First impressions count for a great deal when you’re trying to forge relationships with prospective customers. If you turn up to an unfamiliar house in order to fix a gas leak, provide a quote on a rewire, or simply deliver a package, then the appearance of your van is going to count for more than you think!
Clean It Up
Turning up to a job in a van that’s caked in dirt is going to leave a poor impression, in much the same way that turning up to a job interview with a big greasy beard might. Regularly running your motor through the local car wash, or pressure-washing it on the drive, is therefore likely to reap dividends.
Research by Vanarama has put this conventional wisdom in stark terms: 75% of homeowners questioned by the survey stated that turning up in ‘dirty old van’ would make them think twice about hiring. If you’re on the way to deliver a quote, in other words, it’s worth swinging by the local car wash to make sure that everything’s appropriately spick and span. Provided, naturally, that you don’t make yourself late in the process.
A better solution is probably to set aside twenty minutes each week to get the thing cleaned. It’ll cost you around a fiver a go, and this money is more than likely to be recouped by all of the extra business you’ll be securing thanks to your sparkling-clean set of wheels. If you’re going to be providing your car wash with consistent business over a long period, then it’s probably worth paying for several washes in bulk, and negotiating a discount accordingly.
Alternatively, you might do the washing yourself. If you’ve got a pressure-washer, a sponge, and a steady supply of wax, you’ll be able to keep the van in great shape with just a small time investment every weekend.
Another factor that’s likely to impact negatively on your business is a lack of company branding. If you turn up in a plain white van, then you’ll give every appearance of having just decided to take up your trade that morning on a whim. A little bit of branding demonstrates that you’ve invested in your business and you expect a return in the long-term. This sort of return can only be achieved by being good at your job. In other words, if you fail to brand then you’ll look like a cowboy.
Of course, presenting your business goes a long way beyond how your van looks. If your staff turn up looking like they’ve just been through a warzone, they’ll leave a similarly poor impression. With that said, your customers aren’t going expect plumbers, builders and plasterers to look immaculate at all times (in fact, they’ll probably get a little bit suspicious if they are). But the van is a different story – if it’s not going to get dirty as part of the job, then this sort of wear-and-tear is likely to indicate neglect. And that’s not the impression you want to be giving.