Miller Weldmaster, a Navarre, Ohio, manufacturer of hot air/hot wedge welding equipment for industrial fabrics and thermoplastics, landed customers during its frequent trade show appearances. The nagging thought persisted, however, that many customers expressed enthusiasm without following up.
How could the company get its impressive equipment in front of customers too busy, preoccupied or overwhelmed with trade-show brochures to follow up? Miller Weldmaster began to kick around the idea of a trailer that would put the product in front of the customer’s whole team—and demonstrate its value on one of the customer’s own products.
In the past two years, the Miller Weldmaster Roadshow trailer has logged 28,000 miles, visited 23 states and demonstrated its products for more than 200 customers in 2007 alone. Sponseller credits Nate Blackwood, the Roadshow manager, with the success of the venture, as well as a strong constitution. “For a few weeks every month, Nate lives on coffee, Twizzlers and hot dogs,” Sponseller says. “He’s gotten to know a lot about truck stops.”
When the trailer arrives at the appointment site, so do the business owner, the production manager and employees who work on products, getting key decisionmakers and users on the same page. “We tell them, ‘Whatever you’re doing, bring it out,’ and show them what our equipment can do to improve their process or product,” Sponseller says. To schedule an appointment with Miller Weldmaster at your business site, visit the Web site at www.weldmaster.com/roadshow/ or contact Blackwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katherine Carlson is a freelancer and technical editor based in St. Paul, Minn.