One thing that I have noticed is that as busy as the spring can be in the door and window industry, we can also suffer from what has been dubbed the “Summertime Sales Blues.”

For many door and window companies, summer sales results are not as strong as expected and seem to take a seasonal dip. The reason? Well, the reason most often cited is that potential customers are busy taking family vacations and enjoying the weather.

So last Friday, I am catching up on last-minute paperwork in the office and my wife talks me into knocking off a little early to go to this neighborhood “block party.” I said no, but then she waved a flyer in front of me that someone had placed on our door knob. It said they had food samples from local businesses at this event. Next thing I know, I decided that we needed to check it out!

After all, I had worked through lunch hour and needed an appetizer or two. So, we hopped on our motorcycle and were there in a minute. What I didn’t know was that I was actually going to a mini trade show. There was the local hot dog shop offering free samples, and the local pizza joint and wing shop also tempting us with samples and coupons.

Then, my eyes really lit up. There was a local window dealer set up in a booth. This window dealer had samples there to show the homeowner and information on how to reduce air conditioning costs by installing more energy-efficient doors and windows. This savvy window dealer decided to engage prospects by participating in summer events. So, this event caused me to ponder…what else are door and window dealers doing to engage customers during the warmer months in order  to battle the Summertime Sales Blues?

Well, another method that I have always thought was particularly useful during the summer months is outdoor signage. I love to take a leisurely motorcycle ride through my development during this time of year. As I do so, I see many of my neighbors taking walks, running or walking their dogs. Outdoor signage is an effective way of bragging to the neighborhood that your doors and windows are being installed in Mr. & Mrs. Jones’ house. Yes, offer the customer a discount for allowing them to place a sign in their yard advertising the fact that they have chosen your products as part of their home-renovation project.

But let’s take it one step further and fully leverage this opportunity by placing a QR code on your outdoor sign. Prospective customers walking past can scan the QR Code into their smartphones and boom – they are on your website reading about the features and benefits of your product offerings and discovering why they would want to do business with your company. They will also see other products that your company offers, such as siding and roofing. Why, just today I saw such a sign bragging about a company’s insulation product going into an older home and how it was going to reduce energy bills for the homeowner. I happen to own an older rental home in this neighborhood, so it triggered me to do a little homework on the average electrical and heating bills on the rental as compared to other homes in that neighborhood. Guess who might be adding insulation this summer in their rental property?

But let’s take it further. Does your company have a smartphone app yet? If not, this is something worth investigating. I have an Android phone, so I jumped onto the Google Play Store to see if there are any door and window companies offering smartphone apps.  There were a handful, but apparently, the fenestration industry is just scratching the surface of the potential power of using them.

So next comes what are called push notifications for smartphones. What are these? Let me illustrate. My wife likes to shop at Kohl’s. They offer coupons on their app, so she installed it. When you install the app, it asks you if you want to accept push notifications. “Sure, why not?” she says. Which brings me to the next strategy – using geolocation.

What is geolocation? Well, most people have their smartphones programmed to know their exact location, especially if they want to use their phone as a GPS device – this is the case with my wife. One day we are driving past Kohl’s and a push notification pops up on my wife’s phone saying “Women’s swimwear is now 25 percent off at Kohl’s and a coupon for an additional 20 percent off can be retrieved on your Kohl’s App!” Due to geolocation, the Kohl’s app knew she was driving past their local department store. Next thing I know, she says “turn right!” and we are standing in the lady’s swimwear section at Kohl’s.

So, this story went from walking through the neighborhood to seeing an outdoor sign, to using a smartphone to take a picture of the QR code on the sign, to checking out your company’s website, to downloading your company’s door and window smartphone app, to being alerted via a push notification using geolocation that the company’s showroom is nearby, to offering free hot dogs and balloons for the kids on the smartphone app, to directing the prospect right to your showroom via GPS and geolocation to BOOM – the prospect is now in your showroom looking at doors and windows.

Welcome to the solution for the Summertime Sales Blues!

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