When it comes to the home improvement industry, they are big on showrooms. There are showrooms for kitchens. For bathrooms. For flooring. There are even showrooms for fireplaces. The big box stores even devote major portions of their boxes to home improvement showrooms. All of these are designed so that homeowners can come in and “ooh and aah” over the products, then have them professionally installed.
In the water systems industry, we don’t do much “showrooming.” A water system doesn’t have the same pizzazz as a new kitchen or bathroom. You’ll never to hear a homeowner “ooh and aah” over a 1/2 horsepower 10 gallon per minute submersible pump that will disappear down a hole.
Nevertheless, maybe we should “showroom” more than we do, at least on a small scale. Believe it or not, I’ve seen water systems showrooms directed at homeowners. Not quite like what you find on the kitchen and bath side of things, but showrooms nevertheless.
There are two that stick in my mind. One was in Canada. This water systems contractor’s location was in a busy part of town. Very nice facility, with a prominent sign. From what they told me, a significant amount of their business was simply homeowners stopping by when they had an issue with their water system. And, once inside, homeowners were shown a professional-looking constant pressure system display that explained the differences between a conventional and a variable speed water system. They said that most of their constant pressure systems sales came from that display. It had paid for itself hundreds of times over.
Another contractor’s place of business that sticks in my mind was out west. It happened to be located right on a major highway. Once again, the facility wasn’t fancy by any means, but it was clean and well-maintained. That included the small fleet of trucks out front. It just said “professionalism.” Once inside, there was a nice display of submersible pumps and other products they sold and installed. This contractor said they did a remarkable amount of business simply from “walk-ins” and told me, “A lot of people just seem more comfortable stopping by than calling us. And, once they’ve seen our facility and products up close, it instills confidence.”
Those two locations are unique, and I’ve been to plenty of contractors’ shops in highly rural areas where the greatest showroom in the world wouldn’t generate any traffic. But, depending on your location and other factors, having a “mini-showroom” just might make sense for your business. Don’t dismiss it out of hand. Your customers may not “ohh and aah” over your pump display, but you’ll get the sale.