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Marketing & Advertising

The Salesman on Wheels

July 07, 2011
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The difference between a one dollar bill and a hundred dollar bill is the message on the paper.

It is the same with all advertising pieces. Any piece, from business cards to the side of your van, has the potential to be something that generates no sales or tons of sales — it all depends on the message.

Every carpet cleaner and restorer has a van, but very few people view them as anything more than a gas guzzler to get you from point A to point B.

Rarely do they drive around hoping to make a sale off the side of their van. But with the right tweaks, you can create sales in transit.

Here are six tips to turn your van into a powerful selling tool for your company.

1. Free recorded message

The three most powerful words in advertising are “free recorded message.”

Having a message that shares valuable information with consumers attracts those who are interested in what you have to offer, and gives them a way to learn more without fear of being pressured by a live salesperson.

It also lends credibility because when something is recorded and put out in the public, people will trust the message more.

Set up an educational free recorded message, and advertise this on your van: Consumer Awareness 24-Hour Free Recorded Message XXX-XXX-XXXX.

2. Secondary way to respond

Promoting your company website on your van, and sharing what they can learn from your site, is also another way to leverage your vehicle as a selling tool.

Your website is your full-color brochure, so driving prospects to the site to learn more about the value you have to offer gives you the opportunity to make a sale.

Using testimonials on the site to show social proof on how great your company is and sharing expertise through tips and other information will robotically create a selling process to convert interested prospects into ready-to-buy customers.

Use your van to get them to your website, or to your Facebook fan page.

3. A big, bold guarantee

Competence in business starts with guaranteeing your work, so if you cannot give a guarantee, then you should not be in business.

Guarantees remove the fear of people working with you, and they can greatly boost your sales conversion rates, so be sure to put your bold guarantee on your van. Maybe it’s your unconditional “100% Money-Back Guarantee” — that if they are not thrilled with your work they get their money back.

You may have one or two people take advantage of your guarantee to get something for free, but the number of jobs you’ll get from a bold guarantee will dwarf the few bad eggs.

4. Use credibility enhancers

If you are certified, say so. If you have been voted “best” in your community, say so. If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a top review on Angie’s List, or other review site used in your community, say so.

People are concerned with whom to trust, so give them affiliations that help them know you are the one to choose.

5. A brochure/business card holder

Another great way to leverage the side of your van is to go to your local office supply store and get a clear brochure holder and magnet it onto the side of your van.

You may also want to use a fluorescent sticker that says “Take One” on the brochure or business card holder to draw attention to it.

6. Make it easy to contact you

Make your number easy to read. Ideally, if it is a number unique to your vehicle listings, you will know exactly which calls your van is generating for you.

Since most people have a mobile phone with them at all times, you can set up a text capture service to collect leads. Such as: “Text CLEAN to XXXX to receive our new customer special offer!”

Your van is a moving billboard for your company. With the right sales strategies, it can end up being the best salesman for your business.

Joe Polish is the president and founder of Piranha Marketing, a premier marketing and business-building company in the cleaning and restoration industries. Piranha provides ready-to-use marketing tools, sales systems and training to create ELF businesses — easy, lucrative and fun. For his free report on “The 7 Steps to Writing a Successful Ad,” visit or contact Piranha’s business growth consultants directly at (800)275-2643.

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