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PWNA 2014

Posted by Linda Chambers on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 01:56 PM

Although it was a little later in the year for the annual Power Washers of North America convention, so that it could coinside with CETA in Orlando, FL, it was a good event.



We again were a sponsor, an exhibitor and this year a speaker for not one but two breakout classes.

This year on Saturday November 1st was the day for the paid PWNA certification classes to be held. There were seven different classes in all covering many aspects of pressure washing; Wood Restoration, Fleet Washing, Roof Cleaning, House Washing, Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning, Flatwork and even an OSHA Lift Certification.

Held again for the third year at the Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista South hotel, attendees enjoyed, nighty happy hours, good food, great accomidations and of course pleanty of local activities for the families of the attendees.

The two classes I gave were on "Chemical Safety" and "How to set up for OSHA training".

OSHAsign Both of which are often overlooked and interconected topics. I hope to give these classes again next year and at other events. We also had little supprise gifts for the attendees of corded safety ear plugs, and a mini container of bandaids. 

Soap Warehouse gave to the PWNA auction two 10 lb pails of the product of the winners choice to help raise funds for the PWNA general fund. The bidding winners were; Jonathan Fister who chose our Truck Wash Powder and Jay Jenkins who chose our Hard Surface Cleaner Powder.

Our Booth Drawing Prize was a professional 1 minute video valued at $795 that was won by Bill Mahan of Liquid Corp Services.


 I hope to get to see and meet more Soap Warehouse customers at our next event.



Tags: convention, chemical safety, Trade Show, PWNA, OSHA training

UAMCC NCE Cleaning Expo in Orlando

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

This is the season for cleaning industry trade shows. This past week Soap Warehouse was a sponsor of another of the UAMCC's events. This one was the big National East event that was held Aug 1&2 in Orlando, Florida.

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Even though we could not be there we are a sponsor and we did send two $100 product gift cards that were given away to two local Florida Companies.

The first went to Patrick Anthony of "A Tampa Bay Pressure Washing" from Valrico, FL.

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and the second went to David D'Eramo of "CentraFlo" from Winter Springs, FL.

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This coming weekend we will be in Nashville for the PWRA National Convention and then we are right back home to do our own event for the UAMCC for Atlanta, here in Lawrenceville, on Saturday Aug 23rd. We have a great line up in store for the companies that attend.

We will have a CPA to discuss how you should set up your business for taxes, we will have speakers to talk about customer retention, chemical safety, how to trouble shoot pumps, how to set up OSHA training, Social Media, plus more and a quick building wash demo to start the day off at 9:00 prior to the classes starting at 10:00.

Remember as a UAMCC paying member you get to attend one free event each year and anyone can attend their first UAMCC event free with a VIP Pass even if you are not a member yet.

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If you missed the event in Orlando and can get to Atlanta for the day in a few weeks be sure to call us for your Free VIP pass. Once you have the pass with your ticket number you just go to the event web page and use it to register for the event that you want to attend. I hope to see you soon.

Tags: UAMCC, VIP Pass, convention, event, Trade Show

Waste Expo 2014

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:40 PM

I just went to the Waste Expo that is being held here this year in Atlanta. And since Soap Warehouse in just the past few years has been moving in to this industry to sell cleaning products I decided to go and check it out.

WasteExposign resized 600This is three day event with the first day starting with a normal Key note followed by different class offerings and panels. Day two and three also have break out meetings but most of the attention shifts to the Exhibit Hall. 

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I walked the entire floor, some isles more than once, passing every one of the over 540 exhibitors. There was every thing to do with the Waste Industry, from safety gear for the workers to every type of waste container you could imagine big and small, trash cans of all styles and type, many lockable to keep out everything from rats to raccoons and bears. Trash receptacles for events that are reusable to disposable. Larger commercial containers, some in the same old steel varieties to many made of newer lighter space age plastics that even them selves can be recycled. 

Just like at the trucks shows we go to there where the large booths of motorized equipment from small vacuum litter collectors to massive Caterpillar landfill movers. Compactors and Shredding machines for everything from paper to cars. Not to mention all the different sizes and types of waste, aka garbage trucks, that are currently being made. There were top loaders, side loader, home trashcan pick up and dump machines of all sorts, mini trucks to collect in small areas like tight motor home parks. Not to mention all the machines made to move containers, like roll loaders, hook and hoist trucks.

Going Green and recycling was a big part of this show with one entire area, 12 exhibitors, devoted to new types of recycling, Organics and Composting, from home size units to turning entire landfills into one gigantic compost methane gas/energy producing farm. The rest of the recycling was through out the show with things like separators, sorters, and trucks that could pick up and separately store different types for transportation, thus eliminating multiple runs with multiple vehicles to cover the same route.

