Friday, September 25, 2020
Everyone has had to change work schedules and processes, and change is stressful. Nearly 70% of American workers report that COVID-19 is the most stressful time in their professional careers, writes Professor Eric Anicich of the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. The source of COVID-19 stress is a loss of autonomy or the ability to control actions and be yourself, claims Anicich. Loss of autonomy adversely effects team member performance and well-being.
Team members are worried about the threat COVID-19 poses to their family’s health, job, freedom of movement and mandatory work from home requirements. Anicich researched employees from 41 different community colleges during the initial lock down in March to determine how those employees felt about the control they had over their lives and whether they could be themselves. The research found that after an initial feeling of loss of control, employees recovered quickly and adapted to the new normal.
How to Regain Control
Anicich recommends that if you are working from home, clearly define workspace from home space. If you have a dedicated office, that’s fantastic. If not, create a dedicated space with a door where you work privately and family members know when the door is closed, you are at work. Take advantage of the benefits of working from home. Use the time that you would have otherwise spent commuting to be more productive, to get more sleep, exercise, connect with friends, increase quality time with family or anything else that makes you feel good. Take care of yourself. Eat healthier. Exercise. Spend some time on just you. Consider earmarking funds that you typically would have spent on going out, traveling or commuting on your and your family’s well-being.
Helping Team Members Cope
Regularly check in with team members. Understand that typical schedules are anything but typical, especially among team members whose children are attending virtual school. When possible, add flexibility to team members’ schedules by not focusing on when or how much the team works, but rather emphasize what is accomplished. Also, set expectations for the team and standards for those who are working from home. You can boost team member morale by frequently recognizing and rewarding team members who are aligned with your corporate culture and values.
Anicich’s research found that neurotic employees recovered their autonomy fastest during the pandemic. They could prove to be your most reliable and effective team members.
Another lasting effect of COVID-19 will be the future of work. Many companies are questioning if team members have to be present from 9 to 5, five days a week. Work from home will be a component of the future of work. The adoption of technology will continue to accelerate due to enhance efficiencies and ease of operation. Anicich believes now is the time to take as step back and ask the question, “What would an ideal world of work look like for this organization and what step can we take now to create this future?
With Wallpaper magazine images and a massive increase in Instagram followers circling in my mind; I called our killer, local distributor. I enthusiastically related the information and was absolutely blindsided with the response. Sounds interesting, have them give us a call…*%#!...
And the most frustrating thing was that this is not the first time this has happened. Throughout my four decades in the DPH industry, this has happened time and time again. And it happens when I have contacted the very successful showrooms!. Why do these players run their business by a Hollywood dream, if we build it, they will come?
Top luxury showrooms are busy and business is good. Their engaging teams are focused on their regular customers, plus pandemic demands. But should a sales relationship reliant business leave an order opportunity, and a possible profitable long term relationship, to chance? I think not. Jack Welch always preached, “Control your own destiny or someone else will.”
Even in good and 2020 crazy times, we need to always make sure we are focusing on what is best for our business’ future. This sounds easy, but it requires management to take time from all the day-to-day noise and assess how their business is performing. Not simply the regular performance matrices, but how is the team functioning. What is working well and what is not. Who is stressed and who is not, and what might be slipping through the cracks.
You cannot be everything to everybody, but wouldn’t you rather have the opportunity to make the call if the client and the job is a profitable fit for your business’ model?
Whether it is a one-time lead, a good client asking you to enter into a new product category, or taking a calculated risk on an interesting but precarious opportunity, wouldn’t you prefer to have a hand at the table? In Maria Konnikova’s new book, The Confidence Game, Why We Fall For It...Every Time, she writes, “To do nothing is within the power of all men.”
A beautiful showroom with many talented people is a wonderful thing. A beautiful showroom with many talented people that is aggressive, accommodating and imaginative is a market-dominating machine.
Best of luck out there and please be safe.
Monday, September 21, 2020
A new consciousness in modular bathroom design is here:
- 7 circle basin options
- Reversible tray option
- Adjustable foot base
- 14 color options
- Shadowline base
- 870mm height
- Wall mount bracket
- Simple assembly
Send in your drawing along with the quotation form and they'll return a quote within 5 business days. Once the quotation is approved, your very own custom furniture piece will be built to specs by Wetstyle's skilled artisans at their woodworking shop in Montreal, Canada.
