Make Cold Phone Call Marketing Warmer

3 minute read

Nobody, I mean nobody likes to make cold phone calls. And nobody likes to get cold phone calls. It’s annoying and it’s a major interruption of our day and life. Yet, as marketers, it is necessary for you to make some phone calls – otherwise, you will always be struggling to get enough opportunities and ultimately enough referral work.


Almost weekly, I remind marketers that they need to be aggressive with their social media engagement. Marketers tell me they have 50, 100, or even 200 LinkedIn connections, and they are always getting “invites to connect” but simply ignore them. When you connect with business people on LinkedIn (people in your community), it means they “see” your name, many times they look up your profile before they connect, and all of that gives them another touch or exposure to you. I’ve been on LinkedIn for 15 years, and actively try to connect with people – and as of this writing, I have about 3,300 – 1st connections. Every first connection you get gives you an email address. What an easy way to build your email list.


Using social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, and even Pinterest create exposure, awareness, and familiarity with you, your name, and your company name. As you post articles, create FB or Twitter posts, and put photos on Pinterest, you are stirring the proverbial pot of familiarity – making your connections warmer. When you make phone calls to clients, this familiarity (recognizing your name) means they are far more likely to take your call, and even give you a few minutes of their time.


When you do a good job of connecting with and becoming friends with people on social platforms, you build Social Proof. Some people have the idea that becoming Friends with others on Facebook means you must personally know them. The reality is, if they are friends with others you are friends with, there already is a commonality. My FB friends list exceeds 1700 because I ask to become friends with anyone that has at least 50 mutual friends with me! If, after you connect with them, you do not like their posts and comments, or find them acting like a troll, simply unfriend them (or unfollow them). As a marketer, your end game should be to connect and befriend as many as you can on social sites to elevate your familiarity with them.

One additional consideration is if, when you call them and remind them you are connected with them on FB or other social sites, they blow you off, are rude, disrespectful, or otherwise mistreat you… Unfriend them or remove them as a connection – they aren’t worth the effort and won’t help you get more business.


Reaching out to people by phone – to those you are “connected to on SM” – is a fast and more comfortable way to engage. The calls are warmer, and the people you call are more receptive because of the social media link or awareness they have with you. All you should be trying to do on those phone calls is just one thing. You should use your 3-sentence elevator pitch to schedule a face-to-face appointment with them. In the process I’m describing, you should never be trying to sell them your goods and services on that initial cold or warm call. The simple goal from the call: get an in-person appointment with them.

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745   Call Me!        

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission is required to share this article.


The World Has Changed, But I Won’t

3 minute read

It’s a great attitude to firmly plant your thoughts, ideas, and values in a solid position without changing like the wind. Often, people with strong religious beliefs or strict political positions are very unbending. That CAN be a good thing. It can also be an inflexible and potentially dangerous position to take in the world.

The world has changed, but I won’t – will usually lead to old, unworkable, no longer valid strategies and approaches to business. I will admit, as a baby boomer, I don’t embrace change until I’m very sure. In fact, people, in general, do not welcome change in their life. Simple little things like changing toothpaste, going to a new barber, or date night at a totally new restaurant; all these and many more can take us out of our comfort zone.


Yes, change is hard for most of us, and learning a new way to dry a building or a new style of marketing, and even what to say when you visit a prospect – all require stepping out of your secure and known space.

For me, one of the most challenging has been staying on top of the ever-changing Social Media world. As a businessman, it’s important to take advantage of the latest and greatest marketing strategies available on different social media platforms.


The constant change taking place in the very narrow, but all-important arena of web marketing, where most of these platforms are free, take a lot of work. About the time we get Twitter figured out and many followers, a new service pops up to compete with them (Parler). Facebook keeps changing the look, feel, and location of so many different buttons and links it’s almost a full-time job to stay with it.

Aside from disliking change, we also feel we just don’t have the time to keep up with everything new. That can include marketing strategies, new ways to install shingles, or a better, faster, or more efficient way to dry a building.


But it can also make our lives better. With all the new technology just in the disaster restoration industry today, we can do more jobs, document the work better, and do right – make more people happier. Yes, technology can do all these great things, but we must CHANGE if we are going to remain viable and productive. Setting aside time to learn, study, and embrace the new brave world we live in!


