Benefits of Trade Shows for Home Services Owner Operators | Preparing for the Trade Show | Ideas for Trade Show Promotions | Selling at Your Trade Show | Conclusion
Trade shows offer a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their products or services to potential customers, and the home services industry is no exception. From landscaping to roofing, painting to plumbing, countless home service providers are looking to expand their customer base and generate new business.
But with so many companies vying for attention, standing out and making a lasting impression can prove challenging. This is where a well-planned and executed trade show strategy comes into play. Want to know how to sell at a trade show? Keep reading.
Benefits of Trade Shows for Home Services Owner Operators
Trade shows are the perfect venue for home services owner-operators. These events offer a range of benefits that can energize your cash flow and growth.
Not only can you network and strengthen your rapport with customers, but you can also generate high-quality leads and brand awareness. Entrepreneur trade shows, for example, are an excellent place to do some trade show advertising for your business and assess your competition so you can find ways to differentiate yourself from them.
And perhaps the most exciting aspect is the chance to meet clients face-to-face. Nothing beats the power of personal interaction, and selling at trade shows offers the ultimate opportunity to engage with customers and showcase your services in an immersive, hands-on environment.
Preparing for the Trade Show
Research Relevant Trade Shows for Your Industry.
Start by finding relevant business trade shows. Research different shows in your industry and check out their attendance rates, exhibitor demographics, and cost of entry.
Source: Pinnacle Promotions
The trade show should align with your business goals, and you should get an accurate picture of what you are getting yourself into before committing time and money.
Set Lead and Prospect Goals for the Event.
Goals are essential for successful trade show advertising. Before attending, decide on specific metrics you want to achieve from the event, such as generating a certain number of leads or prospects. These should help you focus your efforts and track measurable and achievable goals that can serve as a benchmark for success.
Plan Your Booth Design.
Your booth is the face of your business at the trade show; it’s important to make sure it stands out amongst the competition and accurately reflects your brand. Display Wizard’s Trade Show Trends Report found that 48% of respondents said an eye-catching stand was the best way to attract attendees to a booth.
When designing your booth, consider factors such as layout, graphics, messaging, and lighting to create a cohesive and inviting environment. Use eye-catching visuals and displays, incorporate interactive elements, and utilize technology to engage visitors and showcase your services.
Train Your Team on How to Handle Inquiries, Potential Partnerships, and More.
Train your team to effectively communicate your services, answer questions, and identify potential partnerships. Make sure they are knowledgeable about your business goals, and have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve with your trade show promotions.
Consider Trade Show Advertisements and Sponsorships to Attract Interest in Your Booth.
A trade show ad or sponsorship is a fantastic way to create buzz and attract attention to your booth. If you have the budget, consider advertising in show publications or sponsoring key events to increase your visibility and generate interest. Social media is also an effective platform for connecting with attendees before the event and promoting your business.
Ideas for Trade Show Promotions
Make Sure Your Promotions Help You Achieve Your Event Goals.
Whether your goal is to generate more leads, build relationships with existing customers, or gain exposure for your brand, you should develop a strategic plan that outlines how your business will do this. Suppose your goal is to generate leads. You could leverage things like prize drawings to encourage engagement and increase interest in your brand, all while enticing potential customers to provide their contact information.
Do Drawings for Free or Discounted Services.
Everyone loves a chance to win something, so why not offer a drawing for free or discounted services? Offer free or discounted services as prizes for those who enter, such as home repair consultations or estimates, discounts on future purchases, or gift cards.
Give Gifts to Visitors.
While freebies are always great, it’s important to choose items that aren’t only useful but also relevant to your business. While putting your logo on a pen or stress ball might be a common choice, it might not necessarily be an effective way to prompt your brand.
Instead, consider giving out items that are directly related to your business and can provide value to potential customers. For example, if your home services business is related to emergencies, consider giving out magnets with your contact information. These magnets can be placed on the fridge, and in the event of an emergency, potential customers will have quick access to your contact information.
If your business is related to home improvement or renovation, consider giving out small samples of your products, such as paint swatches, tile samples, or fabric swatches. These samples can offer a feel for your products and can lead to increased interest and potential sales.
Partner with Another Vendor for an After-hours Event.
Partnering with another vendor or exhibitor to host an after-hours event is a way to build relationships and generate more leads. Consider collaborating with a local restaurant, bar, or theater for an exclusive event where you can network and mingle with attendees outside of trade show hours.
Selling at Your Trade Show
Ask Great Questions.
Asking great questions is key to identifying the needs of your prospects and tailoring your sales pitch to meet those needs. When talking to prospects, start by asking open-ended questions that encourage them to share information about their business and their pain points. After all, a big part of doing business is to understand customers’ needs and how your service can solve their problems.
Don’t Be Afraid to Approach Others.
Approaching strangers can be intimidating, but remember that trade shows exist for the sole purpose of networking and learning about new products and services. You’ll want to proactively engage with attendees as much as possible - without overdoing it.
There are several tactics you can use to do this successfully, including having a clear elevator pitch that quickly and succinctly explains what you do and how you can help customers. Another effective strategy is to leave one team member at your booth while other members walk around and engage others.
Remember, a smile, a friendly greeting, and an offer to help are often all that's needed to break the ice.
Anticipate Objections and Have Compelling Responses Ready.
When engaging prospects at the event, you’ll undoubtedly encounter questions that stump you or catch you off guard. But if you prepare for these conversations, you’ll feel more confident and even find you’re able to navigate more objections.
One way to prepare is to sit down with your team and brainstorm all the objections and questions your business gets. Practice selling to each other and try to come up with more thoughtful questions and objections. These techniques will get everyone as prepared as possible to make a great impression at the show.
Focus on Building Relationships.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about making sales, it’s also about building relationships. So take the time to truly connect with your prospects and create a foundation for future business. Take the time to listen to prospects, learn about their wants, and show a genuine interest in their needs - rather than just pushing your service.
Plan to Follow-up with Prospects After the Show.
Follow-up emails or calls should be sent within a few days of the event to stay top-of-mind with attendees. Thank them for visiting your booth and offer more information or support relating to your business. Trade shows are just the beginning of your sales process, so always keep the conversation going.
Selling at home services trade shows can be a fun and rewarding experience for businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with new customers. By following these steps - asking great questions, approaching others confidently, anticipating objections, building relationships, and following up with prospects - you can showcase what your home services business has to offer, make meaningful connections, and watch your sales go up.