The Importance of the Sales Process
By Mike Burke
If you’re a paint protection film (PPF) shop, you probably also do paint correction and coatings or partner with someone who does. Think about the process you go through when selling coatings. If a customer calls, you can give them a general idea of what it’s going to take, but you really need to see the vehicle in person. Especially with a dark-colored vehicle, the amount of labor necessary to get the vehicle to a coat-able state can vary significantly based on the condition of the paint.
So you get the customer in the shop, inspect the car with them, walk him or her through the process and educate on the value of the service you’re providing. Once he or she understands why you can’t coat the car until the paint is perfect, and what it takes to make it perfect, they’re more likely to see why you charge what you do.
So why do we sell PPF like it’s a product on Amazon? Go to the website and click a button to see the price of the kit. Call the shop and get a price over the phone. With PPF, the condition of the car and paint affects the process and the final outcome just like it does with coatings, so we need to be selling it the same way. Think of every PPF job as someone asking for full paint correction on a two-year-old black car.
The sales process should always start with getting the customer to your store so you can walk around, evaluate the paint and the car, show them the software, explain the technical skill required for things like hood vents and scoops, aligning seams and stretching the material around uniquely-shaped bumpers. With the customer in front of you, you can discuss with them how much coverage they really need, explain why you do or don’t wrap edges and set realistic expectations based on the unique challenges posed by different paint colors.
You can also sell the value of your facility. Point out the immaculate floors, the air conditioning that allows you to keep the doors shut against contaminants and the bright LED lighting that lets you see any imperfection.
In short, sell them on everything except price. There is a fair market value for the material and install costs that will vary based on your area. If the customer is shopping around, they’ll see your value compared to other shops that just throw out a cookie-cutter price. If they’re not, then your job is to sell them on the value of the product. Customers have questions and the better we can answer them, the more value we provide. Once the customer is educated on what they’re buying, price becomes less important.
Mike Burke has been in the window film industry for 33 years and the paint protection business for 26 years. His company, Sun Stoppers, has more than 68 locations in 19 states and offers residential and commercial tint and decorative film services as well as automotive tint, paint protection, and ceramic coatings. If you have a question for Burke to tackle in a future column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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