In the world of today (2020) with most of this year forcing us to change – trying to deal with masks, social distancing, cleaning protocols, and the list goes on… we have learned to CHANGE whether we liked it or not! Not one of us likes to wear a mask, but most do, and we stay six feet from others in the store. We incessantly use hand sanitizer and accept touchless purchases. Ordering online has exploded. It is changing. Everything from how we shop to how we conduct business will make us change even when we claim that we won’t. I’m trying to change too, albeit still kicking and screaming into the new world.

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020 -2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Park On Your Customer’s Lawn

4 minute read

Sometimes we need to say something absurd to get someone to take notice. Parking on your customer’s lawn won’t win your technician any points with the client and could very easily get your company kicked off the job. Remember; parking on your customer’s lawn can get you fired – and fast.

There are a specific set of “rules” that should govern how a technician (or another staff member) acts when visiting a residential customer’s home! Too many times, we “turn them loose” and fail to give them the proper training and guidelines on the right ways to interact when at the client’s home.  Some are a matter of business etiquette that’s fallen by the wayside. Others are safety issues. All of them are important to customer relationships.

Here are some suggestions on what to do:
  • Be on time (or call with your eta when you’ll be late)
  • Park in the street (when you can)
  • Knock on the door and stand back
  • Greet them by name
  • Offer your business card
  • Ask if it’s OK to park in the driveway
  • Ask permission to bring in tools
  • Confirm which door to use
  • Wear booties and use throw tarps or mats
  • It’s OK to accept a beverage, but never with alcohol!
  • Ask open-ended questions (not yes/no questions)
  • Thank them for choosing your company
  • When done, ask them for a referral or Yelp review

Do them all correctly and they will love you. Do them wrong and you won’t get another job from them.  These are just a few examples of the proper etiquette your staff should be doing at the client’s property. Do it wrong (like we listed below) and customers will never hire your company again, come back again, or give you a good review!


Some things NOT to do or say:
  • Don’t flick cigarettes across the yard when you get out of your truck
  • Do not park on their lawn
  • Don’t be late
  • Don’t ring the doorbell (chimes may wake up a sleeping infant)
  • Never ever smoke on the customer’s property
  • Never use their bathroom without asking
  • Don’t make comments about expensive things (guns, wall art, etc.)
  • Never ask if they “are alone”
  • Don’t interact with pets unless the homeowner invites you to do so
  • Never trash your competitor
  • While talking with them, leave your phone in your pocket
  • Don’t be negative about your company or staff
  • Don’t wear dirty clothes or inappropriate attire
  • Do NOT ever touch your customer other than a handshake
  • Don’t argue or challenge them on complaints or requests
  • Don’t accept bribes or offers of “side work”

Service people are expected to arrive and work inside the people’s homes with a high level of impeccable manners and professionalism all the while they are there.  Certainly, you can’t be prim and proper working on HVAC ducting, fixing their basement flooding, or cleaning up a sewage overflow, but there are certain rules of etiquette that should be followed.

Maintaining that all-important respect for your client and their home is crucial, while still getting the job done. This business etiquette spans the entire customer experience from arriving on time, to where you park, to packing up your tools. Yes, it can be difficult to remember every detail of this complex interaction between good maintenance and good manners.     Yes, we do on-site training too!

Still need questions answered?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Roofing Sales Tips To Up Your Game

4 minute read

Every roofing company wants more sales.  Hopefully, every roofing sales rep also wants more sales. Technology has altered the roofing sales process with drones and apps, so you need to alter your sales presentations to meet this new world.

It’s no secret to almost everyone that our world has changed significantly over the past five or more years. With those radical changes comes the need for roofing salespeople to “up their game” to be relevant and successful.

 Below are a few suggestions to increase your sales numbers:

Casual Not Sloppy

Today, with a world that has gone off the deep end of laid-back, and often crude, the general public still expects their salesperson to be skilled, an authority, and look and act like they fit the part. Be respectful of the appointment time – show up ON TIME. Offer a business card, or even better – also wear a name badge lanyard.

