You’re beating the streets looking for sign projects and you stumble upon a job trailer at a retail construction site. You wander into the trailer to find 3 very large construction workers pouring over site plans. You are suddenly reminded of an old western with the local gunslingers leaning over the bar waiting for someone to shoot. You smile and say, “Hi, I’m a Sign Guy (or Gal),” then you ask, “Who makes the decision for the project signage?” “Well,” they say, “we’re not sure.” So, where do you start to look?
The site plans are always a good start. Take notes and write down the names of the general contractor, the architect, and if possible the owner of the development. Signs are a funny thing. You will find the owners of the property involved in signage decisions more often than not. Signs are the frosting on the cake for large developments – it is what draws and directs customers to the center.
Now that you are armed with contacts start making your calls. Don’t be shy – get to the top – talk to the person that makes the signage decisions as fast as you can. Don’t waste too much time with underlings when trying to get involved in the bidding process. Present your design ideas and bids to the highest person possible, preferably the person that signs the contracts.
Some helpful tips for getting to the top:
- Make your calls early in the morning or a little after hours. Owners usually work longer hours than the gatekeepers and will usually answer the phone.
- Leave a message on the owner’s voicemail directly; try hard to get the direct line.
- Send a nice note or email explaining how awesome the project is and what an honor it would be to provide signage – sounds corny, but it works.
Selling at the top can be a challenge, but practice makes perfect. You will have much greater success in selling deals, and you will save precious time and resources.
Good luck – now go sell a sign!
Sign Guy Joe