Wednesday, May 1, 2013
About 25 years ago, Mike Jackson [www.goldenstudios.com] shared his three-tiered pricing approach—a powerful sales tool that will boost any shop’s profits. With Mike’s approach, rather than offering one version of the sign based on what you think the customer wants and is willing to spend, you also show two upgraded versions.
Over the years, many sign professionals have said in SignCraft that they use this approach when selling their work. In the May/June 2013 issue, Larry Elliott, Elliott Design, McLemoresville, TN, tells how he used it to sell this monument sign.
Larry also uses it to sell design. In ...
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Most small businesses lack a cohesive image. Yet more than ever they have to compete with chains and franchises who often do a great job of creating a strong image (i.e., brand) for themselves. Compared to that, the owner-operated business can look pretty mish-mash.
Inconsistent generic signage on their vehicles and building, a business card that matches neither, a clunky website and lost opportunities to create a look that communicates who they are—it all adds to the chaos. What they really need to do is present themselves as professionals.
Rich Dombey, Rich Designs, Hillsborough, New Jersey, is a prime example ...
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
One of the great sales tools for selling sign work are before-and-after examples of the same sign layout. What faster way to get the prospective client's confidence than to show a generic layout of their sign (or any sign) beside a drawing of what you would have produced?
Seeing is believing, and if you have the design skills, the prospect will likely think, "Hey, I've come to the right place…"
Before-and-after examples also give you something to talk about other than price. If they just hand you their business card and say they want a price on a sign like ...
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
When it comes to substrates, sign makers have never had more options. There are dozens of products available for use as sign panels, faces and graphics. Many are prefinished materials that are ready for paint or vinyl; some can be direct printed on flatbed inkjet printer. Others are intended for cutting and carving for dimensional graphics.
You also have multiple brands to choose from in almost every sign substrate that’s available. The characteristics and quality varies from brand to brand—in finish, defects and even consistency. Don’t assume that all brands are equal.
Here’s a quick rundown of commonly used substrates ...
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Signs are the best advertising value going, and smart sign shops look for every chance to help their client get the advertising they need. When you deal with a client about a specific sign need, it pays to see what secondary signs they could use to better market their business or solve a problem.
One example is the trusty A-frame sign. They can be a sidewalk salesman, a miniature monument sign or a guide that gets people where they need to go. They make a terrific add-on sale if you just get in the habit of helping your client discover ...
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
In the January/February 2013 issue of SignCraft, Braun Bleamer does a great job of explaining how he helps his customers build powerful images for their businesses and drives sales for his shop at the same time.
“I’m not a salesman,” Braun says. “But I do believe in getting my customers the most bang for their buck. I offer almost everyone custom bundle packaging for the image of their business. In today’s shopping world, the more you bundle your business with a look and feel that’s consistent, the bigger and more powerful your image becomes.”
Most clients don’t come to ...
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
There’s more to succeeding in the sign business and creating a stable, growing business than just hanging out a sign and creating a website. And any savvy sign shop owner knows that it makes a lot of sense to build on the success of other shop owners than it does to just go it alone.
Mark Agnew is a great resource for shop owners like that. For 27 years, Agnew Graphics has served the small town of Owosso and the neighboring small towns in central Michigan. He’s built a stable, successful business, and has worked hard at it.
He’s done ...
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
As tight as the margins are today, working efficiently is an important part of making a profit. Time is generally more costly than materials, so any time you can save will pay off in the bottom line. Why spend extra time handling material when you could be knocking the next sign out?
Chris Lovelady, Vital Signs LLC [www.vitalsignsllc.com], finds that the time he spent organizing his materials frees him and his staff to sell and produce signs—rather than spend time looking for materials. It’s also cut down on waste. His approach makes it easy to get roll goods, scrap vinyl ...
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
To make money in the sign business, you have to be efficient. It’s easy to design masterpieces, but a lot harder to find customers with the budget to pay for them. The secret is to design signs that look great, but that you can produce quickly, easily and profitably.
And if you have a small staff, this approach is even more important. Just ask Jeff Gilfix, Brushfire Signs [www.brushfiresigns.com]. By using prefinished aluminum composite panels, 3M VHB tape for assembly, and subcontractors to make the frame and cut the graphics, he pared the assembly and installation time for ...
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Thirty-plus years in the sign business has helped Mike Meyer, Mike Meyer Sign Painter, Mazeppa, MN, hone his sales skills. He’s spent a lot of time with other sign people, and sales is a topic that always comes up—whether in the US, Australia or Europe. SignCraft asked him for a few of the key things that he’s found to make the sales process go easier and faster, so here goes:
Talk about price and budget right away. Mike gets the price issue resolved as soon as possible. Otherwise you are likely to waste time. He gives a price range for ...