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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently moved my store from a small town 12 miles from the metro area to Lexington on a dead end street that is parallel to one of the busiest streets in town. We are next door to the oldest and busiest high-end paint and wallpaper store in town. The location cannot be seen from the busy road - someone actually needs to drive between and behind some of the buildings that face that road. But many people who are our demographic come to the paint store and pass in front of us.

Two questions. One is how to get people out on the main drag(s) to know where we are at. (No billboards in the immediate area, budget may not allow them anyway. City is goofy about not allowing many kinds of signs and/or locations thereof.) Second is I'd like to investigate if an electronic sign outside the store is feasible that shows photos, video, and text. I've seen this kind of sign in places like Gatlinburg, but no one can even give me a ballpark price. I've asked 3 sign/marketing people to come talk to me about it, nobody bothers to keep an appointment.

We do flooring, cabinets, countertops, kitchen and bath remodels, so it is a visual medium. (Personality-wise, I think in terms of numbers and text, so I have to make a conscious effort to communicate with visuals.) Any suggestions are appreciated!
 

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Have you approached the paint store about cross promotion opportunities? Let me spark your imagination a little by explaining that more. For less than the cost of a sign, you could give away a gift card to the paint store and all the people who "register" would then be exposed to your business. The only regulations you have to deal with this way is if there is anything in local laws that prevent you from having the drawing for a winner.
 

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Web Dude
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Steve as usual came up with a killer idea. If you can work a deal to cross promote each others business you can definitely start drumming up some work. For example, someone rings out across the street and the clerk hands them a coupon for your store with their slip, and vice versa for your clerks. Win win for both stores as you're not in direct competition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Cross promotion

Good ideas, I hadn't considered exactly that. What I am doing currently is a promotion where the premium is giving clients a gift certificate for Coronado or Stainmaster paint ($35-$40/gallon retail) with any job over $1,000.

Basically add a gallon at $3,000, another at $6,000 and so on. The paint store discounts it to me, so it is a nice "premium" for clients. (Do a smallish carpet job and get a gallon to paint a room. Do a kitchen remodel and get enough to do maybe half the house.)

We are also talking about doing door hangers together.

So to do what you are suggesting would be exactly what? Put out a bowl and get names, phone numbers, and addresses and draw a $100 winner every so often? Would it be better to have on the entry paper "what kind of job are you thinking about, best time to call you, etc." or strictly just do it to get the mailing list?
 

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We've done both types of things to generate "leads".

With the fishbowl=Sure--you're likely to get more "entries". But keep in mind,-those are just that=ENTRIES. We did a homeshow with a fishbowl with a real nice sign that read "Sign up here and register to win a room of windows". I was then the lucky guy to call over 100 slips the next day, and truth be told-most people just wanted something for nothing.--So if you're simply looking to amass a list of names and numbers, it may work....

Now, we offer a gift card, (valid towards the purchase/ installation of our products/ services)---And to get the gift card, they fill out a simple small questionaire that asks the following questions:


A. What type of home-improvement project are you planning, or maybe what's the next home-improvement project on your agenda?

B. Have you gotten any estimates at this point?

C. Always get a name, # and even an email address.

D. Whats the best time to call?

E. State somewhere on the slip all registrants must be 18 years or older and must OWN their home (don't want renters).

Again,--you're more than likely going to get a reduced number of "slips" by doing things this way, but providing you're actually looking for potential clients as opposed to tire-kickers, it may be a way to start.

Just my 2 cents----Either way, good luck!:thumbsup:
 

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You raised an excellent point, handyhands, which is why I would not advocate the phone call approach. In actuality, I didn't really have the fishbowl in mind either. But let me explain it better.

Since this paint store represents a high level of potential target market, I believe the response would be a lot different than if you tried this at a "home show" or similar type venue. The idea of setting up with the paint store is to either get foot traffic over to your (grahaminterior's) business, or to company web site. This provides direct exposure during the "registration" process. Ideally, you need email addresses as part of the registration (and be sure to include a statement/policy that you don't share or sell contact info).

Once your "contest" is over, you email everyone announcing the winner. Include something else of value in the email such as tips for doing wallpaper. This will help those who insist on the DIY appoach and inspire those who don't want the hassle to contact you. You can include an offer for your services too. Be really careful to make it useful and avoid "selling" so the opt-out rate is minimal. For those who don't opt-out, you can continue to keep your name fresh in their mind. If they don't need you this month, maybe that could change over the next year or so. The beauty is you spend that time developing a relationship of trust and look for ways to grow your list.

If one thing has hopefully stood out in this approach, it is NOT spam. You provide something of value so people don't feel pressured to buy, and volunteer to let you keep your company name fresh in their mind. This may not provide a lot of instant success, but over time, you will have an enviable foundation and stability most of your competitors have never thought of.
 
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