One of the most successful methods Stonemakers dealers have had in generating new business is by hosting a demonstration day. Any contractor that does hardscapes, retaining walls, water features, outdoor living areas and patios can benefit from this type of promotion. Belknap Landscape Company in Guilford, NH and Complete Concrete in Sykesville, MD both had tremendous returns from hosting a demonstration. Here are the four key areas to ensure success.
1. Select a date 4-6 weeks out in advance.
2. Find a suitable location that can accommodate a good number of people and has some traffic. Car dealerships and retail shopping centers lend well to a promotion, and you'll gain exposure beyond the demonstration. Typically a water feature and 30-40 ft of sitting wall can be completed in 4-5 hours. Offer to cover the cost of labor if they'll pay for only the materials in exchange to do the promotion. They can also help in cross promoting through their local advertising.
1. Let your customers know what your doing. Send them a flyer in the statement for the month letting them know. Send out a couple of email invitations. If you have a monthly newsletter, promote it there. Post it on your Facebook page. Send invitations to the local chamber group and other builders associations or organizations you belong to. Invite architects and other contractors. This is a networking event getting you some exposure for the creative work you do.
2. Send out a press release, contact your local paper and invite them to the event. Post in your blog and on your website. Maybe even contact your local TV station. At certain times of the year they might want to highlight home improvement stories.
1. The day before the event have the area prepped and ready to go. Be sure all of the supplies are ordered and in place and your team is set.
2. The day of the event have a 10x10 tent set up. Have a table with brochures, business cards, and a sign in sheet for attendees. Refreshments like water and soda, coffee and doughnuts, and maybe even bring in pizza or sandwiches for lunch. Plan to start around 10AM and finish around 3PM.
3. Take pictures and video for the work as it's going along. This will be a great piece to use on your website and blog, and for promotional purposes.
4. Have a great demonstration! Invite questions and participation as the project progresses.
1. Now that you've had a successful demonstration, it's time to build off of it. Get the picture and video posted to your website and Facebook page.
2. Get an email out to everyone on the sign-in sheet. Let your customers know the location of the completed project so they see firsthand what you can do.
3. Follow up with the contractors and architects and find out where you can quote some projects.
Any thoughts or comments on hosting a demonstration day? Let us know.