Bob Hanson, owner of Sun Pro Glass Tinting in Houston, is one of Sunscape’s largest and most successful dealers. Here he shares some tips that he learned from more than 20 years in the business.
Get on the Internet
“It used to be the Yellow Pages – not anymore!” Bob says as he reminiscences about the days when the size of your ad reflected the size of your business. Now, with everyone online (even the guys working out of their apartment!), an online presence is absolutely mandatory – even though it costs extra.
Form Relationships and Pay Referral Fees
Bob recommends forming relationships with your local chapters of these key groups:
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
“I have staff doing donut runs and lunches or attending functions every week with these groups,” Bob explains. “When architects are drawing up their plans, they’ll spec out 3M film without thinking just because they’ve heard of it, instead of really looking at quality and performance.” According to Bob, it’s a time management thing – but finding the time to effectively network will pay off. He also recommends visiting real estate sales centers and design centers, which have product training meetings that feature different offerings from vendors. This is a great arena to educate industry workers about window film and drum up new business.
Another good target to form a relationship with is any window treatment company. “There are thousands of these companies in larger metropolitan areas and once you hook up with one, business comes in automatically,” says Bob. That’s because usually about 20 to 30 percent of a home’s windows are oddly shaped and window film is a more economical solution than custom window treatments. So window film becomes a regular part of the overall solution offered.
While all of this works, the reality of the situation is that referral fees are what makes these groups come back for more. “They will hunt for you. Designers love us because we pay them – they get that check at the end of the month.”
Targeted Direct Mail
Direct mail can be expensive when doing mass mailings, but Bob advises to map out the custom home sections in your area and send out personally addressed mailings only to this group, which could number from 20 to 200. Rotate the system monthly and once they buy, cross them off the list. This has proven to be an effective sales tool for him, while keeping costs down.
For more secrets to success, read “Every Sales Tool Under the Sun,” which highlights the unparalleled support you enjoy as a Sunscape dealer.