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Show Time for Remodelers

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Show Time for Remodelers

Every person at a home show is a potential customer. Will you get the lead or will your competitor?

By By Brian Elias April 1, 2016
Brian Elias, a Detroit-area native, is president and founder of 1-800-Hansons, a $60 million home improvement company with seven locations serving Michigan and Ohio.
This article first appeared in the April 2016 issue of Pro Remodeler.

It’s that time of year when you and your people pack the company van with a backdrop, candy bowl, and box of brochures and samples and set off for the local home show. You put together the display booth, and your team’s looking sharp in their new polo shirts. You’re ready to watch the leads come rolling in.

It all sounds easy enough, right? But every year I witness the same insanity when I visit my team at a show. I see people in the other booths sitting down, chatting with each other and doing absolutely nothing to engage with any of the prospective buyers walking right by them. The staff think that because they’re in plain sight in their booth, that’s enough to make customers stop and talk with them.

Hello? Remember that refrain from the movie Field of Dreams: “Build it and they will come.” Newsflash: They’re not coming unless you make them come! You have to entice potential customers with a reason to stop at your booth.

Every person who goes to a home improvement show needs some type of home improvement. The question is: Are you getting the lead, or is your competitor?

There’s a lot of competition at the show, and you’re all fighting for the attention of the same limited number of attendees. So you have to be smarter than the other guys. You have to be different. You have to be unique.

But here’s the rub: Homeowners don’t know they want to do business with your company until they stop and talk with you. The easiest way we’ve found to get a person to do that is to hand them something. It really doesn’t matter what you give them—a flyer, a brochure, a gift. What matters is getting them to slow down so you can work your magic. You’ll be shocked at how well this works. We did almost $4 million in net business from shows and events in 2015.

All you need is five seconds to catch their attention and then make your pitch. That’s five seconds more than those two knuckleheads talking to each other in the booth behind you got.

Every person at a home show is a potential customer. Will you get the lead or will your competitor?

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