Panelists Offer Advice for Tint ShopsOctober 1st, 2015 by Casey Flores
The 2015 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off (WFCT) kicked off with a panel teaching tinters how to dominate in their market.
“What it Takes to Get to the Top,” the event’s first seminar, was made up of panelists each at the top of their individual market.
Made up of Matthew Darienzo, CEO of Solar Art in Irvine, Calif., Mike Feldman, president of Advanced Window Solutions, New Port Richey, Fla., Chris Robinson, CEO of The Tint Guy Window Tinting, Woodstock, Ga., Tommy Silva, CEO T&T Tinting Specialists Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Bill Valway, CEO of Absolute Perfection Window Tinting and Graphics, Sykesville, Md., the topics ranged from personnel to marketing.
Moderator Casey Flores hit on a number of topics. Here are a few of them:
While most panelists said they don’t target their competition per se and just try to be the best window film company they can be, one member broke the consensus—Feldman.
Feldman wants to be the best he can be, which means being better than his competition.
“If I have a client with another quote that’s lower, I’ll beat that quote just to put the other guy out of business,” Feldman said, with one qualifier: he doesn’t lose money.
Silva stressed the importance of window film companies having a mobile-friendly website.
“We found that 68 percent of people searching for window film did so from a mobile device,” he said. Once he updated his website to be mobile-friendly, web leads jumped from one to two automotive per day to 10 to 12 automotive per day and one to two residential, he explained.
One of the topics discussed was how to keep your employees from becoming your competitors.
“Unfortunately, it’s a reality,” Robinson said. “Three of my competitors are guys that I trained.”
Silva recommended hiring people with no prior window film experience.
“We hire people off the street and train them the way we’d like,” he said. “And we do have them sign a non-compete. We also train them on plotters rather than to cut film, which helps keep them as employees rather than competitors.”
If they want to start their own company, a plotter would be a big initial investment, Silva said.
Feldman says search engine optimization has been his most effective marketing tool, which includes blogging and pay per click on Google.
But he and Valway utilize another tactic that many view as outdated—couponing.
Feldman said not to utilize a coupon book that had home services but to advertise in a “book that has Denny’s. I use the same ad over and over again,” he said. But the tactic has worked. People recognize his logo and in his market of Tampa, they end up calling him over and over for window film.
WFCT 2015 kicked off on in Reno on Wednesday, September 30. Stay tuned to windowfilmmag.com for all the latest event updates.