Participants at the EMNARI monthly dinner meeting got to meet a whole new group of exciting people representing the NKBA. I met with many powerful men and women sharing their design tips and innovative new products popping up around the kitchens across America.
Our speaker, John Morgan, from NKBA, has received numerous accolades for his accomplishments in the kitchen and bath industry. We learned all about the importance of consumer immersion. Do you do business the way your client does business? Think of the audience you are trying to reach. Do they shop online? Use Facebook? Listen to sports radio? Find out where they are shopping, what they like to do, and what they are interested in.
Technology is a big factor in helping your business grow as well as the way your customer shops. Evernote, Bookshelf app, Square…there are a million of apps out there for professionals in design, building materials, engineers, architects, and more and it can become overwhelming for both you and your client. Pick ones that you are comfortable with as well as keeping your customer in mind.
Morgan says before you can even begin your meeting with your potential customer, you must know the answer to these few questions:
“What is the one thing that makes you different?” What make you stand out against the competition? Find your niche and use it. Also, you must know your product better than your competitors and your customers! When you engage and develop a zone of comfort with your customer, the chances of closing the sale increase dramatically. Your loyal customers are your best sales people. They want to share they’re success stories. “Wow, I met someone who really knows a thing or two about kitchen remodeling. My kitchen came out exactly how I pictured and saved me more money than I thought! You should give XYZ a call sometime.” Word of mouth is powerful. Trust is everything when it comes to building relationships with new and reoccurring customers.
“Know what to ask your customer”. Start with these… What are they trying to accomplish? (Are you remodeling a kitchen or are you building a backyard oasis?) What are your customers goals? (long-term and short-term goals), What will make your customers happy? (saving them money?, Saving them time?, Having high end aesthetics, etc.) You must seek their key decision drivers in order to close the sale. Once you earn their trust you become an advisor on additional items. When remodeling there are so many parts to consider; there are floor, there are windows, there are countertops, and many more variables to incorporate. They will seek your honest opinion and in turn, bring back business and referrals, which will boost your profits. You are the professional. Make recommendations when asked, but never insist. You are the person that turns the customer’s dream into a reality.
“Learn from others' success” This is a point that hit home for me. We know from the last article, “Why Twenty-Somethings Should Join A Membership Association”, networking becomes a long-term commitment that your business depends. The right people can really make your business grow. As we EM NARI Members know, that is exactly why we have these dinner meetings, to learn from other professionals on their triumphs and mistakes.
Stay engaged. Stay Connected. This is your position for success and developing the right relationships.
By Meghan Landry, F. D. Sterritt Lumber Company.
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