By Melinda Tetreault
Many print service providers (PSPs) can successfully wrap a vehicle. They know the correct material for the job, how to prepare the file to print, and which tools to use for installation. What they may not know how to do well is sell the service. A well-thought marketing plan is essential to competing in a saturated market of vehicle wrap vendors.
It is important PSPs learn the ins and outs of how to successfully sell vehicle wraps, whether to existing customers or expanding to prospective clients. Media vendors help in this regard by offering classes, seminars, and workshops to teach PSPs marketing techniques. We tapped some of these vendors to share information on topics taught in their classes.
Vehicle wraps are divided into many sub-categories, including digitally printed graphics and color change wraps. Each segment is broken down into consumer and commercial wraps. Further distinctions involve fleet wraps versus a single vehicle job. And finally there is the vehicle itself, whether it is a four-door sedan, splinter van, or a larger vehicle like a bobcat, boat, or bus.
PSPs should consider investing time, resources, and money into learning how to successfully sell vehicle wraps because each service needs to be marketed differently. For example, Nate Place, senior application engineering technician, 3M Commercial Solutions, says that knowing how to clearly communicate the benefits of both commercial and color change wraps helps increase revenue through sales opportunities that unknowingly would have been lost.
“Understanding how to market your services, upsell, and make your space in the industry is very essential for PSPs,” agrees Patty Doychak, senior marketing communications manager, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions.
Avery Dennison polled its wrap class attendees on what topics they hoped to learn more about. The majority were looking for instruction on how to improve the business end of their operations.
“One of the most common things I hear from print providers is that they are intimidated by selling vehicle wraps and shy away from them,” says Josh Culverhouse, graphic innovations market manager, ORAFOL Americas.
To educate PSPs on how to successfully sell vehicle wraps, media manufacturers offer classes, seminars, and workshops. Topics include where customers derive from—for example retail, commercial, or fleet; how wraps are purchased—on price, quality, or relationship; and how to achieve repeat sales.
Customers come from a number of backgrounds, and understanding each’s needs are important. Beyond retail, commercial, and fleet, Place thinks it is important to add private vehicle owner or hobbyist.
Why a product or service is purchased is strongly driven by the buyer. So whether a wrap is purchased based on price, quality, or overall relationship with a vendor is something that differs by customer.
“I would say that most first time wrap customers are more emotionally driven. Price and quality aren’t as important as they are to repeat customers. Repeat customers are educated on the process and may look for alternative pricing or providers. Quality is a big contributor to customers defecting to a competitor on future jobs,” recommends Place.
Overall, shops need to focus on quality for all of its customers, according to Doychak. “PSPs need to emphasize quality while not selling themselves short. In the end, you get what you pay for, so showing value and quality fosters better relationships than having the lowest price.”
If price is an overwhelming factor, Culverhouse recommends providing customers with different surface coverage and material grade options at multiple price points.
Recurring jobs from one client are one of the best ways to increase a PSP’s bottom line. Both the PSP and the customer benefit from working together on a continual basis, understanding their relationship and not spending time going over nuances that typically occur with a first time buyer.
Hoping to capture repeat business when it comes to vehicle wraps is a fair expectation. Customers may decide to rewrap a vehicle due to wanting a new look entirely, or it may be because of wear and tear.
“Fleet customers are less likely to make wear and tear or refresh a high priority compared to color change customers. Color change customers tend to be perfectionists and hobbyists who thrive on uniqueness and constant change. I think that conversion is higher on the color change side,” suggests Place.
Doychak agrees and says that owners of exotic and luxury vehicles often look for new and different ways to decorate their vehicles, so they change the wrap more often while others may leave a wrap in place for its full service life.
Beyond the aforementioned topics, Place says other successful sales tactics taught at classes include increasing brand awareness, personalization, and substrate preservation. “Specifically, discussions are held on mobile visibility versus stationary, temporary or long-term personalization and making it unique, and wraps providing a productive barrier from the elements.”
Avery Dennison includes information on the importance of networking to increase sales in its educational seminars. “We teach marketing through campaigns, social media, and relationship building. As a PSP, you want to be in touch with tint installers, car salesman, and other people in the overall sign and vehicle wrap industry,” explains Doychak.
Once a prospective customer is in the door, it’s important to communicate with them. “Show your customer that you care about establishing a relationship and that you want to be their expert guide through the process. Showing the customer that you care, that you’re organized, and have their best interests in mind is going to generate a lot of business,” shares Culverhouse.
Beyond the Classroom
Sometimes it is difficult to commit to time away from the office. There are other methods besides classes, seminars, and workshops for bettering selling tactics.
Attending an annual trade show is one option. “One thing I’ve learned over the years is how amazing the vehicle wrapping industry is when it comes to networking. So many individuals within this industry are an open book and want everyone to be successful. I encourage PSPs to come to events with an open mind and an appetite for networking and education,” suggests Culverhouse.
Of course, media suppliers themselves are excellent resources. Place encourages PSPs to utilize their graphic film manufacturer sales team. “These folks are on the front lines daily and have exposure to many unique jobs and are well educated in terms of helping customers understand the benefits of graphic films and wraps,” he continues.
“Take advantage of manufacturer sales representatives and technical service representatives as resources for product specifications and upsell strategies. They can provide a wealth of information that supports marketing,” agrees Doychak.
Head of the Class
Skill at designing, printing, and installing a wrap is important—but the service must be sold. Knowing how to correctly market vehicle wrapping services is the difference between a PSP connecting with the right customers and a PSP waiting for jobs to come in the door.
Working with media manufacturers inside and outside the classroom is one way to tailor marketing to your advantage—basing it on the type of clients you work with and the kinds of wrap jobs you complete.
Nov2018, Digital Output