It’s that time again where things are slow at your landscaping business. And yet, you can use this time between January and May, depending on where you’re located, to reach new clients in another city, or to highlight a new service you’re offering this spring. Which is why this blog will explain the variety benefits of home and garden shows.
How do home and garden shows work? What are the benefits to your landscaping company? This blog post will cover the following:
- The benefits of being a vendor at a home and garden show
- 9 Do’s and Don’ts’s of home and garden show etiquette
- How to prepare for your first home and garden show.
6 Reasons Why You Should Be a Vendor at a Home and Garden Show
Trade show event planners design and run home and garden shows. You probably have seen billboards, social media, blogs, and other advertisements for upcoming shows in your area.
According to Marketplace Events, a company that’s overseeing shows throughout Canada and the U.S. in 2020, their events “connect enthusiasts with experts, products, and services in a dynamic face-to-face environment.”
Face-to-face is vital for growing your landscape company in 2020.
The majority of folks visiting your local home and garden show are homeowners who may convert to customers. They may have a specific project in mind, or they’re looking for inspiration. Either way, a home and garden show is a great way to meet new prospects for your landscaping business.
So, here are six reasons to rent a booth at your local home and garden show:
- You get exposure. Remember that face-to-face benefit? When people stop at your booth, they’ll take notice of your display and ask you questions. Also, most home and garden shows allow you to include your information with links, guiding visitors to your website.
- Home and garden shows are one-stop-shops. Homeowners come to one area where they can experience and talk to landscaping companies as well as other home services. Many people go to these shows wanting to add a new landscape or hardscape feature to their properties in time for Memorial Day weekend. Plus, attendees enjoy walking around daydreaming about their backyards during the bleak winter days. So, now’s the time to wow prospects with how you make outdoor living attainable.
- You can sweeten the deal with your prospects. Offer specials and bargains for those who attended the home and garden show. Get people excited about planning for the spring as well as sign up new customers using special offers for attending the trade show.
- Snag some DIY’ers. Even though some homeowners love doing their own landscaping projects, they may be stuck or don’t have the skills to build an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen. Even though a DIY’er may only ask you questions, make sure you get their contact information to follow up with their projects.
- Show off your best projects. If you really want to enjoy the show, then show off your masterpieces. Your enthusiasm will show when you talk about your passions. If you provide water features, set up some of your favorite displays. Your energy will pay off with new customers.
- Great way to market your landscaping company. Home and garden show planners drum up excitement for their shows months before opening day. You not only get the online exposure, but that exposure lasts for the months leading up to the show, during the show, and then after the show.
- Lastly, most event planners will invite you to join them on their social media channels or offer to video your testimonial of how their show benefitted your company.
9 Do’s and Don’ts of Home and Garden Show Etiquette
While you may be a laid-back lawn care owner/operator, you need to be aware of how to act at a home and garden show.
If you or your team is MIA a lot, eating or scrolling through their phones, you won’t see success at your booth.
Here are nine do’s and don’ts’s for a successful trade show:
- Don’t be a sales gang. A sales gang is when you and your associates cluster together toward the back of your booth. People are stopping by your table and looking at your display, but your team isn’t talking to these potential prospects.
- Put the phone, book, or magazine away. While everyone needs a break from talking about your company’s products and services, you should be standing and looking ready to engage. Otherwise, it’s a turnoff for potential sales.
- Don’t take a break at the booth. If you’ve gone to trade shows, such as GIE+Expo, don’t you feel uncomfortable walking up to a booth while the lone salesperson is eating a big sub? Make sure that you have a sign that says you’ll be right back. Then, go to the food court to eat that Italian sandwich.
- Conversely, you don’t want to be MIA from your booth too often or for too long. It’s fine to take a break for 10 minutes, but you don’t want to be gone too long from your booth. You never know who’ll stop by and wish to learn more about your lawn care services.
- Don’t be that pushy salesperson. Most people don’t like aggressive sales, so be confident and welcoming. Smile and look people in the eye. Be ready to answer their questions and talk about their needs.
- Don’t write people off. You never know who’ll be your next big sales prospect. Sure, you have a persona in mind—but no one ever fits an image perfectly. So, be open to answering all of your visitors’ questions.
- Don’t allow one visitor to monopolize you. Conversely, you don’t want one customer to talk your ear off either. It’s better to have a small team of two to three folks working your booth, especially during busy times.
- Don’t use this time to complain. What do you think when you see someone complaining—especially a salesperson? Does it give you a good feeling about their company? Instead, be positive and upbeat.
- The keys to a successful home and garden show include these three ingredients: a dynamic display, friendliness, and staying focused when you’re at your booth.
Preparing for Your Home and Garden Show
Preparing for a successful home and garden show is vital if you want to win new sales prospects for spring projects. For example, you can avoid an empty booth when you prepare to have a small team of people working the booth in shifts.
- Know why you’re attending. For example, if it’s to get new sales prospects for a niche area of your company, then share that information with your associates who’ll be representing you and your landscape company.
- Your goals should include sales, gathering quality leads, and showcasing your services. While you don’t want to give anyone the cold shoulder, you should be qualifying your leads. After the show, you can follow-up with these prospects, and you won’t waste time with tire kickers.
- Role-play appropriate interactions with sales prospects. You won’t have your entire sales team working the booth throughout the show. So, you need to role-play with your associates before the show. Also, ask your team members if they have any questions or concerns about the products and services you’re emphasizing at the show. Finally, make sure your team won’t be winging it. They need to be prepared. Homeowners will be visiting with your competitors too, and the most prepared company wins.
- Draw in your sales prospects. Your dazzling displays should draw the homeowner or property manager toward your booth. Learn how to stage a booth to get the best results. Plus, your team should not be like retail sales clerks asking, “How can I help you?” Instead, teach them how to interact with homeowners and others during the trade show.
- You find your best leads by asking questions. When you talk to visitors, you don’t want to cut them off or be rude. However, you still need to test who’ll be likely leads versus tire kickers.
You can find your answers by asking homeowners questions about
- The type of home they have.
- Do they have a design in mind?
- Have they talked to other contractors?
- What’s their budget for this project?
- Move your visitors through the sales funnel faster. Many homeowners who stop and talk to you may not be ready to make a firm decision to go with your company or not. But try to get them to at least consider meeting with you in the weeks following the show. If you have some homeowners on the fence, don’t consider them tire kickers right away. Ask them if you can schedule a later appointment to discuss their landscape design plan in further detail. Give these homeowners a takeaway that will remind them of you. When you call during the follow-up, you can remind them of that takeaway and take the next step for making an appointment.
- Don’t forget to follow up with your promising prospects. While you may need a few days to decompress from the show, make it a priority for you and your sales team to follow up with those promising prospects that you met. Call or email them within the first few weeks after the show, so you’re fresh in their mind.
There you have it! Follow these steps and your Home and Garden shows will be a big win for you and your business!