Penticton home show a lesson in the art of selling

Home-improvement guru Shell Busey gives his first of two presentations Saturday at the home show in Penticton, which runs through Sunday. - Joe Fries/Western News
Home-improvement guru Shell Busey gives his first of two presentations Saturday at the home show in Penticton, which runs through Sunday.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

This year’s Penticton home show features about 160 exhibitors, all employing slightly different methods to get their product or service noticed.

Jeanne Gorst from Bath Fitters said the key for her company, which installs acrylic tub and shower liners, is to let people see the product up close.

“They don’t understand it until they see it,” Gorst said, adding their is a misconception that the liners, which are designed to easily freshen up a bathroom, are flimsy.

“It’s a solid product,” she said, so for customers “to actually see the product is huge.”

Once people understand how it looks and feels, she then emphasizes how quickly a bathroom can be made over with very little effort.

Customers “can go to work and when they come home their bathroom’s done and they can use it the next day,” she said.

Anthony Migneault of CertaPro Painters sells a service, rather than a product, so he spends most of his time answering questions and explaining what sets his company apart from others.

“I think the main thing is not being too aggressive,” Migneault said, adding his low-ley approach includes draws and other give-aways to help him develop sales leads.

He said CertaPro boasts a reputation for professionalism and works with a base of subcontractors plus its own employees.

“Everybody that we do hire is very experienced,” he said. “We hire professional painters.”

At the other end of the sales spectrum is George Nassar and his Kitchen Craft Cookware. His booth has a few rows of chairs in front where people can sit and watch him work with his wares.

Nassar, who wears a wireless microphone to narrate his demonstration, tries to build excitement.

“We try to make it fun. We joke around a little bit and try to get some audience participation,” he said.

The waterless, greaseless cookware comes with a lifetime warranty and isn’t available in stores, so Nassar, who attends home shows “pretty much every weekend,” needs to get it in front of people.

“ We want to show what it does and how it works,” he said. “Once they see it, they say, ‘Oh, that makes sense.”

The 18th annual home show, hosted by the South Okanagan branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, also features an array of contractors, building supply companies, and more.

On Saturday the show closes at 6 p.m., then runs again from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.  Admission is $4 and comes with a chance to win prizes.


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