A long, long time ago, in a California Closet far, far away, there were three color choices for your closet. The process was simple. The owner/salesperson would visit a clients home, take measurements, explain double hang, long hang and medium hang and sell the homeowner a closet.
Fast forward to a time when we’re so digitally connected that nothing is far, far away. Color choices are nearly unlimited and a closet designer has not one, but several, client meetings to discuss design options prior to a sale being closed.
It’s a different design world these days.
So if I may ask, have you shifted your tools into the 21st century?
Most of you are saying “Well, of course we have. We have a state of the art CNC machine, an edgebander hot off the presses from Germany and our designers use lasers to take their measurements. We have a profile on Houzz and our website is mobile responsive.”
Ok. I’ll give you big points for all of those. But what about the design consultation process?
I’ll bet your design team makes more site visits than ever before and, if you have a showroom, sees clients in that showroom on a regular basis.
Showrooms are awesome. It’s smart business to get people into your space where they can play with the products as they make their custom selections.
But what if you don’t have a showroom? Or what if there are revisions to the project that go beyond that second meeting that took place in your showroom?
Then the designers are either spending needless time driving, or you’re emailing designs and pricing.
If you’re doing the first one, then the people who make the cash register ring (your design team) are not as happy as they could be. If you’re doing the latter, that does three things:
1. Removes any control you might have over the sales process
2. Easily allows your work to be “shopped” for a race to the bottom and
3. Removes the power of “emotion” from the sale because an email is not the same as actual human engagement.
So how do you turn this scary story into something closer to a fairytale ending?
Online design consultations.
I asked earlier if you have updated your tools for the 21st century. Are leveraging technology to increase sales when it comes to the design process?
I am. And I’m a huge fan. Online design consultations provide another great opportunity in the sales process to connect with the clients and demonstrate your design chops at the same time.
People are both impressed and comforted by a professional who puts technology to work.
So what’s your story when it comes to design consultations? I’d love to hear, so please write a little ‘somethin’, somethin’ in the comments below and let’s talk about changing the way things are done.
And if you haven’t done a design consultation online yet, but are curious about it, you can join me for (of course) another version of an online conversation via a free webinar.
I get asked about how I do this so frequently that I decided to do a quick, 30 minute session that pulls back the curtain and shows you the tools I use to do my design consultations on line. And then you can ask me any questions you want about this topic.
Join me if you’d like to learn more:
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.