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Exhibitor Interview- Biggs Storm Shelters

Interview with Biggs Backhoe & Storm Shelters

If you are a small or mid-sized company and have considered exhibiting in a trade show but have questions, concerns or any hesitation we are currently featuring “Exhibitor Interviews” this summer in our Blog.

We have been interviewing companies that have exhibited for many years and can assist you in these decisions. As you read, you will understand why we interviewed Biggs. They are EXPERTS. They are customer service orientated and they know what they’re doing. We hope you find their answers and advice helpful. If you have any questions for them you can submit them directly below in the comments and we will get your answers to you ASAP.

 Sloped Biggs Storm Shelter

Biggs Backhoe is a diverse company. They are one of the oldest, most reputable storm shelter installers in Oklahoma.  They say they have been blessed to provide thousands of customers with protection from Oklahoma’s severe weather. Biggs installs storm shelters and they install and service septic systems, provide backhoe and dozer service and have a trucking company to haul dirt, shale, and gravel.  They consider it a privilege to serve their customers and strive each day to provide quality professional customer care.

Biggs flat top storm shelter

The company was established in March of 1981 by Earl and Nita Biggs who personally installed all of the storm shelters and septic systems for many years. Biggs Backhoe has grown and prospered over the years.  Biggs Backhoe started out and has remained a family owned and operated business that is based on quality service and care.  Three generations of the Biggs’ Family work for Biggs Backhoe along with fifteen to eighteen great employees.  “We have worked diligently to earn our esteemed reputation and we continue to strive to build our business.   We care about our customers and look forward to serving Oklahoma for many years and generations to come.”

Biggs also provides septic systems and has more than 37 years of experience in the industry. Their excellent products and service-oriented attitude have earned them a great reputation. Their customer satisfaction speaks for itself! (See below for reviews).
Biggs offers septic services for home builders as well as homeowners.

 Exhibiting at a Trade Show

Read on for Biggs' answers to our interview questions regarding exhibiting in Trade Shows:

Q:  When did you first exhibit in a Trade Show?
Answer:  We have been exhibiting in the OKC Home and Garden Show for over fifteen years.

Q:  Approximately how many Trade Shows have you exhibited in?
Answer:  Four to six every year for fifteen years.

Q:  Please give 3 examples of how exhibiting in a Trade Show helped you or your business?
Answer:  
1.  Market, Market, Market…. We utilize the trade shows to boost sales.

2.  Trade shows give us the opportunity to get out and visit with the general public.  We always learn a lot about how the public perceives us, our product, etc. so we utilize this time to gather data. 

3.  Trade shows give us the opportunity to compare or check out our competition.   They are typically right there with us in the same place at the same time.  Trade shows allow us the opportunity to create or reinforce professional relationships with other trade businesses.   Lots of times our referrals come from other industries within the construction market. (roofers, landscapers, etc.)

 

Q:  Please share 3 negative experiences that made you either re-think wanting to exhibit or challenged you to find a solution to enable you/your company to continue exhibiting in Trade Shows? 

Answer:

1.  One of the downfalls of trade shows is the moving in, setting up, etc.  We have huge products that require large equipment to move.   This creates a safety issue with other people and vehicles around.  It’s always a huge ordeal to get in and set up for trade shows while other businesses are also setting up.  

Using a crane to drop in a Concrete shelter

Moving out is not typically as much of an ordeal because we wait until the next day when everyone is gone.  The organization that is putting on the show makes a HUGE difference when it comes to setting up for the show.  We try to develop a really good relationship with our sales associate at each show and with whomever is in charge of the setting up for the show.  
We make sure we have all our equipment, show products, and literature ready to go and that our move-in process is organized so we don’t create an inconvenience (any more than we have to) for anyone else who is trying to set up – we all invest quite a bit of money into the shows so being respectful of everyone else’s right to be there is important – we get along with most everyone near our booth and that makes the shows better as well because you get to know those people fairly well since a lot of us do the same shows every year.

2.  The time a show is open can be too long.   If you are a single family business and it’s you working the show with no other help, shows that go from 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning until 9:00 or 10:00 at night is too long of a day.  It’s really important to have more than one person at the shows or have shifts to keep whomever is working from getting burned out by the middle of the show.

3.  We found that having visual displays that the customer can use (where it looks and works like it will at home) is an advantage at the shows.   Whatever we take to the show is what they end up wanting because they have seen it and used it.  We typically showcase our more expensive models at the show – the ones with the upgrades – copper parts, etc.  ONE – they look great and two, they make us more money when we sell them. 

 Biggs above ground shelter shown at a home show

Q:  What advice (or tips) would you give to business owners on the following?
1. Booth set up?

Answer:  
Create a clean – not cluttered booth.  We focus on a couple of products to display and have literature with lots of pictures or videos of our other products.   We have a place for customers to sit and create a booth that makes them want to come in and visit.   If we can get a customer into our booth, our chance of a sale goes way up, if they sit down, it’s almost always a sure thing.

2. Signage?

Answer:  Big – clean – easy to read your name and what you offer. 

3. Choosing location for your booth?

Answer:

Choose a booth big enough for your product – don’t try to save money and cram everything into a booth where it just barely fits. We choose a main aisle or somewhere where we think the majority foot traffic will go. I like being by a feature.    More foot traffic means more exposure.

