May 11, 2008

Happy Mother’s Day, and other Holidays

By Paul Bieber

I know each and every one of you called your mother, or your mother-in-law, or your children called you, or your Aunt Helen. My opinion, seriously, is every day is Mother’s Day. It is, kinda like, that’s where you came from, and you should never forget family.

Now that I have sounded like a Hallmark Card, let’s bring this discussion back to the glass industry. How many of you did something in your showroom acknowledging Mother’s Day. True, there is not a lot to tie to our industry, but you could have put up a sign to bring in your mom’s picture and get the glass replaced in the frame. Or maybe, let people know the best Mother’s Day present would be a new shower! Or you get a greenhouse window installed over the kitchen sink. Or…use your creativity.

Every holiday gives you marketing opportunities in your glass showroom.

It requires thinking ahead to make a display, teach your counter help to discuss the specials and coordinate with your vendors so that what you do sell will be available to install by the holiday date. Usually, you want to work two to three months ahead of each holiday.

It is close now, but what would you do for Memorial Day? Think about what your potential customers are doing for the holiday, and then help them spend money with you to help their celebration of the holiday. Let’s see what Memorial Day brings to mind.

•We barbecue and eat on the patio to celebrate the start of summer. So, be ready to sell patio table tops…make sure your tempering supplier has a full stock of aquatex glass. Learn what their stock sizes are. Do you have a radius corner chart to help you measure the tables that customers bring in? (Your tempering supplier should give you one!) Do you have a back-up tempering fabricator just in case? Can you cut your own aquatex to size and bring to your temperer?

•Memorial Day also will bring in pictures to have glass replaced. If you do framing, put up a display with patriotic themes.

•Do you want to give a discount on all auto glass replacement for any active duty military personnel? How about to any guard or reserve members? Aside from good business, you can get some excellent PR by doing this.

•Are you near a military base? As most housing is government owned you probably don’t deal with the tenants, but make sure you know the base housing officer.

•How about putting red,white and blue glass in your showroom, showing that glass can come in many colors. This glass can be back-painted, like spandrel, or you can have Lami made from Solutia’s Vanceva color pallet. You supplier of tempered or lami can make these samples available. Keep these pieces up through July Fourth. You probably won’t sell red, blue or white glass, but your customers will ask questions, and that can lead to sales.

OK, your turn. Look around your shop…can it use a little sprucing up? Where would you put a shower door display? Does your own storefront have hi-performance low-e? Then, do you have a sign explaining what low-e is?

Now that you have read this, start thinking about labor-day!