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Galt's Strategic Retail Sales By Design Tip #2: Two Biggest Money Making Lessons Furniture Retailers Can Learn from HGTV

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As a designer, I’ll confess, I’m not a fan of HGTV. It delivers an entirely false picture of both the process and investment required in home renovation and home furnishing. But, it is a consumer favorite and only getting bigger, so better to look for the lessons and here are two to drive your profits through the roof.

Create a REVEAL Every Time
While you may be selling a lot of individual pieces of furniture, there’s a lot more money when you make it about a room, a floor, or the house instead. As a designer I’ve never installed a single piece, when the room was designed and being put together. We wait until everything is in. I ask my client to be gone for the day, or in one case, I had to lock her out of the room we were working on (no peeking.) And then we go to work.

Only allow the client to see it when the entire transformation is complete! Design (and home furnishings) is all about context. Clients don’t have the vision to understand that and will start to pick apart a design if you deliver it a piece at a time.

They want a WOW and AHHHHH moment. It’s what HGTV trains you to wait for in every single episode, no matter what show you watch. From “Curb Appeal” to “Property Brothers” and, of course “Fixer Upper” with their giant billboards of how it used to look and then drum roll, “Tada!” here’s your new house.

You can do a reveal for a room at a time or even a part of a room at a time. It’s essential to leverage a bit of mystery, so they aren’t in the room when it’s being delivered. (Really, who wants customers hanging over their shoulder and delivery team when installing?) And then provide that dramatic reveal moment.

Generate Add-On Sales with Staged Accessories, Artwork, Accents

While it is entirely unclear to the average consumer and even some savvy ones that most of those reveals we see are staged, it’s true! That means that those pieces don’t actually belong to the homeowner unless they decide to buy them. And when they see it all in context, they fall immediately and entirely in love with it and have to have it.

That’s genius!

In your case, they’ve bought a rug, a sofa, and a chair. Are you only going to deliver that? Of course not. Your designer will have packed up a host of goodies including a cocktail table, end tables, artwork, lamps, accessories and more to load the room with lifestyle. All is on approval for 48 hours (and no you don’t do this over a weekend so they abuse it by having a party and then returning it!)

You leave a master inventory of items and allow them time to enjoy and become attached. Returns are done once or there is an additional restock fee. In many cases, when this is done well, and the client was primed for it, you can see all or as much as 75% of goods kept.

What I find surprising is the number of furniture retailers I’ve spoken to who tell me their designers don’t like to do this. It’s too much bother so they’ll forgo the sales. Who is running your operation, you or your designers?

When you provide key support staff who will wrap up items for the designer (not a great use of their time) and include an intern or other staffer to help with the loading and unwrapping of all items, you are adding sales.


More about the Author: Melissa Galt is a sales generating, referral building, relationship maker who doesn’t just show you and your design team what to do, but leads you through a remarkable experience that will forever change how you do business. You’ll be able to ditch the clichéd sales speak and been-there-done-that strategies that haven’t been working and step into genuine engagement that gets rave results.

Melissa is your resource for increasing sales by design. Schedule an in-depth discovery session today. The insights you’ll gain will provide immediate clarity, confidence, and opportunity.

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
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