Combine YOUR DESIGN with WETSTYLE'S CRAFTSMANSHIP to create the perfect furniture piece for your next project!
Kalco’s newest bath vanity lighting collection is The Eaton Collection, which is perfect for spaces that call out for something a little different. Not satisfied with classic bathroom lighting shapes, Kalco cleverly uses circular downlights to provide the perfect amount of lighting over a mirror. Shown in Satin Nickel.
New Brizo Beverage faucets are compatible with an array of filtration systems - and are designed to beautifully compliment your existing décor and fixtures.
From traditional to modern, Polished Chrome to Matte Black, these faucets are available in a broad range of styles and finishes.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Homes will tip their hat to mother nature. Natural light, open windows, small balconies and terraces and skylights will pay homage to nature and provide more opportunities for homeowners to experience the benefits of natural light, fresh air and green spaces.
Open floor plans will wane. This trend started before COVID-19 and most likely will accelerate through the end of the decade. Homeowners will want defined spaces that separate work from home. That does not necessarily mean more walls or enclosed spaces. What it does mean is that there will be distinct spaces separated by interior windows and strategic sight lines.
Millennials will move to the suburbs, which is turn will result in home design and amenities becoming more urban.
There will be an expanded emphasis on health and wellbeing. Instead of having a fitness room, homes will feature yoga studios, meditation rooms, steam rooms and infrared saunas among other amenities and systems that allow family members time to reflect and recharge their batteries. Great showroom opportunity to tout the products that reduce stress, promote wellness and wellbeing.
Furniture goes on a diet. Sofas and other furniture will become thinner and more compact.
Handwashing increases permanently. The Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 is responsible for the creation of the powder room and popularity of easy-to-clean white subway tile. Look for COVID-19 to create vestibules and mudrooms that include sinks and package and shoe storage spaces. A great showroom opportunity is to promote sinks and smaller vanities that fit in vestibules or mudrooms.
Multigenerational households make a comeback. The high cost of housing and independent living will result in more multigenerational households with separate spaces or even in-home apartments for parents and adult children.
Design softens. Hard edges in design will give way to curved countertops, walls and woodwork to provide the look and feel of harmony and warmth.
Increased investment in quality rather than pieces that cost less whose price tag is directly related to quality or indistinguishable design.
Work from home will be the norm and defined spaces will be designed to respond to this trend. In addition, there will be multiple venues within a home and outside that enable family members to work from home, participate in video conferences and charge devices.
Founded in 1973, Foster is an Italian company that operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. With five highly specialized manufacturing units, Foster is an integrated organization with headquarters in in Brescello, Italy. The Terranova palace - the Foster headquarter - is a former 17th century Franciscan convent, and it's not just a building, it is the expression of Foster’s love for art. Foster breathes passion for beautiful things, respect for the environment that surrounds them and a love for quality, hence their commitment to excellent service to meet the demands of a market increasingly sensitive to technological development and environmental protection.
Today Foster can offer solutions to an entire kitchen, in which each element is characterized by the functional design, for the high quality of the materials selected and its advanced technology.
DADOquartz Anahita freestanding bathtub at Cheetah Plains.
Summertime outdoor bathing makes the most of any private garden or patio space, 5-star game lodges, resorts, day spas and hotel suites with a view – offering you fresh air, natural scenery, sunlight and moonlight. The natural greenery or outdoor city ambience showcase freestanding bathtubs as unique focal points, creating an exclusive outdoor sanctuary.
The primary consideration when installing an outdoor bathtub is whether it can withstand harsh natural elements – whether you are in the middle of an urban setting or part of the great outdoors.
If you are ready to combine your love for the outdoors with a luxury bathing experience, then here are 3 things to look for with your freestanding bathtub:
#1 UV Resistant
Placing a freestanding bathtub outside or closest to floor-to-ceiling window as part of your bathroom design plan requires you to consider the material of the bathtub and whether it can withstand harsh sunlight and UV rays. Make sure the bathtub you choose is resistant to UV rays and stains, allowing them to be exposed to outdoor elements and to the sun without discoloring.
#2 Non-Porous and Easy Maintenance
You will want to make sure that the bathtub you select is non-porous and free of hairline cracks, ensuring an easy to clean surface that is also resistant to micro-organisms and bacterial growth – perfect for the outdoors.
