Signs are the best advertising value going, and smart sign shops look for every chance to help their client get the advertising they need. When you deal with a client about a specific sign need, it pays to see what secondary signs they could use to better market their business or solve a problem.
One example is the trusty A-frame sign. They can be a sidewalk salesman, a miniature monument sign or a guide that gets people where they need to go. They make a terrific add-on sale if you just get in the habit of helping your client discover the benefits of these handy signs.
A-frame signs typically serve one of three advertising tasks. They can be “mini signs” that get the business name or logo in the line of sight of more viewers. They can announce a special or a discount to pull in buyers. They can be directional signs that make it easier for buyers to locate a business.
Chip Kinzer, Chippersigns, Gallatin, Tennessee
A-frame signs have the advantage of some natural qualities that make them so successful. First, they’re located in the line of sight of the viewer. They can be curbside, along the sidewalk or at the edge of a parking lot—usually away from other visual clutter. That alone attracts attention to them.
Next, they are portable, which lets them be moved around to take advantage of traffic. And, their message is usually short and sweet. By the time viewers decide if they want to read one, they usually already have read it.
Chip Kinzer, Chippersigns, Gallatin, TN, has sold plenty of them in his 30-plus years in the business. He knows how well they work for clients—and how profitable they can be for a sign shop.
“A-frames are great for foot traffic in a downtown,” Chip says, “because folks on the sidewalk can’t see the storefront signs. Down in the historic district they have some really beautiful A-frames on the sidewalk.
“But they’re just as effective along a busy street because they’re down where the people in passing cars can see them. There’s just something about them that draws your attention for a few seconds, and that’s all you need to get the message across.
Rob Cooper, Koh Tao, Thailand
“They’re great for directional signs, like in a large parking lot or on a big car dealership. Car dealers love them out by the street to shout something out. I recently did one for a special at a tire store, and the chain bought 30 more—one for every area store.”
Just as A-frame signs can be an add-on sale to another, larger sign project, they can also work for you in reverse. Don’t forget to put your shop name and phone number on the sign, because other businesses are likely to realize how effective A-frames are.
“When you get a few of them out there,” says Chip, “the neighboring businesses see them and start calling you. Often that leads to new customers who need other signs, as well.”
Chip sells a lot of the replacement panels, too. Customers can stick them on over the old sign with a little double-sided foam tape. You can also buy A-frame signs with changeable message panels that your customer can update as needed.
Compared to other types of advertising, A-frames are a real bargain. Their low cost puts them in reach of any business. Every chance a business gets to put their name in front of potential buyers counts. That little A-frame sign out front may soon be their top salesperson.
Carla Hassell, Georgetown Signworks, Georgetown, Ontario, Canada