In the February issue of ProSales Business Update Showroom Report, we relayed a problem from Hilltop Lumber of Alexandria, Minn. Showroom managers at Hilltop said customers would walk in the front door, see the start of the showroom to their right, visit it for a while, but never go through to the other end where the managers' desks are located. What can Hilltop do to keep customers from stopping short of where the managers work?
Here is the advice that several dealers offer. To join the conversation, contact newsletter editor Vicky Markovitz or visit ProSales'group page for showroom managers on LinkedIn and post your own comment. (Note: Only showroom managers at building material dealers can join the ProSales group on LinkedIn.
- We have a Showcase and our associates are located in the front so they are in a position to greet customers as they enter the facility and then walk them to the area of interest whether it is kitchen cabinets, countertops, doors, windows, baths or flooring. All the associates know the layout of the Showcase facility, so when they are walking a customer to the items of interest, they can take the route that will expose the customer to the most products to develop additional potential sales instead of the most direct route. Time is money, as the saying goes and most customers tend to be in a rush. So if you don't have visible help available, a high percentage of customers will just walk not wanting to waste their time wondering around trying to find the item or items they are looking for. William S. Bates, vice president and general manager, R.P.Johnson & Son
- How about a video welcoming the customer to the store and the display area with an explanation of the display area and where the sales staff is waiting to eagerly help them? Patrick Kozisek, owner, PKs Creative Woods
- Put a sign on the floor that says: "Self tour starts here. Sales associates are available to answer you questions as you exit show room. For immediate assistance ring door bell." Put informative arrows on the floor depicting what they will see in whatever direction they go. Alan Ferche, project manager, Stallion Doors
- Why not have a greeter at the door, on the outside directing people to come in and see the display? Either a male model or female model works good to attract people to the front door.Cheryl Erickson, specialty accounts manager, Firestone Metal Products
- Here are some ideas for your consideration:
- Place professional signage at each stop indicating questions can be answered by knowledgeable designers within the store.
- Have a layout of the design center (something the clients can take with them) at the store entrance with an invitation to ask questions. The design center layout should include where the designers are located.
- Pictures and short bios about the designers can be placed in strategic areas (within the design center), so prospects can know who they might talk with.
- Have the staff take turns on the showroom floor, so a person is always there to greet those entering the design center.
- Depending on the store layout, have someone (like a concierge) placed where the people enter the store. This person can answer questions and help direct the clients. Having a pleasant, outgoing, upbeat person at the entry can do wonders to put people at ease as they enter a show room. (This is a difficult one with the current economy). Erick Wadsworth, general manager of finish sales, Design Innovations by Franklin Building Supply
Again, if you'd like to join the conversation, contact newsletter editor Vicky Markovitz or visit ProSales'group page for showroom managers on LinkedIn and post your own comment. (Note: Only showroom managers at building material dealers can join the ProSales group on LinkedIn.)