express it to you. Ask more questions and make them feel involved. You’ll gain respect as a professional and get the job over the last guy who said, “Okay, I’ll put something together and get back to you.” Getting back to them in a timely matter with an illustration of the wrap gives the impression that you are on top of your game.
7. Follow Up
The sale is never over. Following up with a phone call in the first week has many benefits; it shows your customer that they are important and you appreciate their business. I also gives you the opportunity to ask them how they liked the experience with you and if there was anything you could do to make it better. On rare occasions, if there is a problem, the customer doesn’t tell you and just never comes back. The follow up call prevents this from happening.
Don’t get out the squeegee yet. I’m going back to the perception is reality idea. Have a professional looking and informative website. Show a lot of pictures and make it easy to navigate. Heavy metal music and tons of flash does not make a good website unless you’re going after a specific type of work.
Have a nice three fold brochure printed that that you can mail or hand out. I know it seems like a waste of money, but I’ve walked in to talk with potential customers who called me about doing work for them only to see my brochure pinned to a cork board. A PDF of that same brochure can be emailed if you’re doing cold calls.
Attractive and easy to read business cards get me a lot of compliments. Try to avoid putting to much information on them. We old guys have a hard time reading all that small print without using a magnifying glass.
If you’re new to the vehicle wrap business, human nature is to offer basement bargain prices. By doing this you destroy the market for you and your competitors. You may think that you’re going to take business away from the other guy, and in some cases that may be true. What that really does for a business like mine is give me ammunition against you. Offering cheap prices puts you in a non-competitive market for someone who sees the value of using a professional shop. The old cliché, is you get what you pay for, and I give them all the reasons why! It’s always easier to lower your prices than to raise them.
I know as you read this you’re asking, where is the secret to selling a wrap? There isn’t one. All you need to sell a vehicle wrap is to have the tools I listed, a wrapped vehicle to show your work, look presentable, and believe in what you’re selling to be the best of the best.
Don’t forget to smile! It’s contagious.
Mike Grillo is president of Road Rage Designs. During his college days, he worked for Modagraphics as a graphics installer, later starting his own graphics company called Action Graphics where he specialized in boat lettering and graphics. In 1999, Mike moved his company to Northern Illinois and changed the name of the company to Road Rage Kustoms, which not only did graphics but also did vehicle customizing. In 2003, he partnered with Kris Harris, vice president of Road Rage Designs. Together they changed the company name to Road Rage Designs and focused strictly on vinyl graphics and design. Grillo is also a 3M and PDAA certified installer, and Road Rage is a test facility for Avery-Dennison.