Home Shows – The Speed Dating of Contractors
If you are thinking about home improvements of any kind this year, chances are you have thought about going to a home show or two. Home shows are a great idea and it may be beneficial to check out more than one. It’s a one place shop where dozens of contractors and hundreds of potential clients are in one place at the same time. If you are in the market for windows and doors but are unsure of what company to go with, this is an ideal way to get an idea of the different companies available to you. They all have one main thing in common: they want to acquire your business and will try different tactics to reel you in. Some will be like a carnival barker calling you out as you make your way up the aisle to get your attention. Some will be offering you something free to get your attention and many will have fun giveaways to enter. None of these tactics are wrong, it’s just up to you to decide what best suits your personality. Aside from the attention-getting tactics, there are a few things you should be aware of when meeting with a window contractor at a Home Show.
- No pressure. You have a goal of going to a home show, and meeting different window companies is that goal. None of them should pressure you into making an appointment, or worst case purchasing a product on the spot. Think of Home Shows as a way to gather information. No one should ever feel pressured at any point in the buying process. You may click with one company over the other, and that is perfectly fine. Set up an appointment only if and when you feel comfortable.
- Ask Questions. These companies are there to give you information and to guide you. It’s good to be picky. This is the early “getting to know you” phase. In most cases, you will be spending a large amount of money on a big improvement project for your home, so it is wise to be picky. If you don’t like the way they are answering your questions or the way you are treated you upon the first visit, move on to the next booth.
- Beware of the Sales Pitch. When you first meet a person you potentially want to date, it is safe to say you may be scared off if they start planning your future upon first meeting. The same can said for vendors at a home show. If they start trying to give you a sales pitch before knowing what it is you are looking for, be careful that they only care about getting that sale more then what you actually need.
- Presentation Matters. Stay away from the contractor that writes his name on a blank piece of paper. You don’t necessarily need life size posters, but a nice business card and a flyer or two shows that the company prepared for the show. It also shows they take pride in the work they do. Also, make sure you can see what company they are representing. It’s a sign of professionalism to approach a booth where the worker is wearing a company shirt or hat. The company sign should be clearly visible. Any reputable company wants their name to stand out and will gladly have their name as thecenterpiecee of their booth.
- Eye Contact. Nothing is more disheartening than when talking to someone you just meet and you notice they don’t make eye contact with you or worse! They are checking their phone. So you shouldn’t accept that behavior when weeding out potential window companies. If they can’t give you the simple courtesy of giving you their full attention upon first meeting in trying to win your business, there is no telling how they will treat you after they get it.
Above all else, have fun. Home Shows are also about getting out in the cold winter months and start looking forward to a spring filled with projects. There is always a little bit of entertainment and in most cases good food. Keeping these tips in mind, chances are you will have at least one window company you will want to meet with. We are willing to bet we will be on that list. So remember, you may not find your match, but at least you had some fun at the show.