Another large number of booths at this show was soft ware, programs to manage fleet routes, maintenance and entire waste management systems in Quickbooks style called WasteBooks and a major industry player Soft-pak.

And although the cleaning industry was not left out it was not a large segment either. The companies that were in attendance where less than 10 in number; Hotsy, Aaladin, Power Kleen, Hydro Chem, InterClean, Neptune Wash, Concrete Washout, Aaqua Tools and Fleetwash. 

The swag at this show was also cool, over a dozen different types of garbage truck, cans and equipment stress squeezers, mini trash cans metal and plastic, the usual candy, pens and drink coozies, new smash lights (flattened led flash lights), items for your smart phone from phone stands, screen wipe pads to my favorite a Smart Wallet (a rubber stretchable pouch that attaches to the back of your phone to store 1-2 cards like an ID and Credit card). Even big items like ear buds, safety glasses, work gloves, tumblers, plastic trash containers for your car, T-shirts, ball caps, biker dew caps, and stuffed animals. One company RDK Truck Sales even was giving away no less than $200 every half hour (had to be present to win) at their booth for both days. 

All in all this was a jam packed day for me from 10-3 with just 20 minutes for a quick lunch but I can say it was educational and interesting to see what the Waste Industry has to show. Now I can only work and see if the 7-8 company contacts I made become Soap Warehouse customers.



Tags: Waste Expo, Trade Show

5 reasons to exhibit at a Home Show

Posted by Linda Chambers on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Spring is the time for Home Shows, now and in the Fall. Participation in a Home Show is an investment; exhibits take a lot of time and require a lot of resources. Plus, they can be expensive, but the benefits can make the cost well worth it. Here are the top five reasons to participate in a home show: 
  • Reason #1: People go to home shows to buy. While it is true that many attend just to pass the time but most have a purchasing reason to be there. They’re there because they have a need—perhaps one that your company’s product or service can fill. In a nutshell, home shows might be just the place to generate hot leads that are ready to schedule or buy (from you), that very day.
  • Reason #2: People still conduct business offline and in person. They may price shop on line but those that, need to see to be convinced, may be just the type that needs to meet you in person, see your booth, your before and after posters and get to know you. And those that come to home shows are more than 96% from that local area. This puts your services in front of a heavily local audience. Where else can you get in front of hundreds of prospective buyers all in one day?
  • Reason #3: People attend home shows to see new products. In fact, this has been the number one reason to attend a show for over twenty-five years. Has your company recently introduced a new product or service you’d like to feature. Or, perhaps you have just added new equipment or machinery that prospective customers need to know you have, shows you are Waste Water compliant, etc. Trade shows can be just the place to show off your latest improvement.
  • Reason #4: Home shows yield a positive return on investment (ROI). The average ROI for every dollar spent on a trade show is $4.99. And that’s just the average. Imagine the possibilities if you went above and beyond this return. Do a little research, find out what the competition is doing and if they will even be there. Do you have a prospective customer list? A target zip code you would like to sell too? Reach out to them ahead of time. Send them an e-mail or letter asking them to stop by and see you, include a special offer. Invite them to pick up a limited gift in person on exhibit day. Or send an email or letter that attendees can show for an extra chance to win in a prize drawing, entered only at the show.
  • Reason #5: This show may be the only one a prospect attends this year. Close to half of all attendees only attend one home show a year. That gives you the potential to reach someone you may not reach even if you exhibit at another show. Once they’re there, make them glad they came. Provide value by having knowledgeable and helpful staff available to answer questions, have before and after photos, a demo video and show customer testimonials. And send these special visitors away with a little something to remember you by. A premade care package, complete with branded hand wipes, pain reliever, bandages and LifeSavers® that can come in handy in their car. Visitors can find out what they need to know about your company while getting items they will use and think of you well into the future. Regular attendees can be given other single give-a-way items like branded magnets, pens, jar openers, note pads, anything that has staying power to be in their home.

I hope that you picked up a reason or two to justify exhibiting at a Home Show this Spring or next Fall. Home shows can provide such a great way to reach people ready, willing and able to buy your product or service.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Trade Show, Home Show

Profit is all in the follow up.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Jan 21, 2013 @ 01:56 PM

I have spoken in the past about customer service, referral programs, attending networking events and getting commercial jobs, but the one thing they all have in common to bring your business success is in learning how to do the follow up.

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The hardest thing after the initial terror of first contact is in the follow up, but that is where your business can be made or lost, right there.

