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WICKED WOODCHUCKER
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After I bought a new pickup last fall I realized should of gotton a new van. I love the truck but its not the same as working out of a van. I thought it was going to be ok after putting tool box in the back and 2 side boxes, but I still dont have room for anything. And tired of digging threw boxes to find stuff.

Can't afford another payment as I pay over 1,000 a month now for my pickup and my wifes car. So gonna fix up my old van to use for work. I have a 1989 dodge ram 1/2 ton cargo. Just turned 100k. Has the 318 v8. Runs perfect and has no rust. I just finished getting it taped off and ready for paint. The van will have new paint and fresh lettering.

My question is this: Even though the van runs good and will have some new paint, its still an older van. Does it matter? Am I going to lose buisness If I showed up in that compaired to my new pickup?

I do mostly middle to upper class residential work.
 

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Your reputation precedes you. If you do good work, no one cares, imo.
 
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WICKED WOODCHUCKER
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know it won't matter to past and return clients, but what about the first impressions. Pulling up in the old van to do an estimate. ???
 

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As you said it's in good shape.

You gave it a new paint job and it's not leaking fluids I would say an HO,their neighbors or future customers would view it as a pros truck not a heap.

To me the presentation of the vehicle matters more than the year. Plus not everyone can tell years apart when they look "new".
 

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If they are making their decision
based mostly on your truck,
you have bigger problems.
Not bigger problems, just human psycology. They will associate the junk truck with hack status. I did'nt "make the rules" i just know what i get to hear from new to us customers when we're going over things for the first time we meet and i hear about the guy they did'nt trust, drove a junkie looking truck/van/car, and "if that's all he can afford then he must not be very busy"

Looking the part is 80% of the sales routine since first impression mean everything, you can be the best guy int he world, but if they form a bad opinion of you for whatever reasone before you even open your mouth...your already pigeon holed and have a bit of a battle before you win their trust.

So fix it up, age dont mean chit, condition counts for ALOT though.
 

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If you feel that maybe a new client maybe "that type", take your new truck for the estimate. Problem solved. Once you have the job it shouldn't matter what you drive.
 
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What's your wife drive? bmw... $1000 is pretty lazy for two cars. I have 4 vehicles on payments right now, about 220 each month..offcourse I got in on the 1.9 or 2.x deals.
 

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WICKED WOODCHUCKER
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What's your wife drive? bmw... $1000 is pretty lazy for two cars. I have 4 vehicles on payments right now, about 220 each month..offcourse I got in on the 1.9 or 2.x deals.
my pickup was 38k. 0%
she drives a expedition, 36k 3.9 %

my payment is 480 a month
hers 505 a month

payments add up quick when your not buying beaters!
 

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How about some photos as you fix up the old van?
Steve

After I bought a new pickup last fall I realized should of gotton a new van. I love the truck but its not the same as working out of a van. I thought it was going to be ok after putting tool box in the back and 2 side boxes, but I still dont have room for anything. And tired of digging threw boxes to find stuff.

Can't afford another payment as I pay over 1,000 a month now for my pickup and my wifes car. So gonna fix up my old van to use for work. I have a 1989 dodge ram 1/2 ton cargo. Just turned 100k. Has the 318 v8. Runs perfect and has no rust. I just finished getting it taped off and ready for paint. The van will have new paint and fresh lettering.

My question is this: Even though the van runs good and will have some new paint, its still an older van. Does it matter? Am I going to lose buisness If I showed up in that compaired to my new pickup?

I do mostly middle to upper class residential work.
 

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Man I can really relate to this thread.
I bought a 99 F150 back in '01 and thats all I've worked out of up until this spring. I found an 83 Dodge van, rough as a cob, rust here and there, big ass crack in the windshield, scratches, you get the picture. But the thing runs like a sowing machine(smokes a little when you crank it) and after being used to digging around in the tool box, having everything laid out on racks and shelves in the van is great. No worries about the rain on the compressor, nails, lumber, and so on.

My thoughts were the same as the OP. If I show up in an old smoking van, how will that affect me being able to sell the job. Will they look at the van and say if his work vehicle is rough, how will his work be? Its just human nature.

I tried to convince myself that my work will speak for itself, and it will if I have the chance to show my work. But I still always took the Ford to the first meeting not to make an impression but to not make a bad one.

Last week I traded the Ford for a '03 Dodge. I'm in the process now of putting shelves and racks in the back. Getting some ideas about lettering on the side. And I feel good about my decision to trade. I've never been one to worry too much about "what people thought" but I guess I sold out to the first impression theory.
 

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I've never been one to worry too much about "what people thought" but I guess I sold out to the first impression theory.
Very wise BUSINESS descion:thumbup: Sometimes we need to check our pride at the front door and realize we're dealing with "the masses" and the mentality that goes along with it.:censored:
 

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You need to realize that someone who doesn't know you has to work off something. You don't necessarily need to show up in a brand new vehicle. But when I don't have much information, that old beater is going to leave an impression. That old beater is more likely to break down. If you do good work you should make good money and should be able to afford a "decent" vehicle.

It's not that you are dealing with "the masses". You are dealing with people. That ugly chick at the bar? She might be the most fun to bring home. But you aren't even giving her a chance because she looks like an old beater.

If I know that you do good work I don't care what you drive. But if I don't have a lot of information you need to do everything you can to at least convince me that you are not a slob. Of course, if you try to fool me by dressing up a Dodge to look like a Mercedes, I have to wonder what other lies you might tell. It's not necessarily about impressing people, but you have to make sure they don't think you're a slob.
 

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Head Grunt
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IMO repainting and re-lettering your van is a great investment. No rust, no dents and being clean shows that you care about yourself and your image. The vehicle doesnt have to be new, just clean and presentable. As said above alot of people dont know much about vehicles and what year they are. Hell, Dodge ran the same body design for their vans from the early 70's right into the early 2000's, they only changed the tail lamps and grilles. If memory serves me all the doors interchanged through the years, the glass stayed the same, alot of the drivetrain remained the same.
 
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