4. Expectations?

Answer:

We set goals on how much we can sell and how to go about it. We take our contracts with us and our calendar and try to have everything lined out before the customer leaves our booth. We think of it as our mobile office for the week in a location that give a greater number of customer access and we try to utilize both the time and traffic to meet our goals.

6. Materials to bring, how much/many?

Answer:

We always look at the numbers for the show the previous year, but each year is different and even the type of customers are different. We always make sure we have way more material or literature than we can possibly need and we create literature that we can use in our office later after the show so it is not wasted.

Biggs dropped in garage floor shelter

7. How do you approach customers?

Answer:

We have a huge booth and there are typically three of us working it. We don’t go out and solicit customers. They can tell what our product is and if they are looking for it, they will stop by – we are there to offer information and assistance for them.   Customers can tell that we are friendly and experts at what we do so they stop to ask questions and check on prices and they end up staying and signing up with us.

8. Specials and offer at a Trade Show?

Answer:

We offer discount of 10 – 25% at shows if the customer completes the sale within a thirty day period of time from the end of the show.

 Trade show signage

What is your best advice you can give our audience regarding exhibiting in a trade show?
Answer: 

  1. Big tip here; buy really good quality padding to go under your carpet – standing or walking on the hard concrete all day for three days is exhausting and will make your legs, back and feet hurt.   It makes a huge difference if you are in good walking shoes and have padding and a place to sit down.

  2. Send your experts – a trade show is not the time to train your employees. Customers are going to go with the business who has people in their booths that know their product, can answer questions and have experience they can bring into the conversation.   We only send less experience employees if they are at the show with at least two other very experienced veterans of our company.   Pick your employees for the trade shows wisely, they represent you and for most of the customers are the only exposure to your company. 

 

Last Question:What would you like to share with our audience about YOUR company/products/services?  

We’ve been in the same business for almost forty years and are a small family owned business.   The same customers come to our booth for two or three years before they actually purchase our product and those same customers refer us to their friends and family.   We are a service company that installs septic systems and service those systems and install storm shelters as well as doing excavation work.  We are pretty diverse.  

Trade shows work well for us because we are helping the customer and when they get to meet us and visit with us and see that we really do operate as a company that offers a service to assist them, they want to use us.

 

If you need any additional encouragement to give Biggs a call for Storm Shelters or Septic Systems read here:

Eli says…

Biggs Backhoe has done several jobs for me over the last couple of years. They installed my aerobic septic system when we built our home and they service it. They installed a storm shelter and they hauled in shale and gravel when they built our driveway and installed a tin horn. I’ve visited with just about everyone from the company and every one of them has been friendly and helpful. I don’t plan on building another house but if I did, I would definitely hire Biggs Backhoe to do everything we had them do again. Great company and great people.

Wes C. said…

Excellent! They did a great job, kept us informed the entire time. Walked us through getting permit.

Hanna C.

Honest company. You will not be disappointed at all. We had some concerns of ours, they came right out and took care of it.

Libby

Bought a shelter and 56 Tons of gravel and had it installed and deliver today…great service..all four were kind and sweet. Will absolutely use them in the future for any needs they can fulfill of mine. I wholeheartedly recommend their shelters.

Read more reviews here

 

FAQ's. Here are some commonly asked questions regarding storm shelters:


Which storm shelter is right for me?

Choosing the right storm shelter is important. Ask yourself these questions:
Think about the space you have on the sides of your home and the access to your backyard. Some homes in newer neighborhoods do not have enough access space for the delivery truck to place the shelter in your backyard. Do you have 14′ height and 10′ width of clearance?

Do you need accessibility for people with disabilities?
If so, consider a safe room instead of a storm shelter. They are wheelchair accessible and have a 36″ wide door.

Safe Room

Are you concerned about intruders?
If so, this may be another reason to consider a safe room. The steel door and deadbolts allow it to also work as a “safe” room in the event of home invasions.

All products rated to hold a number of persons based on FEMA guidelines.

Biggs Steel Safe Room

How long does it take to install the shelter?

On average, above ground shelters take two to three hours to install and below ground shelters take three to five hours to install.

What type of ventilation do your storm shelters have?

FEMA standards require two ventilation locations for every shelter. Ventilation locations vary depending on the type of shelter.

What is the warranty on your shelters?

At Biggs Storm Shelters we stand behind our products.

Below ground shelters include a warranty that guarantees there will be no leakage in the concrete structure for a period of ten years from the date of installation.

 installed flat top shelter

Do you work with rebate programs?

As one of the oldest and most reputable storm shelter companies in the state, we have been part of the earliest rebate programs and continue to meet all of the standards for current participation.

Where is the best place to put a storm shelter?

We get this question quite a bit, and our best answer is to put the shelter in a place where you can get to it in a hurry. If your back yard can accommodate a shelter, then that’s probably the most common. The one piece of advice we offer is to be sure the shelter will not interfere with underground wires, sprinklers or cables.

We do check with Okie811 to have them mark off where the underground utility wires are, but you will know best where sprinkler lines may be.

 Backyard landscaped sloped storm shelter from Biggs

If your question wasn’t presented here, you can check out more answers here.  

A big THANK YOU to Biggs for answering our questions and sharing their advice and expertise with all of us!!

Also, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter making sure you receive notice of all new Blog Posts and Interviews.


2 comments

  • Thanks Ron and Doris.

    Benchmaster WoodworX
  • We have known these people for years and done may trade shows with the company. Honest hard working people!

    Ron ans Doris Miller

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