Some people refer to television as the “boob tube” or the “idiot box.” But you're unlikely to hear Scot or Jill Hayes putting it down.
The husband-and-wife owners of New York Sash in Whitesboro, N.Y., near Utica, are more than pleased with the reasonable cost of and strong response to their weekly half-hour TV program, CNY's Open House. The show launched in March and runs Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m., right after Meet the Press, on the local NBC affiliate.
Jill hosts CNY's Open House, which features local companies that market to homeowners — including New York Sash — as well as people who are shopping for a home. “Having Jill as the host gives us an enormous amount of credibility,” Scot says. “We're able to offer an informational source to the community, which establishes us as an expert in our own field of windows and doors, siding, decks, and docks.”
The program is broken down into three segments, including one that highlights New York Sash. During that segment, Jill provides information and explains the company's products and services. “It's definitely a soft sell,” Scot says. “It might be, ‘When you hire a decking expert, make sure you look for these five issues ... Here at New York Sash, we're members in good standing of the local Chamber of Commerce,' and so on.”
LEAD STAKE A LEAP
New York Sash pays to host and produce the program, but Scot says the cost is less than most home improvement company owners would imagine. “We're sold out in local advertising, and I'd consider our monthly fee to be extremely reasonable in relationship to the program's overall success,” he says.
There's no question that it has been successful. This year, New York Sash increased its inbound lead flow by more than 100%.
A quarter of the company's annual volume now comes from TV leads. In raw numbers, New York Sash closed $520,000 in business from leads originating with television between March and August, and its lead cost was 13%, Scot says.
“We never wanted to be the spokespeople for the company,” he says, “but we understood how important it is in our market to build trust by showing that we're family owned and operated and have been in business for 19 years. It builds the trust factor we're looking for.”