Now, consult your list of products and begin your search. Jot down any booths that contain products that spark your interest and that might be a good fit for this particular client. You should speak to a product representative in the booth and get an understanding of basic retail pricing for any products you are interested in presenting to your client.
You will also need to determine how to purchase the products if the clients select them. Can you purchase directly from the manufacturer or do you have to purchase from a different third- party source locally in your home town? Do you need to establish an account with a regional sales rep? Find out these answers and follow the necessary protocol so you can procure the products when it comes time to purchase them.
Determine if the products are available at that time or prototyped for release sometime in the future. Determine if this product’s availability will fit the timeline of your project. Talk to the booth representatives about the cost of implementing certain products in your projects and how they may need to be integrated. Products like alternative drawer glide systems may require drawer box modifications or alternative construction necessities prior to the installation, and knowing these up front will only help your bottom line.
Sometimes new products require time to understand on the front end to get them right on the first go around. Talking to the professionals who know the products inside and out should alleviate the uneasy feeling of trying something new and untested. Educating yourself about product implementation is just as important as understanding the FABs of the product itself.
Lastly, your list should include a few items that are outside the client’s normal budgetary and design comfort zone. I find showing these to the client can spark interest they didn’t even know they had! Remember, if they don’t see it and they don’t know it’s available to them, they can’t buy it. Giving them the opportunity to see something new (even if it’s above their budget) may make that “upsale” we are always looking for.
Have fun shopping!
Walk the clients through the show and show them the products you’d like them to see. Gather peripheral materials such as brochures or project specifications. Visit any other vendors they would like to see after you walk them through your list. Lastly, have fun!
If geographic or economic constraints determine that visiting K/BIS with your client is impossible and you’re still planning on attending yourself, the above process is still relevant. You can gather all of the information needed while at K/BIS and present this to the client at your next meeting after you return. Be sure to tell them you are attending your national industry show and plan to do some research for them.
Remember, attending the show gives you the competitive edge because you are educating yourself about what’s available in the marketplace and how to integrate this into your designs. This authenticates you as the client’s best choice and helps you to close the sale.