Designers and Psychology of the Closet Sale

By Kris Costa | Posted: 04/15/2013 11:01AM


Closets have a life of their own, as do their owners and as such require a unique set of skills to bring them to life. For most closet companies, it is the designer who introduces the potential customer to the initial point of physical contact to the product. Whether in the home or in the showroom, it is the designer who provides the initial introduction of the solution for your customer and a key factor in closing the deal. The designer needs to understand not only the product line and organizational advantages, but the psychology of the customer and the true nature of their need. They face a multitude of challenges. Here’s how to help your designers make the most of their valuable time with their customers.

One concrete expectation of closet designers is that they know their product line. But do they? If I have heard it once at trade shows, I have heard it a thousand times. Designers often do not know the complete product offering of the companies they represent. Business owners can help this situation by providing intervals for their designers to be briefed and updated. Designers can’t sell what they are not aware of. The responsibility for the information highway lies is in management, not design. If your designers know what is available to solve the customers’ problems, they will sell it. Provide them with the tools they need to be the educated and resourceful professional that you already know they are. This is Closets 101.

Designers also need to be a psychologist of sorts. Many times customers come to them already in a disorganized crisis! Some customers are excited to become organized, but there is certainly a fair share of those who are already in a funk. Often they are in the midst of construction overload, or simply buried in their own bulk. These types of customers need the designer’s help but don’t necessarily know what they need. The solution for these customers is not only structural in nature, but lies in the talent of the designer to get inside the customer’s head and steer through their confusion. The successful designer is able to think through the confusion or frustration and emerge enthusiastically and resourcefully with with a customer feeling focused and engaged. Dealing with the public is not always easy, and at times there is more value in emotionally supporting your designers than there is offering them other perks.

Another slice of the design pie is the final installation. It is often said that sales and accounting are on opposite sides of the table. This can also be true of designers and installers, but it doesn’t have to be. Include your designer in the technicalities of production. Even an hour a month discussing the latest edge banding technique or why your new point to point offers a superior outcome can help the designer. Keep it simple so designers can keep it smart. There are times when an extra dose of knowledge is the tipping point for the sale to a savvy customer.

Designers are one of several right hands business owners rely on daily. At the forefront of every thriving custom closet company are its empowered designers.


About the Author

Kris Costa

Kris Costa has over 25 years of experience in the custom closet and organization industry as the leading supplier of high end luxury products and accessories. Kris’ company, Sidelines Inc., which she founded in 1997, catapulted the storage industry by being the first to introduce uniquely fashionable closet accessories in coordinating high quality finishes, setting the standard of closet organization quality and consistency as we know it today. Sidelines, Inc., which holds several patents, is a brand known world over and enjoys a following of international and national industry giants, as well as national clientele from coast to coast. Kris continues to raise the bar with unprecedented creativity and insight into the market and the needs and wants of her customers today. Kris has also recently launched a storage and fashion fun website, Look for Kris’ column regularly in Closets Magazine and Closets Online for trusted business savvy as well as popular product trends. For more information about Kris and Sidelines Inc., visit

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Tigard, Oregon  |  April, 18, 2013 at 06:20 PM

Great article! Come check out Closets To Go I think we could help, we just launched our new website that is pretty powerful and we offer a number of solututions to help with any organizational need. You wont be disappointed!


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