Software Can Improve Overall Image, Kitchen & Bath Dealers Advised
Using the latest technology to make presentations, create company literature and disseminate product information not only can boost a kitchen and bath dealer's professional image, it can also help generate additional business.
That's the view of Bob Castner, of Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Inc. in Fort Collins, CO, and Eve Barnes, of Kitchens of Austin (TX).
The pair of Bath & Kitchen Buying Group (BKBG) dealer-members addressed other members of the Houston, TX-based BKBG at a recent educational conference sponsored by the member-owned co-op.
There, Castner and Barnes described how using "high-tech" programs could "put you ahead of the competition. For example, while some kitchen and bath designers still do hand drawings and perspectives for presenting their designs, still more use the computer for this process," utilizing CAD software programs. Using such software to create kitchen and bath designs, Castner and Barnes contend, projects a more professional image to customers.
They suggest that even "using a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is more professional, as well as presenting a project on a computer or laptop and connecting to a television or screen" for that same reason.
If you continue to use hand-drawn floor plans, say Castner and Barnes, then "copy your plans on a blue-print machine. It tends to present a more professional look." In addition, if you possess professional accreditation such as a CKD or CBD, then stamp the drawings or seal them, again to create the "look of worth," they say.
The duo also stresses the use of e-mail as a preferred means of communicating with clients. "Use e-mail to get approval of drawings and contract agreements from your customers," they advise.
In addition, Castner and Barnes say that "we cannot use the same form of product information that we did 10 years ago. Try using CDs for product information, because it tells clients you are on top of the industry."
In conclusion, Castner and Barnes point out that up-to-date technology can help you project a more professional look, thereby increasing your worth in clients' eyes. And, if you're perceived as a consummate professional, you will garner more business, since your clientele will come to trust you and refer others to you.
"The more professional the presentation, the better chance of earning the business," explain Castner and Barnes.
These simple steps are a small investment when compared to the additional business, and profits, kitchen and bath dealers could earn as a result, they add.