How important is a nice looking truck vs a beater?

Ok. So i do a fair amount of estimates. im curious to know what you guys think. How important is having a nice decaled out truck with inflrmation ect?

my truck is just a older chev. 1998. 2500. works good. strong truck no issues. But its older. work truck. i thrown bundles and materials in back without worry of damaging the truck becuase its a beater. it works hard as i do. it isnt pretty.

no decals or anything on the side.

im wondering if its worth it to get a new truck with decals and all the hooplah. Bells and whistles that tell my clients im a succesful company ect.

just wondering if its worth it.

is it important to be viewed as a professional succesful company by having a awesome work truck?

You want something in between believe it or not. Not too new with not too much lettering. If it’s too fancy, shinny, & all that customers think you’re too expensive & they can’t afford you. If it’s too beat with Karnak all over it, dents, & scratches they think you’re a jack legger & don’t take pride in your work. Especially don’t go doing estimates with your dog that jumps out & poops on the lawn or your breath smelling of beer or weed!

Thanks. Yeah my trucks a ugly beater. I had a very nice f 150 with all the bells in whistles but up here in canada it can get messy. with rain and snow. muddy jobsites. my truck really paid for it. I messed up the elinterior with mud and it was dusty. I felt stuoid for buyi g sucjlh a nice truck. so i sold it and bought a 1998 chev 2500. its a strong tough truck dont get me wrong. only bought it for 1000. So i did t care abouy mud. snow. dust. tar ect. But at the same time i do notice ckients do look at my truck. First they look at me give me a up and down and then take a gander at my truck. In those cases i feel like ive already lost the job.

sometimes they dont look or seem to care.

so im thinking i should get so ething halfway like you said. Not too nice but bkue collar looking truck.

see how it goes.

I started my own roof replacement business in 1995. I had an old 4 wheel drive that leaked oil and it had so much bondo on the doors that when I put magnetic signs on it they blew right off. In spite of all that I still got work doing estimates in that truck but some of the higher end clients would snub at it.

I then bought a middle of the road truck as bob mentioned. I did better with this truck. My closing ratio improved but there were still some clients who would look in the bed of the truck for signs that I was a roofer and not just a salesman. There are just different kinds of buyers out there.

Next, I bought a brand new truck from a new car dealership. I had it lettered from end to end, tailgate and all. It was quite a moving billboard. Again, as bob already stated, some of the more blue collar clients thought it was a bit much but the higher end clients didn’t so it didn’t make any difference in my bottom line.

I ended up going out of business and eventually started a repair and maintenance business that does not do full replacements. I started with a middle of the road truck with no lettering or signs and sold jobs out of it for about a year at a high closing rate. I didn’t even have a ladder rack on it just a ladder hanging out the back. I ordered magnetic signs, bought two more ladders and had a ladder rack installed. While the truck looks better like this and is better for me doing the work, it hasn’t changed my closing ratio any.

So i guess with repair work it doesn’t matter much since all the clients prefer a roofer type over a salesman type in this case. But with replacements it has more of an impact. Especially with the higher end buyers. I’m with bob, find the middle ground. As long as the truck doesn’t just look like total junk it should be fine.

thanks for the replys guys.
i appreciate the feed back.

i think im gonna get something used that looks ok. not too spiffy but something that isnt a rust bucket.

My truck has 212000 miles on it and still looks decent. I would love to run a '58 chev truck just for the fun of it and see if it would make any difference. It likely would draw attention, without being too new and flashy.

Perception is reality. The comment about somewhere right in the middle is spot on. It has to look nice, but not too nice. There WAS a roofer in the area with a Lincoln pick up truck, the f150 with the lincoln badges, and all the bling and chrome and gasp not a single ladder or ladder rack. When the recession hit, I stopped seeing his truck.

How did I know he was a roofer? His license plate said “ROOFER”.

Again, Perception is Reality. If your truck is a POS, your customer will think your work is POS too. But then again if your truck is too pimped out, the customer may equate your higher price with your truck payment. Best to have a neat, clean, well running, nice truck, but nothing over the top.

What avdumb license plate. Yeah. Be getting a truck soon. See how it goes.

A few thousand roof sales and my vehicle has only been brought up once in conversation…and it wasn’t about the condition…it was about a certified installer sticker on the side of my little overloaded ranger at the time. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone else would choose me because of that though.

Try to present your vehicle the best you can, but don’t let yourself worry about every little detail. Some things are out of our control. You’ll drive yourself nuts. A rough looking truck may prevent a few people from calling you. They already called you though. The potential customer will be spending most their time focused on your actions and your personal image.

There are 1,001 reasons why people won’t choose you as a contractor, but 90% of the people that sign on for your services usually have two things in common…
They LIKED you+they TRUSTED you.

We’ve all seen numerous fancy restaurants on the main drag with large water fountains and marble tabletops go out of business because of average or less than average food.
On the other hand…every city also has a few high priced restaurants that are in a less than average building, less than average area of town, but have fabulous food and have been in business 40+ yrs. More times than not, you hear people rave about the great service and quality food though.

Yes, it’s true that image is important but, attitude, personality, and building trust is where you want to focus. They want to feel that you are going to care about them and their project and make the whole process a pleasant experience if possible. The contractor that comes off as a good but cocky contractor loses some sales by making the homeowners feel like they may have a miserable experience if that contractor is chosen.

I do 5 specific things when I arrive to every appointment. I know that most people feel good about those 5 actions and it helps build up my confidence before the communication about the job even begins also. Get a repeatable sales process that takes the focus off of your truck or away from any other thing that may cause fear and doubt.

Some of the worlds best athletes admit to getting very nervous about some of the silliest things before a big game/contest. If you ask those specific athletes though…you can almost guarantee that they have a routine that they do physically or mentally that makes those fears either go away completely or actually use the emotion to their advantage. They found what works for them and they follow that routine every time.

It’s not really about the truck. Even if you were driving a new truck, their would be something else. It’s about those thoughts that can lower your level of confidence if you let them.
Even the guys that have been selling 30 yrs. have some kind of fear in the back of their mind. That little voice saying

  1. It could be anything really. They are going to judge me because I am to young looking, I’m too old, I stutter, I limp when I walk, I’m not great at explaining ventilation, I forgot to clip my nails, I haven’t had a haircut in awhile, I forgot my shingle samples.

You care what they think about you. Flip that energy around and create a repeatable sales process. When you do that …the truck becomes about 50 on the list of important factors of getting the job.