By Larry Hartley

In most places of the country the warmer weather will soon arrive. This is a special time of year – an opportunity for floor care professionals to make your business top-of-mind for consumers who are ready to tackle the annual ritual of spring cleaning.

Various manufacturer meetings have left many of you well prepared with information about new products, new dealer programs and a variety of tools to help you increase sales in 2012. For those of you who specialize in central vacuums, this also is the peak of home show season, a chance to meet new customers and generate new leads. Many BEAM dealers have a long history of success with these shows – not because attendees plan to build new homes. Although some will be building, most of the homeowners who attend these shows are there to discover how they can improve their existing homes.

These shows attract large crowds of people who are interested in making their homes more livable. Your products meet that test.

Here are three ways to maximize your potential during this important selling season.

1. Take advantage of manufacturers’ promotions. Electrolux Home Care Products has found our spring promotions to be especially profitable for dealers. Whether it’s a limited edition product, advertising packages like the newspaper inserts we provide for BEAM dealers, or special discount pricing. These programs help our Electrolux, BEAM and Sanitaire dealers bring new customers to their showrooms.

2. Establish a presence at your local home show. These events bring an end to several weeks of cabin fever for homeowners. They’re hungry for ideas on ways to make their homes more livable. Finding a better way to clean their homes ranks high on their list.

3. Most of you are in a competitive market so you have to assume your competitors are ramping up their promotions. There are many ways to market your business – print, TV, radio, advertising, direct mail and online marketing as well as special events. Take advantage of manufacturer co-op programs to maximize your impact.

A growing number of independent dealers I meet with are optimistic about their business in 2012. A successful spring selling season is a critical first step. It’s time for all of us, manufacturers and independent vacuum retailers to work together. Challenge us to put together exciting promotions that will drive traffic for your business.

I also invite you to contact me with your ideas or to learn ways we can help you at

Larry Hartley is Director of U.S. Field Sales for Electrolux Home Care Products.