Do Not Assume Anything

When you get to the door, ASK them to confirm their name, as you introduce yourself. ASK for permission to park – wherever you parked. i.e.: driveway, street, etc. ASK before you “walk around the house, or if you are going to get on the roof, ASK first! With drones readily available, using a drone for both canvassing and targeting the client’s home, you can raise your professionalism. (People are still impressed with drones).


Nobody likes a “sales pitch”, and no one wants to have a pushy salesperson trying to intimidate and shove roofing services down their throats. It’s not about “closing the sale.” You will have far greater long-term success if you take the time to listen, offer solutions to problems, and help your prospect learn the options and choices so they can make their own decision.

Someone that has been educated respectfully sells themselves and has far fewer regrets. They are less likely to back out, less likely to have complaints, and more willing to give you rave reviews.

Many Competitors

You already know this, but in almost every community, there are dozens (hundreds) of potential roofing companies for your prospect to consider. Reality tells us that a shingle is a shingle to the average consumer.  (OK there are some differences but unless it’s compelling, and you clearly show that, most people will never know).

The single best way to fight off your competition is by being DIFFERENT. I don’t mean to wear a suit when everyone else wears khakis and a polo shirt. I’m talking about having a compelling story that highlights your special and unique company. You also need to have a unique or customer-centric process, installation, warranty, or customer service strategy.

It Is Not About Price 

Sure, you can argue this, and try to beat your competitor’s price, but you rarely win. Even when you get the job by being the lowest priced, you will usually find that the customer is demanding and difficult. Furthermore, they will be argumentative, never satisfied, and almost never give you a great review on Yelp or Google, or Angie’s List.

It’s been proven over and over that the salesperson bringing value, differentiation, and solutions to the client – along with a compelling story – will out-sell the competitors!


When you are different, you stand out. You are remembered and considered much more qualified to assist them with a new roof.  Often, your company has a uniqueness you have not considered significant enough to promote.

If that single feature is something your clients care about, you need to be promoting it. You may not be able to “claim it” for long, because your competitors may start to offer the same thing. That’s OK, you just need to be always thinking of what you can promote that is unique to you and your company. If you’ve wracked your brain and just can’t come up with anything compelling that makes you different, then neither can your prospects.


I’m only going to touch on this here and address it in great detail in another article. However, it’s been shown that customers that were offered at least three options for roofing materials (3 different types or styles or warranties of shingle for example), and other products that you will be installing – increases your likelihood of closing the sale. People like to have “options” and three or possibly four options have proven over and over to be the winner.

For years there was a mentality in roofing sales that you offer only one type or style – keeping it very simple. The fact is, our buyers today are much smarter and have already done some research. They often know exactly what they want!

Watch for another article on DIFFERENTIATION and one on OPTIONS coming soon.

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745   Call Me!            

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program


Copyright© 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form



Best Way To Develop A Great Marketing Team

4 minute read

It’s not a secret. Unless you have a product or service everyone wants and no competitors, you need to develop a great marketing team. Unfortunately, that’s like having a pet unicorn. Not very likely! At least on their own! The best way to develop a great marketing team is to plan – in writing what your goals are, and then write out the steps and strategies to make those goals happen.


It continues to amaze me how forgiving, tolerant, and generous owners and managers are with marketers and sales staff that continues month after month to fail at achieving the established goals! If the goals are reasonable, and in writing, then the owner must be reviewing and evaluate the sales and marketing staff at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. Failure to perform equals termination. Allowing BS excuses and continual bogus “reasons” why targets have not been met is the fault of the owner/manager, and it’s time to cut the cord of the salesman and let them go!


There is always a discussion with those owners and managers we coach, asking us what is reasonable for sales goals. Every marketer in the restoration industry should produce $750,000 – $1 million a year in revenue. That’s only about $62k per month on average (at the lower number). I personally know MANY marketers in the disaster recovery industry generating over a million dollars a year! One marketer in Tampa brought in over $2mil in 2019 and another in Baltimore brought $4mill-plus, each year for the past 3 years.


