Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUL 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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my travels and interactions with designers across many markets. However, our industry requires many more skills than just sales, and without a closed sale, the showroom cannot exist. Because our sales process is complex and protracted, multiple skills are needed concurrently. Additionally, designers need to be project managers, problem solvers, negotiators, lead generators, mathematicians and strategic thinkers who avoid creating problems in the course of designing to a sale. It's also not enough to have the vital skills of color accura- cy and making color combination recommen- dations. Occasionally designers need to be psychologists, too, especially when homeown- ers' tastes outgrow their budgets. It's about planning, setting up for long-term success and coaching instead of coaxing! Hire designers who will be able to sell well. When you provide training, you will have employees who do business to your standards and will not have bad habits to overcome. When they see the big picture and how they've contributed to the showroom's success, it will feed a loyalty born of contributing in positive ways – your ways. If you can also make it engaging and relevant, you'll gain millennials' support; otherwise, they'll drift away. The people you employ to guide your customers through the process of picking out nishes and designing beautiful rooms are the key to your success. Anyone can look online at room scenes, but that doesn't help the average consumer gure out how that inspiration can be translated into their dream kitchen or bath. Having a mutual plan of action that all employees adhere to will help the business grow with a committed team of skilled consultants. We need to play both the long and short game. Educated, quality designers will help our industry grow, and the showroom will be suc- cessful because of increased sales and happy, positive referrals from homeowners. Two of our biggest retailers have announced on major news stations that our industry needs more trained personnel and they have made a com- mitment to invest in training people – likely, contractors, installers, etc. Kitchen and bath designers who are also expected to be excellent salespeople and project managers deserve this, too. Our industry de- serves this. I wish I could report that I have this all gured out with an easy answer. But our gap is far bigger than one person can solve. Isn't it time that we invest in our industry on the design and especially sales skills side of development? To do what I can to help, I've developed a new Selling Skills course to give designers approved time to learn best practices for selling from each other. Still, we need more formalized and everyday practice with selling skills techniques in our showroom environ- ments, in addition to an event as an industry out of the showroom to grow the next crop of designers for our industry. I hope you will join me in building and en- couraging an education and training initiative for our next generation of designers so that nationwide, homeowners will enjoy beautiful, well-functioning spaces from our showrooms for many years to come. ▪ "Isn't it time that we invest in our industry on the design and especially sales skills side of development?" July 2019 • 21 TOP OF ITS CLASS Häfele's all-new Free Space gives cabinets a smooth, silent operation as well as soft close in a sleek, cleanly designed package. This innovative fl ap fi tting is more compact and offers unrivaled design fl exibility. Available for door panel weights up to 42 lbs. and up to 26" in height. Plus, the door stays put exactly where you open it. PUT HÄFELE'S FREE SPACE IN YOUR SHOWROOM AND RECEIVE ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS! Online & Livechat: Phone: 800.325.6202 | Email: NEW Circle No. 8 on Product Card

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