Prepare Your Home Show Pitch for These 6 Attendee Types

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Warning: Not every home show attendee knows they're looking for a painting contractor. Here's how to reel them in. Photo: St. Louis Home & Garden Show

By Mark DeFrancesco

Every season your metropolitan area likely hosts a home improvement convention, better known as the local home show. While I tackle tips to maximize the return on your exhibition investment in the upcoming May 2018 issue of APC Magazine, it’s worth noting that you’re likely to face two long days of wading through conversations to find qualified leads.

You should prepare yourself mentally for the different categories of people you will meet—because the home show is an opportunity to start building trust with tomorrow’s potential customer. Here’s who to expect in the booth:

  1. Do-it-yourself homeowners. They will ask you a million technical questions but never want a quote. Be polite and helpful but minimize your time spent with them.
  2. Professional home show goers and freebie addicts. These people will sign up for every single free raffle and take every piece of free literature and giveaway but never pay to have work done on their homes. Often, they come to home shows with their contact information pre-printed on labels so they can simply stick one onto your raffle form without investing the time to write down their information! Again, be polite and short in your conversations with these pros.
  3. New homeowners. These folks may not even realize that you provide a service that would help them. You might want to talk about your full array of services and see if they would be interested in having you visit their new property to evaluate their needs.
  4. Homeowners with focused needs other than painting. Ask them about their most recent painting job and how they felt about the contractor. Answer any questions they may pose. Offer them your free raffle and any literature or business cards and tell them to keep you in mind for future projects.
  5. Homeowners with immediate painting needs. Ask them to tell you more about their project while your greeter takes out an appointment book and begins the process of scheduling an estimate.
  6. Salespeople. These people often work as real estate agents, direct mail salespeople, etc. They often attend home shows to collect business cards and contact information for future follow up. Be polite but minimize your interactions.

For more tips on maximizing your home show investment, look for the Marketing Sense column in the May 2018 APC Magazine.

Mark A. DeFrancesco is the president of MDF Painting & Power Washing and founder of, a website design and marketing service for painting contractors by painting contractors. Learn more at

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home show, MDF Painting, potential customers

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