What To Do When the Home Show Doesn't Produce Enough Leads
Old habits die slowly, very slowly. We often hear landscapers and home builders/remodelers say that they've been doing home shows for 10, 15, and more years. And what we hear just as often is that generating business from a home show is nothing like it used to be. That's not a surprise and it shouldn't be because of one major reason: our global culture has created research junkies.
And that's a good reason. Think about it for yourself. how long do you spend researching a major product or service before purchasing? And all that research helps provide a happier customer - you're more likely to feel confident about the results because of all the time you spent researching.
So what were you really expecting at that home show? That homeowners would pass your booth, speak with you, and be ready for an in-home consultation about a $95,000 project..without ever researching online first? Yes, this was a reasonable expectation 10 years ago - when it was possible to book up your whole season from that home show booth. Newsflash: your potential customers are researching online.
So now that the home show has arrived and passed... and you're left with plenty of room in your season, what do you do? Embrace the research culture. It will help you get one step closer to get better return on your advertising efforts. Want another reason to embrace the shopping trends?: 81% of shoppers research online before buying (Retailing Today: GE Capital Bank, Major Purchase Shopping Study).
Look to your digital presence. And we aren't suggesting that you confirm you have a website. Everyone has a website, just like everyone has a business telephone number. The objective here is how well you are doing with attracting people to your website. New people, not those that you are referring to your website to look at your work (related: Is Your Website a Digital Brochure?). How many leads is your website bringing in each year? Your answer should be at least 75%. If it's not, you're losing money from the leads you could be getting.
How do you do it? Take advantage of the research culture: feed the beast. Give information, provide answers, help these researchers (your potential clients) get what they're looking for online. Get inbound marketing to work for you with content.
Start a blog and write about solutions professionally. This doesn't mean you write blog posts about how great your company is. No one is searching "how great is ABC landscaping." They are searching how to create better entertaining spaces, better patios, better kitchens, more cooking spaces, open spaces. Write about stuff your prospects are researching. And most importantly, know who these prospects are and what they're researching. Here is a helpful article for keyword research: Keywords, Demystified.
Attracting people is the first step - but you need them to become qualified leads after they've arrived to your site. Realize that you won't sell a $150k job overnight - they'll need more time to think it through - way before they call you. Therefore, you want to help them along in their journey of research. Contact us is the last step in this journey. Create other opportunities for them to engage with you more - forms and subscribe buttons to capture their info and to invite them back.
Use other platforms to complement your lead generating website. Facebook, Twitter, and email marketing are all excellent channels. Related: 5 Facebook Myths Every Home Design & Build Pro Should Know. Make sure you understand how to use these. For example, many business owners believe the more likes on Facebook, the better. This is simply not true. Yes, you need likes on Facebook - but you need them from the right people: your target clients. More importantly, you need to boost posts on Facebook since Facebook only shows approximately 5% of your posts to your followers for free.
So let's get to the bottom line. When you're all done with the home show weekend and you're left with little or no leads, look to your website!
Image via Flickr angela n.