Welcome to the second segment of our two-part series for landscapers: How to get more business from home shows. In this part, we will address the number one mistake most business owners make after the trade show ends.
Just to recap the two tips we covered last time:
1. Go visual and make it count (a rental projector will definitely help showcase images of your work).
2. Incentivize with a juicy offer (give potential customers a compelling reason to buy from you — sooner rather than later).
Now let's move on to tip #3:
3. Collect pertinent data.
What information will you need from the person in order to add them to your database or to contact them for a consultation? Name, telephone number and email address comprise the bare minimum. Perhaps you'd also like to know what city they live in (or what part of town) so you can refer them to a colleague if they live outside of your preferred work zone. Maybe you want to know what they're thinking of having done (front yard, back yard, trees, water features, etc.) or what their timeline or budget entails. Collecting answers to questions such as these will assist you in prioritizing follow ups, and can save you loads of time after the show. Consider bringing or renting a laptop to collect data digitally on the spot, or use paper forms and clipboards if you prefer to work offline. Remember to provide plenty of pens!
4. Follow up with everyone.
It seems so obvious, right? But you might be surprised to learn how many business owners NEVER follow up with the leads they've gained during a show. Perhaps the most common reason for this is a lack of resources. Small businesses may lack the resources to follow up with each and every lead, but if you don't do this, you are leaving money on the table. Additionally, some landscapers neglect new leads whenever business starts to pick up dramatically. You may book several new clients at (or shortly after) the home show, but it pays to be forward thinking and to book clients further in advance. Yes, you may need to hire additional staff. But expansion is all part of what is possible when you get increased exposure from an event like a home show.
You might consider hiring (or acquiring) temporary help to follow up with each lead. Phone personnel is not terribly expensive, or you can solicit help from someone close to you who may not be directly affiliated with the business (spouse, friend, relative, etc.). Just be sure to train the person, give them a list of questions to ask during the follow up, a way to take notes (online or on paper) and instruct them on how to handle these types of calls and how to get consultations booked.
Following these simple tips will help ensure that your next home show is successful in growing your business.
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