#3 Tolerance for Extreme Outdoor Conditions
Not all bathtubs are created equal, and not all will work for exterior applications. A tub boasting a full-bodied, solid structure will likely work best for this application. This might sound technical, but the advantage of this for outdoors is that each bathtub has the strength to withstand harsh elements and outdoor conditions without losing its natural beauty and polished satin appearance.
An outdoor space that has iconic city views, skyscrapers, a mountain range, a sea view or even an ivy-covered garden wall becomes the opportunity to create an outdoor bathing haven of relaxation and pure happiness.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
DPHA takes time today to remember the 3,000 lives lost during the events that took place nineteen years ago today. The impact of this catastrophic event is still being felt today throughout the economic effects, subsequent illnesses and residual physical and psychological damage of all of those near and dear to New York City. Today is meant to be a day of reflection and remembrance of what that day represented and the community and banding together our country provided in days and months following the attack. We are feeling much of the same emotions throughout 2020 and with community and sharing our stories with our peers, we will get through another major historical moment in our timelines together.
DPHA’s own New York bred Kymberly Glazer shares with us her September 11th memories. Keep the stories alive and how these moments in history have shaped you. “On September 11th, 2001 I was a sophomore in college at Colorado State University. It was very early in the morning and my phone was ringing off the hook. I ignored it because, well, I was 19 years old and it wasn't even 7 am! Finally, one of my sorority sisters came bursting into my room, woke me up and said, ‘you need to come downstairs and see this.’ I went downstairs, to the only TV in our sorority house, and watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the South Tower at 9:03 am ET.
I grew up just an hour north of NYC and had several friends and family members who were living there. It took me over 5 hours to get ahold of my parents. Every one of my sorority sisters was trying to call, but the phone lines in NY were impossible to get through. All I could do was sit and watch in complete shock. I don't think I even cried until over a month later when I finally got to hug my parents.
I am thankful I didn't know anyone who perished that day. There were some miracles in my world on that morning - one of our closest friends who worked at the WTC was running late. Another had a meeting across town.
We all have stories of where we were that day, and this was mine. What is yours?”
and clay, brass and steel, to be poured and casted, glazed, fired, and transformed into the finest of fixtures, they also see our collective potential to transform houses to homes by elevating your unique design style.
Midnight chrome brings an element of sophistication to what the industry knows of chrome; the finish takes on slightly different hues depending on the light. This new finish brings the total number of available finishes from Newport Brass to 28. Midnight Chrome includes a 10-year finish warranty and is available on all Newport Brass products.
Combining their modern Matte Black finish with four complementary colors (Brushed Nickel, Polished Chrome, Polished Nickel, Champagne Bronze), specific details of each part stand out.
The Urban Bath Apron is available on baths with add-on skirts for a list price of $895. It is not currently available on the seamless skirt category.
What began as a small family business in 1998, conquered the bathware market with their authentic, creative and innovative approach to design and manufacturing. Their hand-crafted bathtubs and basins have been featured in deluxe hotels and resorts globally and have been selected by the most experienced and skilled architects and designers from all around the world.
DADOquartz® bathware is available in two collections namely Sirene, the premium brand and ULIA, the premium luxe brand. Both the ULIA and Sirene collections feature products with two edge options wide edge and thin edge. To demonstrate confidence in the quality and reliability of their products every bathtub and basin is backed by a lifetime warranty.
An expert in-house design team is able to translate and bring any concept to life. Using state-of-the-art technology, they produce their own molds, giving them a significant advantage in turnaround time and cost in a highly stringent international market.
The exceptional customer support includes marketing and sales teams that offers personalized distinctive bathware solutions with sale drives, brand awareness and run various informative online platforms to assist customer care.
Their ability to customize is unparalleled, making DADOquartz® a favorite among contractors, designers, builders, and resellers.
The optimistic prediction at the start of the year, like most everything else that has occurred in 2020, took a dramatic about face when sheltering in place orders were issued in the middle of March. Word from DPHA showrooms is that they are busy, some having record months since COVID began. The National Kitchen & Bath Association publishes an industry outlook each year, and recently updated its outlook to account for the impact of COVID-19. The updated study found the following according to a recent article in Kitchen & Bath Business.
