Tips for Upselling to Restroom and Shower Trailers

For a growing number of your customers, the basic portable restroom is not good enough. You need to offer them the VIP treatment.

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Over the past decade, restroom trailers have rapidly grown in popularity and are now considered a standard piece of equipment for many PROs. Shower trailers are now beginning to increase in popularity. We had two questions this month that dealt with marketing ideas for both categories of trailers.

Question: We are quite interested in getting into the restroom trailer market and are looking at purchasing a small, two-stall trailer and a larger six-stall model. What ideas do you have in terms of marketing these two trailers?

Answer: The idea of purchasing two trailers is very sound. The ability to offer customers a choice of products shows your company is anxious to meet customers’ needs. In addition, offering a choice of restroom trailers will minimize the likelihood that the customer will have to shop elsewhere if, for example, you only have a large trailer and the customer is having a small, backyard event.

Not all customers are familiar with restroom trailers, as they tend to only associate portable restrooms with our industry. For this reason, your marketing efforts need to advertise and educate the customer.

While many marketing suggestions apply to all restroom trailers, a target-market approach based on trailer size and style can be most effective.

BASIC TRAILER MARKETING COMPONENTS

As in marketing any new product, repetition of the announcement to your potential customer base is vital. Possible communication methods include:

Social media – Photos of the trailers, both outside and inside, introduce and educate the marketplace about your product. Videos are even better in terms of giving a full description of the trailer. The goal is for the potential customers to envision uses where your trailer will meet their needs. Reference your company’s website for more information.

Company website – Consider using a banner advertisement on your homepage announcing the company’s new line of trailers. Since your homepage is the first and most visited page, this information is important to capture your audience’s attention.

A dedicated page should not only advertise by showing photos or videos, but also educate. Listing the electrical and water source requirements is extremely important. Another requirement that PROs sometimes overlook is clearly stating the requirements for the placement of the trailer: level ground, access for a delivery truck and the total area required for trailer placement. As experienced PROs can attest, the customer plan for putting a 15-foot trailer in a 20-foot clearing is not an option. The rule of thumb is that, at a minimum, double the trailer length is required for it to be properly placed.

Targeted mailings – Sending flyers to targeted customers such as event planners is another way to spread the news. Again, photos and references to your company’s website are the key to successfully using this advertising tool.

Meetings and business shows – Attending these events, with flyers and business cards in hand, is an excellent way to converse with potential customers about your new product. Photos make the explanation of the trailer concept easier. The sooner customers understand the concept, the sooner they can begin to assess where and when they can use your new product.

SMALL-TRAILER TARGET MARKET

Small trailers are excellent options for backyard weddings, VIP areas at outdoor concerts and shows, and similar-sized events. Applying the general marketing suggestions listed to this marketplace, consider:

Calls to wedding planners – Personal touch is important in this industry, and a phone call with the promise of mailing additional information is an excellent way to become acquainted with these contacts.

Exhibit at a wedding show – Smaller trailers are easier to handle and less expensive to display in a vendor booth. Planners and families can begin to formulate site plans that will include these restrooms as a necessary part of their event. Have your flyers on hand as well to present the larger trailer as another viable option if needed. 

Research building permits for commercial renovations – Any restaurant planning to stay open during renovation will need customer access to restrooms. Many PROs have had small trailers move from location to location when a restaurant chain is renovating multiple stores in one city.

Local municipalities – Small local events may require small trailers in locations where permanent restrooms are not available. In addition, restrooms may be needed in certain areas but, due to space requirements, portable restrooms would take up too much space.

Event planners – Many concert venues have either permanent facilities or banks of portable restrooms for the audience, but small trailers behind the stage area offer an alternative for the performers and other VIPs. Always mention that your company also offers larger trailers.

LARGE-TRAILER TARGET MARKET

In addition to merely larger versions of the small-trailer market, consider more specialized uses of larger trailers such as:

Disaster relief and emergencies – Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state agencies (see our June column for details) and have trailers as an option during disasters and emergencies.

Large job sites – Some job sites in large downtown areas have very confined spaces to work in, so a large bank of portable restrooms is not feasible. Other large union job sites require equal facilities for workers and the superintendents who have restrooms inside their construction office trailers.    

Specialty industries – Mining, logging and some road construction jobs present unique opportunities to place a trailer for a large group of workers for long periods of time. Consider these jobs if you have at least one other large trailer for special events. 

Question: Our company has had restroom trailers for several years, and we are looking at purchasing a shower trailer. What unique marketing strategies should we consider?

Answer: In addition to the strategies listed above, there are a few additional markets you should consider:

Road race promoters – Primarily biathlons and triathlons incorporate shower facilities into these events. Contacting these promoters and even attending such an event, if possible, will give you additional knowledge as to specific needs.

Large industrial plants – Some facilities require decontamination areas, and showers often fulfill those requirements. Inquire and you may be surprised.

Disaster relief and emergencies – As with the large-trailer market, there is almost always a need for showers in these scenarios.

FINAL THOUGHTS

You must let the marketplace know you have this equipment, and you must educate potential customers about the many ways restroom and shower trailers can meet their needs. Advertise, advertise, advertise! Educate, educate, educate!  



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