Even in the residential roofing industry, it’s common for a hustling salesperson to generate $1.5 million a year in gross revenue. (They often earn $100k – $150k/year). My experience coaching marketers is they tell you things like:

  • “This is a bad time of year”
  • “With all the Holidays, people don’t want to buy”
  • “It’s been too rainy, cold, hot, stormy, windy, etc.”
  • “The economy is bad right now”
  • “People are focused on vacations”
  • “School is starting – people are dealing with that”
  • “And a massive list of month-after-month junk excuses”

As an owner/GM you should know EXACTLY what you need to generate in profit each month to pay all your overhead costs. If that’s $75,000 each month, then your sales staff needs to bring in at least $150k for the month (at a 50% profit) to cover your monthly expenses.  Accepting a marketer that is only bringing in $1k or $20k, or even $50k monthly WON’T cut it. Once you know your expense numbers, and then know your revenue requirements, you can tell your marketers what they must generate in sales volume. And it must be in writing! It should be listed on the whiteboard in the office daily, weekly, and monthly. Why? Because “what gets measured, gets done.”

Until you have these numbers established, there is no way to lay out a step-by-step marketing and selling strategy. As I work with restoration owners weekly, I am constantly surprised that most don’t actually know their monthly numbers. Even worse, the marketers often don’t have a clue what they should be generating in revenue. At a minimum, you need to establish how many leads and referrals, and then your closing ratio, and your average sale amount.


Since there are so many variables, and each company has different needs and wants, every company I coach is given a specific–tailored strategy for their company. Too many consultants provide a one-size-fits-all approach, and we find that unacceptable. I’d welcome the opportunity to help your company develop an appropriate marketing strategy.  

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         




Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Good Customer Skills For Technicians

3 minute read

In the restoration business, as in many service businesses, we rely on technicians and field staff to assist with the image and credibility of our company.  When they do it wrong, it can be devastating for our reputation and ultimate reviews. That translates into lost profit and maybe loss of our business.

  • Show up late for your appointment
  • Poor or little communication
  • Failure to ask good questions
  • Not truly listening to their comments
  • Disrespecting their property
  • Don’t walk on their lawn
  • Don’t smoke on their property
  • Ask for permission to park in the driveway
  • Ask for permission to bring in your tools
  • Ask which door to use
  • Wear clean uniforms
  • Always have an ID badge
  • Give them your business card
  • Use tarps, mats, and booties
  • Give them a refrigerator magnet with your info
  • 1% Die
  • 3% Move away
  • 13% Change interests or go to a competitor
  • 14% Are dissatisfied with the products or service
  • 69% Are upset with the treatment they received


  • Don’t comment on personal items in the home
  • Never discuss politics or religion
  • Never make ‘sexist’ remarks (male or female)
  • Don’t make comments about their “teenage daughter!”


  • Talk about the weather
  • Compliment the flowers or landscaping
  • Ask them about any other concerns
  • Thank them for calling your company!
  • “Please” and “Thank you”

You are an expert (but don’t show off). Understand your customer WANTS your products and services, they need your solutions, and they want to do business with you. Every one of them wants to have a good business experience with you and your company, and silently hopes they can become raving fans.

Your failure to give the customer a wonderful experience means they will forget your company name (and yours) within three to six months or sooner.

Many of the above dos and don’ts also apply to your marketer going to their home. Marketers can kill an opportunity with one wrong action or word. They need similar training just like your techs!

Want to know more?  Call Dick Wagner at 419-202-6745.

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020-2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Training Classes For Restoration Marketing

3 minute read

Everyone in the disaster restoration industry understands (I hope) that marketing is quite different than the selling style used in most other businesses.  When you really think about it, “selling” to an insurance agent – is only about selling them on the idea that they want to send their policyholders to you when their insured has a disaster. It’s also similar when you are marketing to a plumber or HVAC contractor. They are rarely the ones that need your clean-up services. What they need is for you to help their plumbing customer by sending them to you when there is a water-damaged home.


There is a fine distinction between what your marketer does, and what a marketer does. Marketers are (or should be) convincing those in a position to refer your company, to actually refer their policyholders or plumbing customers to you. Now your Senior Project Manager goes to the loss and then SELLS the customer, getting an Agreement or Work Authorization signed.


Marketing strategies are different than selling strategies! In the marketing process, it’s critical that the marketer research their prospects, the prospects’ business, and their industry. Almost daily, I remind the marketers that I coach, to spend at least 10% of their marketing time doing research and homework on their prospects. Since you initially have almost no credibility, you change that by knowing the prospect’s pains, issues, and challenges. That alone significantly improves the trust factor with the client.


