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‘Why Your Current Signs ‘Suck’ And What You Can Do About It!’

In order for a sign to reach the level of ‘Maximum Effectiveness’ (bringing in as much business as possible) it must do a few very important things. Before we get to those things I would like to point out that very few retail businesses, Fast Lubes or otherwise, have signage that functions anywhere near ‘Maximum Effectiveness’.

Unfortunately most signage serves merely as an ‘I.D. Tag’ that allows passing motorists to find a business that they are looking for. This is not the major purpose for a sign, but rather the minor purpose. The major purpose of a sign is to ‘attract’ new customers to your business that otherwise would have passed by without noticing you. I can hear it now… you’re thinking ‘everyone already knows I’m here’.

No they don’t!

In fact less than half of the cars driving by everyday even know you exist. Continue to be open minded! You have done well to make it this far.

In order for a sign to achieve the level of ‘Maximum Effectiveness’ it MUST do three very fundamental things:

  1. It mustCATCH THEIR EYE and get their ATTENTION!

  2. It must… Tell passing motorists SPECIFICS about what you have to offer!

  3. It must… Do the above in a tasteful manner that ENHANCES THE IMAGE of your business.

LED Display

In my 10 years of traveling all over the country helping clients in dozens of industries to maximize their business by turning ‘passers-by’ into ‘pullers-in’, I have seen hundreds of business-owners attempt to embrace this idea and take it upon themselves to ‘prescribe’ a remedy that they think will ‘cure’ the sickness. Unfortunately, because they do not have all of the necessary information to properly ‘diagnose’ the disease, they are merely ‘putting a band-aid on a broken bone’. It may be done with great intentions, but it sure doesn’t solve the problem. At best, it only results in a short term, ‘less than optimal remedy’.

To illustrate what I am talking about, I will use a few examples that we are all familiar with and put them to this simple Three Step Check-Up…(Please refer to the ‘3 Things A Sign Must Accomplish in order to achieve ‘Maximum Effectiveness.)

Flashing Arrow-Changeable Letter-Portable Signs – This type of sign is most often seen in front of Fast Lubes advertising an oil change ‘special’. As for Step 1< (Catching The Eye), the flashing light bulbs in the arrow on top of the sign are definitely ‘eye-catching’. As for Step 2, (Telling What You Have To Offer), it is definitely capable of getting a message out (as you can go out and arrange the letters to say whatever you want)- if you have 2 hours, and it is not raining…. Of course, so can funny little kids that are bored on a Saturday night. (I once saw a sign that said YOUR RADIATIOR FLUSH SPECIALISTS magically transform overnight to LISA – YOU ARE A FAT LUSH). As for Step 3, (Best Possible Image), that is where the real failure lies. There is nothing tasteful about this type of sign. It says very bad things about any business. These signs are often in poor condition with missing letters and display a message that hasn’t been changed in months. These signs fail because they do not promote a positive image for your Fast Lube. Frankly, my professional opinion is that these ‘ugly’ signs can literally cause those ‘nicer’ cars to drive right past you…

So, how about…

Inflatable ‘Waving Arm Things’ or Balloons – These types of attention getting devices can be very effective at getting the attention of passing motorists. If they are in good repair, they can be used without sending out a poor image signal. These devices still fail because they do not have the ability to meet the requirements of Step 2. These devices cannot tell the motorist anything about your business, which is a critical part of giving them a reason to pull in now!

Humiliating an Employee By Dressing Him Up As BOZO the Clown – While this method of using your location to attract people off the street can be very amusing, it doesn’t really say much about your business or ‘enhance’ your image so it fails Step 2 and Step 3. Making yourself out to be a ‘clown’ is better left to fast food. You need to project an image of professionalism and competence in today’s ultra competitive Fast Lube industry. This is hardly a job for BOZO the Clown.

Sending An Employee Out To The Street With A “No Waiting” Sign- This is actually a fairly effective idea, and it works. The problem is that it can still be humiliating for the employees, and it can send an unprofessional-image message to your traffic. It can actually make you look desperate for business.

I hope that these illustrations have given you the ability to put your own facility to this simple, easy-to-follow, ‘Three-Step Check-Up’. Just ask yourself, “What am I doing to take full advantage of the ‘money-stream’ flowing past my Fast Lube facility every single day?” What if there was a way to dramatically increase the number of people that are actually ‘noticing you’. What if there was a way to communicate a steady flow of information about your services to that ‘money-stream’, everyday, all-day? What if there was a way that you could accomplish all this while projecting the image of a professional, state-of-the-art Auto Service/Care Facility- 24/7/365? There is!

As promised… The Answer:

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