Not every person that starts a pressure washing business or any business for that matter is a natural born sales person. Most would just like to be called, asked to do a job and then just go out and do it. But the calls are not just going to magically come in, most job opportunities must be created and nurtured by you, the business owner for them to happen.

It is always surprising that business owners go to the trouble to attend an event, exhibit at a trade show, send out a marketing piece that yields them business cards, filled out contacts or questionnaires and then they do nothing or little with them.

In too short of time these contacts will be lost or tucked away to never be used to generate the business they were intended to and why? Because these owners failed in the follow up. Follow up does not have to be scary, complicated or difficult. It only takes a simple call or short contact first as a refresher to start you on the road to more jobs and profit.

As soon as possible after you get the contact make your first follow up. Best if it in within the first 24 hours. It can be very brief and doesn't even have to ask for a job commitment. A simple "It was nice to meet you." Even if left as a phone message or in an e-mail, along with a promise to get with them soon about their shown interest in your business. Here is a great time to mention exactly what was discussed to help bring your contact back upm in their mind. Then once the promise is made, that becomes your next opportunity for follow up.

Remember the person you met also met many other people and businesses at that same time and just this short reconnect will bring you back up into focus in their mind and put you ahead of others when you do make your next contact. It takes 3-4 times of contact before most people will consider using you, even if they are interested in both your service and business in particular.

Next contact should be made giving the specifics about what you discussed with this potential new customer as promised. Here you can spell out the benefits of your service, who else you have worked for, and the positive results (the same ones this person is after), along with the cost. You do not have to start out with a special offer, unless one was promised or discussed at the first meeting. You may be successful right away with the customer paying full price for your service, so do not offer any deal until later if needed. Why give money away for no reason.

Once you have given them the information do not ask for the job, allow them to feel in control and let them have some time to go over the information you have given them. But you should not give them long or leave it open, you need to set up when and how the next follow up will happen. Will it be with you calling them again in the next two days? With you sending them an e-mail after the weekend? Try to make the next action still under your control. If they insist on being the one to contact you back, go ahead and agree but state that if you do not hear from them by a certain time, such as the next 7-10 days, that you will be contacting them again for the follow up. Statistics show that as many as 80% of new business is lost due to the lack of follow up by the potential customer.

The next contact is when you should ask for the business that was discussed that you provided the information on. It should be some thing like "Mr. Hall, are your ready to book the "service" we discussed on "date"?" If they say no try to find out what is the reason for their delay? Time isn't right, cost is too much, scope of work not exactly what they need right now. This is the time where you answer questions, make suggestions and if necessary make a special offer if cost is a factor, or offer a free service to go with the planed on, like cleaning the sidewalk or stairs with the house wash.  Even with a special offer put a short limited time for this opportunity to happen. You do not want someone to come back months later when you are busy and other customers are paying you full price asking for you to take the time to do a discounted amount of work. Tell them you can do this job this week because an opening has come up for this price but if they wait until a weekend or later in the month they will have to pay full price, reminding them that they do not have to be home for you to work.

Follow up is not just for new customers it is also important with your current customer base. Statistics show that as much as 60% of client loss is simply due to losing touch. The customer can't find your number, remember your business name to look you up from last year or they saw a competitors ad when ready for service again and doesn't want to take the time to contact you about matching it. It is ideal to try to touch your clients at least once every three months during the year, or in the 30 days just before the service they bought before would be coming up to be performed, such as Spring cleaning, Summer deck or pool deck cleaning, Fall gutter and roof cleaning. At least twice a year is the minimum you should try to make contact. Money is in the "Follow Up".

While follow up takes discipline, it is not hard and does not have to be frightening. Spending a little time putting together some simple keep in touch marketing campaigns by mail or e-mail, to foster your business relationships, with both prospects and clients will more than pay for themselves. Good luck with your follow ups.

Tags: referral program, follow up, marketing, business plan, Trade Show, customer service

We are back from the trade show.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 @ 01:08 PM

Texas was Great!

Well we are back home from the Great American Truck Show and even with a few hick ups before we started we had a great response and met some great people that we hope will become new customers. Here is a photo of me at the booth just before opening on Thursday August 2oth. I do not have an official head count yet from the show but I know over 10,ooo passed by just our booth because our neighbor booth scanned around 6,ooo individuals and they did not get everyone.

I spoke to a little over 200 attendees personally about how they are washing their rigs and fleets and discussed our product line with them. We had 9 attendees that sent in a prize registration to us pre show and one of them, Bill Harlow won 5 gallons of Big Rig Brite. We also had one winner, Gregory Gipe, that won one of the Fox Fury Headlamps stop back by the booth the day after his name was drawn to pick up his prize and have his photo taken.

