Proper Showroom Management Viewed as Key to Profitability

Proper Showroom Management Viewed as Key to Profitability

Whether in the process of designing a new showroom or revamping your current showroom, special care should be taken to plan for as many efficiencies and time-saving methods as possible. I would like to discuss some showroom strategies that have enabled our kitchen and bath dealership to become more profitable, efficient and knowledgeable regarding our clientele.

Your showroom is a representation of your company's image and professionalism, and, in many cases, may be the first opportunity you will have to meet, impress and visit with your future clients. Whether your showroom is 10,000 square feet or 1,000 square feet, some fundamental principles apply to all and everything between.

Having been fortunate enough to visit many showrooms across the U.S. and Canada, I would say that the absolute worst showroom experience for a potential client is visiting a showroom that is not well kept and has displays that are incomplete or dated. From a sales standpoint, if your showroom is in constant disarray, you will have bigger problems to contend with other than time management.

Today's consumer is better educated, more demanding and expects quality service more than ever before. Use your showroom to its full potential and allow the layout, appearance and creativity to be your best sales tools.

Prior to ever taking pencil to paper when designing your showroom, you have to have a well-thought-out business plan. These are some thoughts that have helped our showroom evolve
over the years.

  • What is your target market?
     
  • Which manufacturers will help you add more profit to the bottom line?
     
  • Are there organizations available, such as buying groups, to help your company create better buying power?
     
  • Is carrying more of a variety always better?
     
  • Is representing a product necessary if it is available on every street corner?
     
  • Are you going to be using your local distributors' or manufacturers' showrooms?
     
  • What size and how many displays are necessary to express your offerings to your clients?

These are just a few of the important questions necessary to develop the showroom that truly works for you. How does this process help with time management? Here is just one example.

How much time do you believe it takes for a quality sales professional to become adept at representing a particular cabinetry line? A quality sales professional should be aware, understand and stay current on all aspects of the manufacturers he or she represents. Being well read and completely current will allow your sales professional to better serve your company, make fewer mistakes and have the ability to better serve your clients.

If you have too many offerings, your product knowledge will drop, mistakes will increase and your sales volume could drop. We have learned to save time, better serve our clients and have become more influential with our manufacturers by being selective in our offerings.

Now that you are ready to design your showroom, special care should be taken to ensure your clients' overall good experiences We have tried to create an experience for our clients that is both positive and comfortable.

Special care should also be taken to create a showroom environment that represents products that offer the best opportunity for profitability. Below are some of the specifics that we consider in our showroom design and planning process.

Creating a comfortable experience for the customer:

  • Create a smooth traffic flow.
     
  • Avoid bottlenecks and confining areas.
     
  • Create an image that you would like to represent.

Showroom environment and profitability:

  • Define your company's specific offerings.
     
  • Emphasize profitable items and displays.
     
  • Use ancillary items and make them a part of the sale.
     
  • Create necessary workstations throughout.
     
  • Set sale parameters and expectations for each display.
     
  • Study placement of items to create flow and interest.

Creating a positive experience:

  • Create an area to make your clients' children feel special.
     
  • Have a semi-private material consultation area.
     
  • Provide a private consultation space.
     
  • Use your distributors' and manufacturers' showrooms.

If you create the opportunity for your clients to have a positive buying experience, you will increase your overall sales. By controlling the flow, offerings and atmosphere within your showroom, your sales staff will be more efficient, better prepared and productive.

Your showroom is one of the most important business investments you will have. With proper planning, you will be able to maximize the investment in your showroom and increase your
bottom line.

The philosophy of time management in today's showrooms is a model for creativity, image and business success. Are you using your showroom to its full potential?

Jeff Cannata, CKD, CBD
Designer's Showcase
Kitchens & Baths Inc.
Carol Stream, IL

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