This job was a while ago, but I wrote about it at the time, because I thought it was an interesting example of the way things work sometimes, regarding customers asking for one thing, & my efforts to discover if something else entirely would better serve them.
The call came in Thursday afternoon…
“Do you make those magnet signs?”
..yeah, I do those
“do you sell the blank material?”
…well, sometimes, but not as a rule.. what do you need them for?
“well I’m having my car transported across the country & I thought I should put signs on it to advertise my internet company before I ship it”
… are you going to make your own signs?
“well, I’d have you do it but I don’t think you could have them done in time for me to ship the car tomorrow at 2:00 can you?”
…well, it’s possible… what did you want on the sign?
so I told her we could probably help her & she said she would be over in 5 minutes. I told my new employee about the call & said it looked like an easy job to start training him to work with customers. We’ve talked a little about that, but he has not done that yet, although in our small office, he has been overhearing me help customers for a month now. Anyway, he tells her she can pick a size, & a color… maybe a general idea of what typestyle she has in mind & he would have me work up a price. He realized she didn’t really want to remove the signs, so he discussed vinyl applied directly to the car which sounded great to her.
I called out from the back of the room that a typical one-color, no artwork layout runs $100 a pair for mags, or door lettering in the 12″ x 24″ size. I offered $75 for just the website address installed the following morning & she said great.
At this point I came up front & decided to take over the conversation… maybe for a little sales/service training, or just following an instinct… I said I was going to offer to sell her more, because I thought it may pay off for her in the long run. I thought that a website alone on a car would not do much for her. Most people wouldn’t look twice at one small string of small blue letters. I said a full color layout with a little more information & interest may at least get people to look at the sign & she seemed interested.
I mentioned that full color 12″ x 24″ door signs were usually in the $150-$250 range if the artwork was provided (the price spread is based on artwork complexity & type of art provided) Since she didn’t have any art I said $250 would be the price for something I come up with. She was still interested, so I asked a few questions & penciled out a quick 30 second sketch & she was ready to give me the 50% deposit. She said “that’s $250 for each door right?”
Well, that was actually the price for a pair, which of course I told her, but that may have influenced the next discussion. I mentioned that the 12″ x 24″ fits most vehicles, but we needed to look at her doors first. I told her that for $50 we could take a digital photo & see how the sign fits with a scale photo proof, & we may find that she has room for something a little larger.. possibly in the $350 range, but either way, we would have a well defined plan when I prepared the color proof right on the photo of her car.
She left us $150 & after my employee took a photo I cranked out a 15 minute design, found that a 12″ x 24″ would just squeeze in above the protective rubber molding on her door. Then I made a second layout showing the layout split above & below the molding for a total size of 15″ x 30″
Anyway, I could have cut up $5 worth of magnet & sold it for $40… but for a $400 job, I stayed a little late that evening setting up & printing her job, & my employee prepped & installed it the next morning. She was so thrilled & I think it was a good sales lesson for my assistant, and a much more effective visual identity for my client.
Here is the final design: