Home shows and fairs are a trade staple for contractors that build retaining walls, outdoor living areas and hardscapes looking to develop new leads for their business. I've heard contractors say they get 60-70% of their annual business from shows, while others claim it's a waste of time and money. What are the successful contractors doing differently? Here's a list of 12 ideas to make your next show a success.
1. Have a visual presentation playing, like a video or power point show. With video cameras and editing software available for under $100, you don't have to be a professional videographer to put together a presentation showcasing your work. A 5-6 minute video loop is enough to engage attendees and allow you speak about what you do.
2. Have an album with pictures and testimonials. Here's an opportunity to provide ideas and inspiration for projects you've completed that your prospects may be considering. No matter how good you say you are, customer testimonials lend credibility.
3. Have a contest or drawing. Give away something that is attractive to them, especially something with a high perceived value. For example, some contractors will give away a fire pit with a value of $950, yet costs a fraction for the contractor to build.
4. A candy bowl. Be sure it's deep and don't fill it up, let it appear as though there isn't much left. They'll want to grab some before it's all gone.
5. Wear shirts with your logo on them. You have an opportunity to build brand awareness. Have a name tag too. People like to know who they're talking to.
6. Don't just stand in the back of your booth. Get in the aisle and mingle and engage prospects.
7. Wear a smile. Prospects are more likely to engage a smiling face.
8. Be energetic. You need to be positive and deliver your message with some enthusiasm. If you're tired, don't sit in the booth, switch out every hour or so with someone to keep the upbeat tone in your booth.
9. Boldly display your website on your backdrop. To stand out, some companies make the name a different color than the "www" or ".com".
10. Ask them to fill out a lead form. Be sure to capture as much information from them as possible, including their email address. Having their email address allows you to passively stay in contact with them throughout the year with monthly newsletters and seasonal specials.
11. Partner with a complimentary business. This could allow you to have a larger booth presence and share more leads.
12. Keep a clear path. Don't clutter up your booth. Allow prospects the opportunity to step into your booth area and out of the aisle. This make it easier to engage them and allows you to hold their attention.
Remember, your purpose is to gather leads and create a lasting impression so your prospect remembers you. Be sure to qualify your leads. Many companies use a grading system such as A= hot lead, B=warm lead, and C=slightly interested lead. Always try to set the appointment right there at the show. This will save you valuable time from chasing after them to set the appointment.
I hope you find a lot of success at your next home show or fair. If you'd like learn more about a product that draws customers to your booth, follow the link below for a video overview and webinar schedule of the Stonemakers system for retaining walls and hardscapes.