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Home Shows: A How-To Guide

By Jeremy Chavis and Josh May

The season for Home Shows, State Fairs, and County Fairs has arrived in full swing. Having worked several of these shows in Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota already this year, vacuum dealer Jeremy Chavis and National Sales Manager for Riccar and Simplicity Josh May have created a guide for success at these events.

Following up with a great VDTA panel seminar titled Everything Has Changed, Jeremy Chavis discusses the value of home shows. With his third show already this spring, Jeremy hopes to total over $100,000 in business.

According to Jeremy, there are two basic ways to approach these kinds of shows:
Go with the mission to attain leads and promote your business OR
Go with the goal to sell product, with the side benefit of promoting your business and attaining leads. This article will focus on approach number two.

The booth needs to be simple and concise. This is not your store, so not every product you sell needs to be on display. Most consumers come to these shows for the food and to see what's new. One of the most effective ways to show that you mean business is to show that you have inventory on hand to sell. Getting purchased product out of the show can be difficult for consumers, so offer to carry it out to their vehicle. In some cases, it's appropriate to arrange for in-store pickup (with the product pre-assembled) or to ship the product to the consumer. Make sure the experience is as painless as possible

You should have a selection of product that features the Premium model from your major categories of vacuums. Unique products that are new bring energy (like cordless vacuums) and are also great to have at the show. You might also partner with a vendor/manufacturer to have a "truckload sale" or event specifically related to the show. Ask the manufacturer if they will consider giving or discounting product only with purchase at the show.

Make sure you have an item on hand – not expensive – that can really win the consumer's attention. Jeremy uses The Pet Hair Tool from Tacony, which is set up near the aisle with kapok and a demo rug to address consumers' pet hair issues. It's quick, inexpensive, and acts as a gateway for other conversations that lead to big ticket item demonstrations.

In today's world, you can easily purchase a payment device that allows consumers to pay easily and attaches right to your smartphone. These devices allow consumers to swipe credit cards and can be linked directly to your bank account. Jeremy says, "If they can buy cotton candy with a credit card, they should be able to buy anything in your booth with one." Being able to offer financing to consumers is a must!

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Reprinted from Floor Care & Central Vac Professional, April 2017