I wanted to go back to basics on todays post by talking about your van. Nothing unusual about that you might be thinking, however I was following a discussion just last week on the social media about the type of van that electricians want to be driving.
The conversation soon turned to the subject of sign writing. To me sign writing a van is a no brainer for two reasons:
- It demonstrates you are a professional electrician and your customer will recognise you as that.
It is an excellent marketing opportunity – if done well.
The increase in referrals from my van has increased hugely in recent years thanks to the invention of phone cameras. It is not unusual now for me to be contacted as the result of a customer taking a picture of my sign written van.
I spoke briefly in my blog a few weeks ago of the importance of effective sign writing, however I wanted to grind this down even further based on my research last week.
Sign writing – doesn’t work on its own
First impressions count, a perfectly sign written van can be let down by a dirty van – inside and outside. Take pride in your professional appearance by keeping your van clean. The way your van looks says a lot about your pride.
You can go one step further and have uniform that represents your company too. As an example, my van is blue and my uniform is blue with my company logo.
These two features combined demonstrate your commitment as a professional electrician and will give your customers confidence.
It is an easy way to market your electrical business:
- Clean sign written van
Yet I see so many electricians miss this opportunity.
How to get sign writing right
I've heard electricians say they use magnetic signs rather than permanent sign writing which they remove at night to deter thieves. Magnetic signs don't work because:
They look unprofessional – electrician today, plumber tomorrow?
They can fall off your van and don't look good
A vehicle that is not sign written at all can work against you. Yes you may have to clean your van everyday in muddy conditions – but image says a lot about your company.
It is estimated that 2,000 people see your van – this is a lot of exposure in your local area. Think about how many times you have seen other electricians in your area driving around – you start to recognise the vans. You need to be part of this game. Customers think the same, and a van that they recognise appears to be in demand and as a result, they are far more likely to call you. Without any sign writing, you would be missing out on this opportunity that is minimal in marketing effort.
Getting your van sign written
Having your van sign written at a decent outlet can be done at reasonable cost especially for smaller vans. Normally this costs in the region of £200-£450. Van sign writing needs to be simple and able to display your electrical services clearly. Think about how much your potential customer can read as you drive past!
In a nutshell if you don't currently have a sign written van, you should really consider getting it done.
Another downfall often made of sign written vans in contact details. Looking professional cannot be overstated. So you need to ensure your contact details resemble that of a professional electrician. I use [email protected] as my contact email address, however I see many vans with great sign writing to be let down by dubious contact information.
You need to have a decent email address to start with. Forget the likes of hotmail, sky, btinternet etc and opt for an email address for your own company. If you are going to have your van sign written, it needs to be right!
A landline telephone number is preferable to mobile numbers which again can appear non-committal (its easy to turn a mobile off.)
Customer enquiries will increase
Getting your van sign written and maintaining a professional image will make a huge difference. I am always amazed at the amount of customer enquiries I get simply from my van being spotted. It is the easiest marketing method for your electrical contracting business.