George Stewart’s eye-catching publicity for his Apollo Blinds business in Hamilton near Glasgow has certainly been attracting the attention of new customers. It has also prompted other local traders in the town who have been begging him to share his secrets.
The phoneline at his showroom lit up as soon as the latest edition of his local magazine landed on the doormats of homes across the area. On Monday alone this week he took four big orders as a direct response from the article about him. He is delighted at the reaction of his latest article which focuses on his great customer service and not directly flogging blinds – as you might have expected.
In between a raft of appointments with eager customers George attended a meeting of other traders to talk to them about how he markets his business and gets free publicity. He revealed his secret weapon – the ghostwriter who drafts all his articles for him as part of the ongoing free support provided by his franchisor.
George’s business is booming and he very graciously tells everyone he meets why being part of the Apollo Blinds franchise is helping him be a success.
A new supplier got more than they bargained for this week when Apollo Blinds turned up mob handed to inspect products that we are thinking about stocking early next year.
As well as hosting all the key decision makers from head office, a number of our franchise owners were invited to the supplier meeting to give their feedback on the products.
It sounds obvious but our franchise owners are the ones who sell the products so their attendance was vital to give valuable input in deciding if we were going to go ahead and carry these new products.
And, as we expected, the franchise teams that descended on Chester from all over the UK gave an expert appraisal of the products lines.
It was fascinating to watch them in action inspecting the products in fine detail and asking very searching questions. It made us realise just how much knowledge we have within Apollo Blinds and this is one key of the reasons why we stand alone in the marketplace.
Product development is just one of the areas where we continually consult our Apollo Blinds franchise owners as part of our commitment to being the best company we can be.
It’s always fascinating to spend time talking to the people who attend our Discovery Days and find out why they are considering becoming part of our franchise network.
We thought we’d heard everything in meetings with people from all walks of life but one fella we met on Tuesday stood out.
To say this guy’s CV was impressive is an understatement. He has been a big hitter in corporate telecoms and has set up huge operations in Europe, Asia and America.
So it did rather beg the question why Apollo Blinds? He said he was coming back to the UK to be with family and saw the way the wind was blowing with the UK economy and realised window blinds was his opportunity. This, he explained, was because whatever the state of the housing market homeowners will always need blinds. If homeowners don’t move they improve and if they do they make their new home their own.
He also explained that the strength of the brand and the quality of the products (see pics) was what sets Apollo Blinds from national and local competitors. And that’s why he was talking to us.
We can’t deny it was music to our ears but we also saw it as a huge compliment to our network of Apollo people all over the UK. Our teams have already recognised the opportunity to build prosperous businesses with us to help homeowners right across the UK make their homes beautiful with affordable window blinds from Apollo.
Apollo Blinds is only successful because of our network of brilliant people. Which is why we are as keen as mustard to ensure everyone sees these shining stars.
We’ve just uploaded more photographs of Apollo peeps onto the individual store pages on our website and it now features, stars such as Gemma in Stirling, Kwasi in Watford or Christine in Leeds Cookridge.
Having these pictures online enables customers to see who they will be dealing with and this is vitally important because it does influence whether people who find Apollo Blinds online then pick up the phone to make an appointment or visit a showroom to see the stunning array of blinds, awnings and shutters.
We are seeing results that indicate this approach is working big time. Our Apollo teams are reporting that new customers talk to them as if they’ve known them for a long time and they can only put this down to is the fact that customers have seen their picture and feel they know them.
And it’s this simple reason which is helping our Apollo teams set themselves apart from local competition.
The internet is proving that being the face of a business is good for business.