- 11% of planned kitchen and bath remodeling projects as of mid-April were cancelled or postponed because of the virus
- Spending on kitchens fell 25%, master bath dropped 18% and second baths dipped 14%
- Spending on medium and larger K&B renovation projects is expected to drop by 22%, while spending on smaller projects is expected to fall by 14%
- Projects that continued saw reliance on designers at 25% compared to 38% before COVID-19
- Homeowners who continued with their projects during the pandemic opted for lower priced products and were more likely to use DYI labor
Nearly 33% of Americans reported that they have changed the way they view their kitchens and baths as a result of COVID-19, focusing on health and safety, quality, function and design. For Americans working from home, 38% have changed the way they think about their kitchens and baths and 19% of those working from home reported wanting to renovate their kitchen or bath.
The report is free to NKBA members. Call 800-843-6522 to order 2020 Kitchen & Bath Market Outlook: Q1 Update. The full article can be found here.
Friday, September 4, 2020
Most Americans associate Labor Day as summer’s last hurrah. It’s a welcomed three-day weekend to go to the beach, mountains, barbecue or simply hang out in a safe socially distanced environment while we are in the middle of a global pandemic.
Here are a few fun facts about Labor Day that you may not have known:
The History. The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City, September 5, 1882. At that time, most Americans worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The irony of that statistic is that there are more than a few DPHA members who are working as if it was 1882. American labor law changed with the passage of the Adamson Act on September 3, 1916, officially establishing the eight-hour workday.
White is Alright. The fashion world continues to debate if it is okay to wear white after the first Monday in September. This no white clothing after Labor Day stems from a class distinction in the early 1900s. After the Civil War, it became more difficult to distinguish women who came from old or new money. The ban on white clothing is reportedly attributed to “old money” patrons to identify those with new money who did not belong in their social circles. There are other theories about no white after Labor Day. Traditionally, the fashion industry introduces its new fall lines to stores that historically did not feature white clothing. A third theory is that Labor Day marks the end of the summer, lighter clothing is no longer needed.
Irony of Labor Day. Another irony of Labor Day is the burden it has historically placed on brick and mortar retail. In a pre-Covid-19 world, retail workers, which used to represent 6% of the American workforce, had to put in 10 and 12 hour+ days. Others who work on Labor Day include police, firefighters, medical professionals and others whose job it is to protect us.
Go to the Dogs. The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council claims that Labor Day marks the end of the hot dog season. Why?
Be Careful Out There. Labor Day is the second most dangerous holiday to drive behind Memorial Day.
Are You Ready for Some Football? Labor Day also has traditionally marked the beginning of the NFL season in a pre- and post-COVID world.
Last One Until Thanksgiving. Another reason to celebrate Labor Day with gusto is it is the last federal three-day holiday until Thanksgiving.
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Where Do You Put The 800 Pound Gorillas in Your Showroom? Thoughts from DPHA Fellow Jeffrey Valles, Colonial Bronze
|Central Arizona Supply Showroom Designed by SH Design Build.|
You are laying out your showroom, starting with placing the most popular brands in the market. These are the big brands that spend a lot of money promoting their products and that help motivate people to visit your showroom. So, you place these asked for companies right up front. Your customers will immediately know that you are THE place for big brands A, B and C. Life will be good.
However, how many other showrooms in your market also proudly shout they distribute these mega lines? In addition to those competitors, the local big box stores are also proud distributors, and then there are all the internet companies that would be happy to sell these customer-trusted brands. In reality, these best-known industry brands are being sold by a lot of companies that are targeting your core customers. With all this competitive noise, is it a sound merchandising move to set these familiar and heavily distributed brands front and center? Do you really want them to be the first products your customers see and align with your brand? Does this initial hit move your client to think your showroom is different from all the others in your market? Is this a way to help improve quote closure and profit? Life will be tough.
Today’s experience-craving customers are looking for showrooms to introduce them to new brands, new products and creative applications. Luxury and premium designers, architects and design enthusiasts want to see and interact with the latest and greatest, not necessarily the most advertised stuff. If they are using your showroom to simply buy products that they have seen in their email feed, you are no longer a go-to showroom and can easily lose the customer to your local big box or ecommerce site. What story do you want your professional design, build and homeowner clients to share? Buy it here! Or, let us help you design your best space. Life will be a story.
For a lot of showrooms these broad reaching brands are your top sellers, actively drive customer to your front door and are good partners. I am not saying that the lines should be removed. I am saying that they should be moved from the front and set elsewhere in the showroom.
We all know why supermarkets set the milk and bread in the back of the store. Customers must walk through the entire store to see all the fabulous brands and products they offer. Maybe they will add a few items to their cart that they had not intended to purchase on this shopping trip. Simple and time-proven. So why not do the same in your showroom?
