Canadian Contractor

Sell More at Trade Shows

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March 27, 2012 by Mike Draper

Last week I was at  the Spring Home Show.  As well as having a booth there to generate leads for our Renovantage Certified Contractors, I wanted to get a sense as to how the industry was performing and to get some input for these articles. So, I went around the show to talk with builders for a potential project I have coming up.  Some of the builders I spoke with were not following the tips I provided in the Feb 28 article on trade shows.  Since I was curious to hear how they sold at a trade show, I approached them anyway.

After introducing myself and giving them a one minute introduction as to what I was planning, most jumped right into their sales pitch.  They spent the next 5 – 10 minutes talking about their product or service. However, most of them had no real idea what I was looking for nor what stage I was at in my buying cycle.  Most couldn’t match their company’s services to my requirements since they didn’t know the questions I wanted to ask, never mind the questions they should have asked me!

I continued listening until they finished their pitch. Since I wanted to move onto the next exhibitor, I asked them “How do I make a decision to use you as my builder of choice?”  Do you know what the most common answer was?  “We do quality work and will get your project done on time and on budget”.  Wow!  I thought, that’s it?  Do you know how many other builders said exactly the same thing?  They said nothing concrete to differentiate themselves from other builders nor anything that would leave me with the impression that this is one with whom I want to do business.

If the contractors had spent more time understanding what I wanted and why I needed their services, the easier it would have been to show why they were the right choice for me. You need to think about every prospective customer as a unique prospect with their own unique requirements.  Find out what those requirements are and show the prospect how your company can meet and exceed those requirements.  The prospect will be able to identify better with your company, will feel that you understand what they are looking for, and you will be able tell them much more than you will provide good quality and be on time and on budget. This is how you will get much better results from your selling efforts.

Mike Draper

Mike Draper

Mike Draper is a Master Coach with Renovantage. Renovantage is a first-of-its-kind business group for home renovators in Canada. (
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1 Comment » for Sell More at Trade Shows
  1. “Why should I do business with you, compared to 18 other guys that claim they can do the same quality job, on time, on budget”, is a VERY difficult question to answer for most business people.

    This is well documented. Perhaps it is just too easy to copy what everyone else does and hope you get some business?

    What isn’t well documented is HOW to develop the answer to the question.

    A great FREE resource is the Y2M Company and their Monopolize your Marketplace education materials. Here is the link to the workbook portion for their 10CD set. Lots of right on target questions to develop your own answer.

    Yes it involves reading and learning and practice…but isn’t that what business is all about anyway.