You’re the only sign company who showed up! That is a statement we hear very often and I believe there are a few reasons for it; either the sign companies you contacted are simply not organized or they believe you’re not worth showing up for.

You cannot do anything about companies being disorganized and not getting back to you and unless you want to chase them down throughout the entire process, move on. You can certainly do something about the other cause however. We, like most sign companies, get a lot of phone calls and emails every day and part of the sales process is qualifying our potential clients. It would be a waste of time for both our potential clients and us to head too far down the sales path without knowing we are a good match. There are a few things we look for including budget, timeline, and sign type.

You know that old saying, you can’t judge a book by its cover and that qualifying process helps to take a look under the cover before making any judgements, I think many other companies are simply judging the cover and not showing up.

Make your cover better. Getting the right sign company to show up can make all the difference and result in a more effective sign at a better price so how you present your company up front is important. Here are some dos and don’ts which can help…


  1. Don’t start with the question of “how much” – This says your all about price and as a result you may have a hard time getting people to show up.
  2. Don’t be ambiguous – If you’re all over the place and confusing it is difficult to determine if you’re a good potential client.
  3. Don’t wait until the last minute – If you wait too long you will in the best case have to spend more in rush fees but you will also may not be able to work with the best companies and end up with an ineffective sign design.
  4. Don’t be vague or misrepresent your budget – This just wastes time and creates a difficult working relationship.
  5. Don’t send out mass estimate requests – Believe it or not, we usually find out when you send out the same request to every shop within a hundred miles and while we never steer away from competition we know this means you’re not serious about the design process and will result in a less than desirable sign.


  1. Do ask about price ranges – Few people know what a sign costs and we get that, conversations about price ranges and sign types will greatly expedite the process.
  2. Do be clear and prepared – Being able to explain your needs clearly is important. This does not mean you need to know what kind of sign you need but what you want your sign to do for you.
  3. Do start early – An effective design takes time and the entire process from design to permitting to fabrication and installation can easily take 2 months. Waited too long? Just be honest and offer a rush fee to cover over time and expedited fabrication.
  4. Do be honest about your budget – Being honest about this from the start will quickly get you to the right company or allow you to adjust your budget to a more realistic number.
  5. Do interview sign companies – Do a little research online and then make a few phone calls to interview some sign companies until you find a good match.

Follow these guidelines and hire a professional sign company where effective sign design is important and you will be adding to your profit in no time.