Most of your business is from your returning design and building trade professionals. If the everyday brands are in the back, the wandering eyes of your good customers will see some of the smaller designer brands you offer, the new products you have just set and the smashing vignettes you have created. You want them to know you are so much more than just the big brands. You want them to understand that they can rely on you to show them the latest and greatest from the most obscure company to the household names.
People are becoming increasing comfortable buying on their computer and the pandemic has increased the speed of this change. Just look at the sales at Wayfair. They were given up for dead in January, now they are a Wall Street darling. You must make your showrooms a step above and away from your many levels of competition. It must scream different. They have to see what it is that makes the trip to your showrooms special and by placing the known brands in the back you will help your customers better understand the amazing possibilities you have found for them.
Most important of all, your client has to know and appreciate you are the very best partner in the analog and digital worlds to help them design, order and install the right products to create great spaces. Your team knows how to help them put it all together. You want to make sure all customers know your showroom is a place to build something, not simply buy. That is the story you want your customers to share. Afterall, life is a story.
Your customer needs your empathetic ear and a willingness to meet them in their own comfort zone now more than ever. Customer service expert Teresa Allen will share an interactive virtual program that will enable you to grow sales through common sense service encounters. Explore how to navigate through conflicts and ask the right questions to become more than an order taker. Learn how to build confidence and generate referrals by taking a genuine interest in your customer’s life and the unique challenges they are facing in today’s anything but normal world! This will be a Zoom Meeting with a limited attendee list and video will be required.
New DPHA member Allegri Crystal by Kalco recently launched its Summer 2020 lighting collections that highlight quality crystal and contemporary designs. Allegri’s Nuvole Collection features Firenze crystal situated within an individual chrome square, allowing enough movement to ensure brilliant refracted light. The overall gently sloping domed shape was designed specifically to cast a warm glow. The Nuvole collection is offered in an island and four pendant sizes.
Be ready to enjoy a Zen moment any day in this relaxing bathtub.
Inform ERP Software is a single-source solution that equips wholesale distributors and showroom businesses with the tools they need to create an exceptional customer experience and profitably manage their business operations.
Thursday, September 17th at 1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT
Learn how distributors are succeeding with Inform ERP's industry-specific technology and continuous innovation to reach customers whenever and wherever the market takes them.
- Increase Customer Engagement - Easily track and report on detailed customer information, allowing your sales team to be proactive and equipped with conversational touch-points related to contact activity and order history.
- Keep Up with the Modern Buyer - Real-time Inform ERP & eCommerce Pro integration provides a connected online storefront with customer self-service access and the ability to take orders 24/7.
- Gain Speed and Efficiency at the Sales Counter - With single-screen order entry, Inform allows you to provide fast, personalized customer service, leaving a lasting impression with potential buyers.
- Manage Your Business On-the-Go - Enable your sales team with the information they need to take immediate action. Touch-screen technology lets you easily create a quote or order and see customer service details.
|St. Jude patient, Ashley|
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Principal operations are conducted from their main facility located in Sunrise, Florida. In addition to their office headquarters in Sunrise, Florida, Pan American Sales & Marketing also maintains four additional offices strategically located throughout the state of Florida. This allows them to offer their clients the highest possible level of sales and service within the territory. From specification to installation, Pan American Sales & Marketing is able to offer the quality products and industry experience you require and deserve.
Bertch Introduces New Bath Quartz Countertop Program and Free Solid Color Promotion on Kitchen+ Cabinetry.
Bertch is waiving the solid color upcharge on all Bertch Kitchen+ cabinetry from August 3rd through October 3rd. This offer applies to standard solid colors only.
Starting with the Cavalli which is available in 2 options, white and white with a black exterior. Much like its namesake, the Cavalli sink creates a dramatic effect sure to elevate your bathroom landscape. Second on the list is the new Puccini featuring a matte black exterior with the same smooth shape you already love. The final sink on our list is a much-desired update to the Vivaldi Plus. The overflow drain has a new sleek design that is easy to match with any faucet finish.
Built to last a lifetime, Calma sinks are made from environmentally friendly rock and coated with a UV gel-coat layer guaranteeing a perfect finish for years to come.
Infinity Drain has been announced as a winner of the Kitchen & Bath Business (KBB) Magazine Readers' Choice Award in the Bath Accessories category!