With selling, you are in front of the “end-user” of your services. For example, a plumber’s customer has a flood event in their home, and the plumber suggests the homeowner call you. The homeowner is the actual end-user – But you also need to make both the customer AND the plumber happy.  It’s similar to insurance agents; they tell the policyholder to call you, and yet you still must make sure the insurance agent is a hero in the process. First, you need to Market to the plumber, get them to give you a referral, then send in a salesperson to close the job.


Too often, a restoration contractor hires a marketer, only to realize six months later that the marketer isn’t bringing in work. Now the owner has spent thousands of dollars, often to start all over again. Coaching and teaching the marketer right from the start dramatically helps improve the likelihood your marketer will succeed. Many owners choose to do on-site training so that it’s customized specifically for their people, their company, and their market.


Want to know more?  Call Dick Wagner at 419-202-6745.

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020 – 2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Social Media For Restoration Marketing

4 minute read

Yes, our world has changed. It’s no longer just face-to-face or in-person networking events. The good news is we really don’t need the yellow pages anymore! Newspaper and magazine ads are almost a thing of the past. Even TV and radio ads are only purchased by major franchises and the big boys in their local market. If you ask them, they can’t tell you if the money was well spent.


Enter – the new world of social media as it is in 2020 and the foreseeable future! It’s been in place for about 12 – 15 years, but only in the past year or two has it dominated virtually every aspect of our lives.  From political posts and tweets to testimonials, to simple bragging by marketers, it has taken over our business and personal lives.


Today, you can narrowly target certain audiences, partly through social media ads and partly by the platforms you choose to use (Facebook, Twitter, Parler, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.). Facebook has 2 billion users worldwide, but very few marketers realize that their Facebook post on their business page only reaches about 2% (yes that’s 2 percent) of their followers. This is because Facebook shows so much junk to your followers, they can only present your post to just a handful of your page followers! (If you have 1000 FB page followers, that means on any given post only 20 or fewer see the post!)

Twitter is similar, but your tweet can be seen by whoever follows you if they choose to scan the feed.  From a purely business approach, LinkedIn delivers the most direct exposure of your posts to your followers.


Our clients ask us all the time if they should spend money on targeted ads on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Yes, but. Don’t pay to boost a FB post. That’s throwing away money! It’s far more effective to spend FB money on a targeted ad to get more business page likes because you can narrow your reach to almost exactly those you want to follow you! (Not as simple if you are trying to reach a national audience, but great for your local community).


You really don’t have a choice but to be intelligently active on social media for restoration marketing! It’s as important today for visibility and exposure as it was 20 years ago buying yellow page ads for the phone books.

Twenty or more years ago, the company I managed, was buying yellow page ads in all the surrounding phone books – paying YP about $2,000 a month! Oddly, today, that same company balks at paying $500 to promote their company on social media.


I can’t begin to cover even 1% of the info you really need to know to properly run a social media campaign for your restoration company. I can suggest you read “social media” books such as “One Million Followers in 30 Days” and “Social Boom,” both of which give you a good perspective on ways you can be effective and affordable in your social media marketing.

Still need questions answered?   

Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020 – 2022    AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved


Marketing to Commercial Customers

5 minute read

It seems like almost every restoration contractor I talk to always expresses their strong desire to develop a commercial client portfolio. They usually ask me if I can help their sales staff develop a strategy to get consistent commercial jobs. And they often believe it’s a simple as knocking on the door of a commercial business, giving them a business card and brochure, and like magic, start calling. Sorry, it’s not quite that easy.


Marketing to commercial customers involve a series of steps and methods, intertwined, and targeted. In a 5-minute read we can hardly cover ten percent of the strategies and processes needed to make marketing to commercial customers result in a viable portfolio for you. I’m going briefly address a couple key points and invite you to pick up your phone and call me if you want more details! The call and a few minutes of my time is absolutely free.


One of the common mistakes marketers (usually guided by the owner) make is calling on every commercial building up and down the street. They are often not talking to the right people. They are dropping off a business card and a company brochure. They state, “call us if you ever have a disaster.”  NONE OF THIS WORKS. It’s like wearing a blindfold and aiming your loaded gun into the air, hoping to hit a duck flying overhead. Sure, you’ll hit a duck – once in a million times.

