Volume 15, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

IWFA Update
by Darrell Smith

Grab the Drumstick
A drumstick for your thoughts. For many of us, Thanksgiving and the holiday season are a time of reflection—both on the past year and on our goals for the future. Whatever your goals—increasing auto dealership referrals, working with more energy service companies or gaining customers from further away—the International Window Film Association (IWFA) stands ready to help you. We’re strengthening our push to create market awareness of the value of window film, particularly for saving energy and “going green.” Watch for more in the media about this as we initiate an aggressive public relations program to spread the word, with the help of our new public relations agency, Warner Communications.

At the same time, the IWFA is helping to put the power of the latest marketing strategies right into your hands. For example, during the recent International Window Film Tint-Off and Conference™, which we co-sponsored with Window Film magazine, we held a series of workshops on everything from using social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube, to partnering with Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to gain more business. Other sessions focused on technologies, issues and trends (such as federal tax credits) and Internet marketing.

Here are some helpful guidelines from workshop leaders on marketing and sales:

Going social—Be “the guy for that”—Sara Santiago of Roll, a mobile development and marketing agency, provided tips for expanding business through social networks, such as Facebook, as well as mobile marketing. She pointed out that social networking is really no different from face-to-face networking—it’s just a new medium for building trust and referrals. Many window film dealers, for instance, gain business from trusted referral sources who say “I know the guy for that.” By becoming actively involved in social communities, companies become those “guys.”

“Many window film dealers, for instance, gain business from trusted referral sources who say ‘I know the guy for that.’ By becoming actively involved in social communities, companies become those ‘guys.’”
—Darrell Smith, IWFA

Have the agility and flexibility to take on new opportunities—For dealers, the local utilities and ESCOs represent a prime opportunity to increase business, especially in the commercial market, which places a premium on energy savings. Kirk Heston of Heston Wind & Renewable Energy, John Parker of National Security and Window Filming and George Vanellis of Ener-Gard Energy Products Inc., provided “rules of the road” to tap into this potentially lucrative and steady source of revenue. Those dealerships who want to be included must be able to make a strong case for how their products will contribute to overall energy savings, and in what timeframe, and be flexible enough to work during nights and weekends to stay in sequence with other ESCO partners.

Keep the IWFA “at your back”—The IWFA offers a range of services to support members’ marketing and sales efforts. For instance, the association’s manufacturer members provide dealers with the Efilm energy analysis tool to demonstrate prospects’ energy savings, often key to closing a sale. Through our website, we also help potential customers and partners locate manufacturers, dealers, distributors, and suppliers, as well as IWFA accredited specialists. In addition, we work tirelessly on Capitol Hill and at local State Houses, supporting legislation that will open new doors to the window film industry, and remove barriers to the use of members’ products.

As you resolve to grow your business next year, please think about how we might help you ratchet up that growth. Happy holidays, and we look forward to helping you grab that drumstick—in the form of new business—in the year ahead. WF

Darrell Smith is executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), whose members include window film dealers, distributors and manufacturers. Contact Smith at 276/666-4932 or admin@IWFA.com, or visit www.iwfa.com.

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