They have also been announced as a 2x Finalist for the prestigious Architizer A+ awards for the Stainless Steel Shower Base (Kitchen & Bath Fixtures & Fittings Category) and for the Slot Linear Drain (Kitchen & Bath Plumbing & Drainage Category).
- Lustertone Iconix® Stainless Steel Sinks and Sink Kits
- Quartz Luxe® Sinks with Perfect Drain®
- Fireclay Workstation Sink Kits
The medical community constantly advises Americans to sleep more and sleep more soundly. Easier said than done for many. When you and your team members don’t get enough sleep, what is the typical remedy? Coffee. Unfortunately, while caffeine offers short-term pick-me-up benefits, it is not a long-term solution to insufficient sleep. Plus, caffeine could be one of the reasons you stay up later than necessary or desired. Use caffeine strategically and not as a crutch to make sure you are awake and alert.
Lack of sleep adversely affects health and effectiveness. When you and your team members are tired, the likelihood of errors increases and quality of work erodes. That’s why you should prioritize your day around your level of alertness. When you are cognitively sharp, do tasks that required creativity, innovation and novel thinking. When you are tired, focus on routine tasks that don’t require a lot of mental energy. Most people are typically the most alert at the start of the day. Don't use the first hours after you turn on your computer to check emails or respond to texts. Use that time to create and innovate.
If your sleep routine leaves you tired, consider taking more frequent breaks during the day or even try napping for 20 minutes. In his best-selling book When, Daniel Pink makes a strong case for short naps during the day:
- Naps improve cognitive performance and boost mental and physical health
- Nappers are twice as likely to solve a complex problem than people who have not napped or who had not spent the time in other activities
- Napping boosts short-term memory and associative memory (the ability to remember names and faces)
- Napping improves healthy and strengthens the immune system
- The best naps are 10 to 20 minutes
Chapter 1: This Is H U G E, They Will Love it.. And Our Sales Will...
A few years back I was approached to join a brand’s thank you trip to a wonderful far away land all expenses paid. We would visit the factory, talk with the people that make and support the fabulous products and visit a worldly city as only a native can. It sounded wonderful. But then I asked myself, why did they ask me? I did not really sell any of their products. If their numbers dropped in volume or profit dropped significantly, I would remove the line. There was no upside for this brand to spend thousands of dollars for me to have a good time. So, I sent one of our managers. A manager who sells. A manager who works to influence the sales team to sell the products that are best for us. This person can learn so much from this special opportunity. They can absorb the brand’s foundational story from its people, actually see the product being crafted and understand the culture in which it was created and continues to influence its maturation.
They will arrive back in the showroom working to build this brand’s product sales with their clients. They will also leverage their newfound respect and understanding of the brand to motivate salespeople not only to present this brand more often, but passionately explain what makes this brand special in the never-ending sea of products. Now this was promotional dollars well invested.
Showroom owners, I am sure you love these fabulous trips and would not be happy to see them disappear. However, if you work to find the time to send your influential salespeople on these elegant brand excursions hosted by your key, profitable brands, I think you will see the results in key brand sales and your bottom line. Sure, you will miss out on that particular memorable trip, but with a larger number on your bottom line and a happier team, you might be able to take the time to travel where you have dreamed to visit all on your own.
Most of your good salespeople will never have the opportunity to travel the world. Every day they sell products designed and manufactured in Italy, Germany, France and Torrington, yet those places may only exist in their dreams. Why not replace those dreams with actual dreamlike experiences that will also help improve your company and your sales of the brands you want to sell?
Chapter 2: Hi-Ho Hello: Who Do You Want to Love?
After this experience, we decided to watch our manufacturer representatives and see how they worked in our showrooms.
Some would go straight to the purchasing agent, check to see if there were any issues, then wander around the showroom, wave at me and leave.
Others would make an appointment with me. We would chat a bit about what is new with their product lines. What is going on in their territory and say au revoir. On their way out they would stop by to talk with the purchasing team, wander through the showrooms and leave.
Then there were those that waved at me, spent time with the purchasing people and then hit the sales floor. They would take great care not to interrupt or waste the showroom salesperson’s time, but they made sure to greet each salesperson and quickly ask if they needed any help or had any questions. That was it. They knew that it fried my bananas if a rep distracted a salesperson from their job with chit-chat, that’s why we had off the floor, weekly product knowledge meetings focusing on key brands. But, they did know I encouraged saying a quick hello and seeing if there were any issues to address.