Another common blunder is to fail to do your research on your target client, or client group. It’s far more effective to decide in advance exactly what vertical (industry type) you want to go after, and then study, research, learn everything you can about that vertical so you can speak credibly to the right person.


Every industry (including your restoration business) has terms, lingo, acronyms, and expressions that are specific to that industry. The public at large doesn’t know what a ‘dehu’ is, nor are the familiar with ‘IICRC’ or the “S-500.” These are in our industry! The only way a salesperson can possibly be believable is to learn the lingo and facts about the vertical they plan to target.


Without credibility, without believability, minus the right intel, nobody will trust you. And, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it ten thousand times…”no credibility – no sale.”  Additionally, part of getting them to trust you means talking about their issues, pains, headaches, and business challenges. A simple example is when to call on a hotel and you know what “shoulder season” is, you suddenly demonstrate to the GM or owner that you are an insider in the hotel world. That is credibility.


The prospect will also want something visible, tangible, and of real value to them or their business.  It’s for this very reason that many years ago we developed and continually refine a pre-disaster plan (ours is PREP™) so the client can view, read, see, touch an actual sample plan. This combined with your knowledge of their industry and building gives them the reassurance you can bring value to them when a disaster-type event affects their facility.

There are MANY more parts of the strategy. As I said above, please call me to discuss several more important aspects of marketing to commercial customers.


Still need questions answered?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745



Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Be Effective At A Home Show Booth

4 minute read

We’ve been asked a hundred times (probably more) by our clients if they should participate in a home show or a home and garden show at a local community event. The answer is “of course.” But… if you are going to do it, be sure to do it the right way – with maximum impact.


Several mistakes are often made – we see them at almost every show. Companies with their booth packed with every product they offer. Or, so crowded with displays they literally repel people because they’re so confusing. Or, the table blocking the entrance into the booth – thus keeping people in the aisle. Or, someone “manning” the booth, sitting on a stool or chair, reading, knitting, focusing on their cell phone.

If I’ve described you, you are not alone. Very few home show or community trade show booth vendors present their booth or services properly. Most simply put a bunch of “stuff” in their booth along with a sign of their company.  Then they stand there hoping and praying someone will stop and talk (and even want to buy from them)!

If you plan on having a booth at one of these community-type events, here are some basic rules for making it worth your money and time:

  • Don’t take a booth in the back corner away from the traffic
  • Don’t overload your booth with “product”
  • Don’t put a table across the front of your booth
  • Don’t spend any money on worthless giveaway items
  • Don’t stand (or sit) waiting for passersby to talk with you
Here are a few things you SHOULD DO:
  • Use a plush piece of carpet with a thick pad in your booth
  • Keep the booth open and inviting
  • Have a couple of chairs – for the visitor (NOT FOR YOU)
  • Bottled water is always a hit -and costs less than $0.15 per bottle
  • Individually wrapped candy tends to get people to stop
  • Develop a couple of powerful open-ended questions to ask everyone
  • ASK THEM if you can set an appointment with them
  • Have a “show special” or discount
  • Smile, engage people, nicely comment on their kids (or anything significant)
  • When giving away chachki-type items, be generous – freely and willingly give
  • Have a specific goal (number of sign-ups, number of appointments, etc.)
  • Bring them into the booth with a game – or putting green
  • Collect names or business cards for a modest drawing
  • Follow up with EVERY name and contact you got at the show



Clients that live by these “do’s and don’ts” usually have a positive outcome. Sometimes it’s simply to get visibility and exposure, and less about “selling something.” Don’t be afraid to give away -something to draw them in and get them to fill out an entry form. Those that actively engage with show attendees, as well as are friendly and sociable, almost always leave a positive impression on the community.

Remember, if you are worried about spending a few hundred (or even a thousand dollars) on the booth, you probably should pass. The cost of the booth space is only part of the cost. You need GOOD signage or a great simple-uncluttered backdrop. You need a couple of comfortable chairs, you need a “giveaway” item. Be prepared and do it right.  We don’t sell anything for your booth – we simply have learned over the years what works and what to avoid!

Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright© 2022     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

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