One inevitable fact that any home improvement business owner is familiar with is the rising cost of set, qualified leads. Whether the do-not-call list is hampering your telemarketing efforts, or the high cost of television and radio advertising prohibits you from capturing your target market through those avenues, every business is looking for new, inexpensive ways to generate leads.
This time of year, one needs to look no further than trade shows or home shows in your area to accomplish this crucial goal. Keep in mind that while it may initially be daunting to consider starting up your company’s own “events” department, there are a few basic guidelines to follow that can help simplify the process.
- The first and most important principle to abide by is KEEP IT SIMPLE. At any trade show you will see the large manufacturers flaunting their thoroughly modern, colorful multi-booth displays, and undoubtedly be impressed. While this type of flashy setup is appropriate for a Fortune 500 company, it is not what you need to generate leads for your business. Get a standard sized booth (typically 10’ x 10’) and this will be plenty of space to present your goods or services in a positive light.
- Additionally, keep your booth display itself simple and clean in appearance. You will discover that a straightforward approach with a finite amount of photographs, key bullet points and physical samples for customers to touch (if applicable) is preferable to a cluttered booth filled with overflowing bins of literature, knick-knack giveaways and raffle tickets.
- When staffing your home show booth, or working the show yourself, there are also a few key elements to remember that will aid in your success. Make certain that anyone working your booth is on script, and role-play with your employees to make sure they know how to interact with potential customers. Generally, these individuals are not there to sell your product, rather their goal is to set appointments for your sales representatives, so make sure the proper amount of information is given out at the booth. Leave your selling to your sales representatives.
- Another key element to getting the most out of your trade show campaign lies in how you choose to distribute your company literature. Too many companies make the common mistake of simply giving away flyers, brochures, or magazines to anyone who asks for one upon entering your booth. While you do clearly want to spread the word about your company’s goods or services as much as possible, be wary of falling into this trap. The vast majority of individuals who take one of your brochures (which cost you $$$) end up simply depositing them in the trash bin nearest the exit of the show. Think about it – how many times have you been to a trade show, walked out with a handful of information on various intriguing companies, and tossed that handful of shiny paper into the largest, closest receptacle you could find, or maybe just set it down somewhere and forgotten about it? Probably more than you can remember.
Simply put, relying on potential customers to get back in touch with you will not work. Your booth staff must be given incentives to do one of two things: either set an appointment for your sales staff to run, or collect potential customers’ information so that your telemarketers can follow up with them. If you leave it up to these individuals to call you back, they won’t, and your opportunity to add to the company’s bottom line has been lost.
Take advantage of this time of year to enlist the help of your area trade shows in spreading the word about your company. Search for them online, and find the most prominent promoters in your part of the country. Contact these promoters and ask about their shows, and even about others in their field. Find out what venues host these types of events and contact them directly. You will discover more of these opportunities than you previously knew existed, which means more opportunities for you to locate low-cost leads and line your pockets with money in the process.