Here is a list of all of our winners:

12:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Ladd Winkleblack – Mount Pleasant, TX
2:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Larry Williams – Jacksonville, AR
4:30 Fox Fury Headlamp – Ervin Van Beck – Apple Valley, MN

12:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Richard Herrington – Garland, TX
2:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Bill Harlow – Applegate, OR
4:30 Fox Fury Headlamp - Gregory Gipe – Pearl City, IL

12:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Marcus Deal – Alvarado, TX
2:30 Big Rig Truck Brite – Russ Cross – Kirbyville, TX
4:30 Fox Fury Headlamp – Bryan Fontenot – Brookshire, TX

Thank you to all of the nearly 100 people that entered. And if you went to the show you have until Monday Sept 21st to purchase from us with the show specials we offered.

I got a real treat when I got the chance to meet Alex Debogorski from the History Channel's show "Ice Road Truckers". He was a lot of fun and spent time with everyone that lined up to see him during all three days of the show. He is just as nice in person as he appears on the show and was traveling with his wife Gene, his sister and two sons of his eleven children. The country singer Tracy Lawrence also did a show for attendees Friday night, but tickets were limited, he did not stay and sing as long as promised and would not sign autographs so everyone I spoke to on Saturday was not that pleased with the performance or with him but everyone was saw was very happy they stopped and met Alex. I guess that is why I saw 20 Alex T-shirts to every 1 of Tracy's on Saturday. Being a nice person pays.

Tags: Trade Show, Great American Truck Show, truck wash, Alex Debogorski

Here at GATS.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 @ 09:37 AM

Well we made it to the Great American Truck Show with a few set backs but the start is going well.

We were to have 5 staff at this show but the owner of Soap Warehouse got a badly infected cyst on his hand and had to stay back in GA in the hospital to have it taken care of. So down 2 members from that. Then on Wednesday right before 5 pm we had an email from our models staffing company that our model decided she did not want the job she was paid a month ago to do and they were refunding us our money. Thanks a lot! So down to 2 staff members. Thank goodness we have friends here in Texas. We called and got a local friend that has done other kinds of trade shows in the past, although not for industrial soaps to drive over to help us at the last minute.

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Here is how our booth looks.

So far we have had a good response, seen some new owner operators that had sent in their drawing entries in early to us, some that read about us in the GATS newsletter or saw our ad in the Land Line magazine. We hope to have the next two days to be just as good. Will update everyone on how the whole show turned out along with a list of all our prize drawing winners at the end of the show.

Tags: Trade Show, Great American Truck Show, truck wash

The Great American Truck Show

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 @ 12:34 PM

I can not believe we have only three weeks until August 20th and the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, TX. It will be running from Thursday August 20th at noon until Saturday August 22nd at 6 p.m.

We have been working very hard to make Soap Warehouse's first major trade show a success and we want all our customers and friends to share that success and be a part of it.

Please let us know if you would like a free pair of tickets to attend the show. Normally $10 a ticket for entry you can be our guest for free. Just call or email us and we will be happy to send you some. There will be free tractor parking, and many activities like a Free Concert by Tracy Lawrence. Please use this link to visit the GATS home page for all the info.

Myself along with the owner of Soap Warehouse and other staff will be on hand to meet you at our Booth #14049 to discuss our great line of truck washes and aluminum brighteners that will be the focus of this show. We would love to meet any of our current customers in person or any possible future customer that would like to introduce yourself to us. When you come by to see us make sure you let us know who you are, because all of our current customers that stop by will receive a special item just for coming by to say hello. We would love to hear stories of how our products have or are working for you and your business too. We will also have other booth only items to give-a-way to any attendee that stops to talk and discuss our products with them. We will have show only pricing specials as well as coupons for future purchases with us.

You may fill out a prize entry form before you even get to the show to have the first opportunity possible to win one of our daily booth prizes. You will find the link on the front of our website fill it out and fax it to 770-939-5501 to be entered.

We will be giving away every day of the show a Fox Fury Command 20 Headlamp and two 5 gallon containers of Big Rig Brite Truck Wash. The Fox Fury Headlamp has a retail value of $90 and the truck wash will be delivered to the winners location a value starting at $70 or more including the shipping.

These as well as our in booth give-a-ways are just some of the reasons to come meet us and enjoy yourself at the show.

The office in Georgia will still be open to serve our customers during the show, taking orders and shipping out product but please be understanding if the phone does not get answered as fast as usual or if someone has to call you back since we are leaving the front office just a little short staffed that week while the rest of us are in Texas.

Again we hope to see you at the show and please call us for tickets and fax your entry in for our prize drawings.

Tags: Soap Warehouse, Trade Show, Great American Truck Show

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