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Galt's Strategic Retail Sales By Design Tip #5: 3 Ways to Stop Hiding Your Design Team’s Talent

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If you don’t have designers working in your retail store, this isn’t going to work for you. I know that some home furnishings retailers are moving away from using designers and instead employing sales people with product knowledge but no design skills. If that’s you, stop reading now.

The talent in your designers is the gold in your business; you are likely hiding it under a proverbial bushel. It’s time to bring that talent forward where it can be leveraged to build your sales, drive traffic both online and in your storefront, and set you apart from the competition.

These lessons are brought to you by several of the exceptionally successful online retailers who discovered early on that showcasing the designers who design with their products generates an endless stream of profitable buzz that means sales ~ Homepolish, Dering Hall, Houzz. Names I know you know.

#1 Feature Your Designers on Your Website
And I don’t mean with a dry professional bio and a stuffy headshot. Let’s get personal! Have a fun shot of each one in design mode, they could be checking out a sofa in a fun pose, or pulling fabric for a room, or styling a vignette. Be sure to include some personal history in their MEET ME profile (not about, that’s too stodgy) are they married? Do they have kids? Pets? Favorite travel destination? What do they do for fun? These are called “points of connection” and they’ll turn into tipping points for business when you pull them forward.

#2 Gather Testimonials from Every Project (Room or More)
Leverage the testimonials and photography of the completed room (your designers aren’t photographers, hire someone who is or get an intern in photography from a local college) in postcards that you can both mail to targeted prospects, use as reminders to existing customers, and showcase on a wall in your store so browsers can find their favorites and reinforce the value by reading the testimonial. (I have an example of this on file.)

#3 Harness Designer Expertise for a Tip Series and LIVE Events
Schedule at least quarterly customer/prospect events around an educational theme and have them hosted by your designers. It can be about “How to Create the Great Room You’ve Always Wanted” or “Put the Romance Back in Your Master Bedroom” or “Kids Rooms that Will Take Them from 2 to 12.”

You can time sales events to coincide with each them as an added incentive, or not. It’s your choice. And with each event, a tip sheet is provided as a takeaway with your branding all over it, something classy that they’ll post on the refrigerator, or bulletin board. Those same tips become email value content.

And there’s a very cool app available right now that lets you create your own content and add it to Alexa, so that your branded tips can be included as a daily nudge for a design happy homeowner.

Designers are not an expense in your business, they are an investment in your businesses profitability when they are well trained, showcased, and supported. In fact, the right designers will sell more than a salesperson because they do it in context and by lifestyle instead of making it about product.


 

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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