Carl Tompkins gave two presentations Thursday at Glass Expo Northeast. The two-day event continues Thursday evening and Friday with a busy trade show floor and more educational programs.

What does it take for your glass shop to dominate the web? That was one of many questions seminar presenters answered Thursday at Glass Expo Northeast™.

The two-day conference and trade show began with presentations from USGlass magazine research editor Nick St. Denis (on the economic state of the industry) and Sika national sales manager Carl Tompkins (on limiting liability with sealants), which were covered in the day’s USGNN.com™ newscast.

Then later in the day, Chuck Bankoff of Kreative Webworks discussed with attendees ways to get leads from the internet, and how companies can maximize their marketability through the web.

He cited a Consumer Executive Board statistic showing 57 to 70 percent of a prospective customer’s decision is complete before that prospect first contacts a supplier.

“Everyone starts their journey on the internet,” he said. “… They’re not going to the Yellow Pages.”

Bankoff added that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before buying, sourcing an AdWeek study. “He who has the most yellow stars wins,” he said. “People are always going to gravitate to those who have the best reviews.”

Bankoff said a company’s website is the hub of its marketing, as all roads lead to it.

Websites should be designed for hand-help mobile devices first, and for desktops second. He pointed out that from his experience, clients generate most of their traffic through photo galleries because people are visual.

Another piece of advice he had was for companies to implement an interactive map on their contacts page. “It shows people that you’re local,” he said.

Richard Voreis of the management consulting firm Consulting Collaborative also presented, guiding attendees through a 14-question self-assessment of their business practices.

“Most companies lack a vision of the future,” he said. “They’re so focused on what’s happening today, wrapped up in their businesses. Too much focus is on what’s happening today instead of what’s happening tomorrow.”

In providing tips on setting goals and objectives, he stressed getting employees involved. “For a company to be highly successful, every employee has to recognize they contribute to its success,” he said.

He added that best-of-class companies keep their employees well informed on the success or failures of the business so they can be more invested in it. He gave the example of watching a basketball game with the scoreboard turned off.

“We lose interest because we don’t know the score,” he said.

Tompkins wrapped up the educational program stressing the importance of meeting customers’ expectations at every stage of service.

“You sell an experience,” he said, noting that if a company can earn As with its customers in most stages of service, price becomes less of a factor.

“Get all Cs, and you’re competing on price,” he said. “Get Fs and you’re out of business.”

He noted that the five factors that determine worth not only in business, but in personal relationships as well, are “reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy and image.”

After the seminars, the exhibitor show floor opened. It will remain active until 8 p.m. Thursday and will open again Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. following two more educational programs, which begin at 9 a.m.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for continued coverage of Glass Expo Northeast.