So which reps’ lines did the best? Pretty obvious.
If you are a manufacturer or the local sales representative please understand, it is the salesperson on the floor or on the road that makes your brand strong. Your brand can wine and dine non-selling management and make the purchasing agents dance with glee, but if you do not support, properly educate and respect the people who actually presented your products to the designer, builder, plumber and homeowner, you will not be a strong brand in that or any showroom.
Vendors, sales representatives, you have so much to cover and so little actual face time with these key salespeople. Before you enter the showrooms, know whom you need to talk to and follow that guide. Sure, you will be sidetracked, but work to stay on plan and touch base with those people that you want and need to promote your brand. The owners and managers still need to be addressed, but without the key salespeople fighting for you, you will struggle mightily.
Friday, August 21, 2020
With so many clients shopping from home, DPHA members learned that both social media and an improved web presence can be competitive differentiators and invaluable tools to reach customers who were sheltering in place.
Now that showrooms have re-opened, many DPHA members have adopted an “appointment only” model that has proven to be highly effective because prospects who make an appointment tend to be more serious. Appointment only has deterred the tire kickers. It also has reinforced the value of what the showroom brings to a client. It’s hard to visualize different finishes, dimensions or textures on a Zoom call. Plus, when customers experience vignettes, working displays and different product categories firsthand, a showroom serves as a source of creativity and inspiration that can’t be duplicated online or via Facetime.
Showrooms are not going away. A valuable pandemic lesson is that people still want to interact with people, face-to-face. At the end of the day, a decorative plumbing and hardware showroom is a service business. Customers who are willing to trust a showroom to renovate one of the most important rooms in their home expect a certain caliber of service otherwise they would go to a home center or order online. As Doug Stephens pointed out during his DPHA keynote address, there is nothing particularly satisfying or emotionally gratifying about shopping online. Purchasing on Amazon is the quickest way from wanting to receiving.
COVID-19 illustrates the value of upping a showroom’s digital presence. However, most customers want to see, touch and experience the products they select for their new baths firsthand and that can only be accomplished by visiting a showroom. When the COVID-19 crisis ends, showrooms will continue to be venues for exhibits, vignettes, social gatherings, education, information and experiences that customers desire.
It has a durable resin construction that upholds Barclay's high standards of craftsmanship. The solid surface can give a lifetime of maintenance-free and lasting beauty. The advantage of a solid surface bathtub is its non-porous and anti-stain surface and seamless construction.
Additionally, a variety of both metal and plastic finishes are available to match virtually any type of sink. The metal finishes lend themselves more to metal sinks for a perfectly crisp, tied-together look. The plastic finishes are perfect for matching stone or composite sinks for a completely different feel with more colors.
These past few months, retailers have been adjusting to a major shift in consumer habits. Researchers have been scrambling to track and analyze how people are shopping online and in-store. Changing the way you sell or market to clients based on trends, especially such new ones, may lead to unsustainable sales practices. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that some ‘trends’ may actually be long-term solutions that will improve customer service and sales long after the pandemic is over.
So what’s new for consumers? People are more mindful about their spending. They are often purchasing less expensive products. They’re researching more before buying. Supply chain disruptions have led people to explore different options when they can’t find what they want- meaning they are open to trying new brands and stores.
When choosing where to shop in person, research is showing that shoppers look for places with visible safety measures in place (enhanced cleaning and physical barriers, for example). More than this, people are turning to brands that show they care for the health and safety of their clients and employees.
Decorative plumbing showrooms already have an edge. Cleanliness and spaciousness have been watchwords for years now. If shoppers are going to feel safe anywhere, it’s in a kitchen and bath showroom.
And now, showrooms can really step it up by offering the products that people want to make their own lives safer and healthier. People are interested in touchless technology in faucets, showers and toilets, as well as products that make cleaning and sanitizing easier.
With the consumer browsing mentality out of the way, showroom salespeople have an opportunity to interact with their clients in a more meaningful way. It’s time to have lots of options at the ready, at several price points. Additionally, if shoppers are more committed to purchasing, it’s a chance to present quality, durable products they will not be able to get anywhere else. As for pre-shopping research, showrooms can optimize their online presence to get in on the first stage of the buying journey. That kind of authority inspires confidence and leads them to the showroom when they are ready to make their final decision. Once a client is in a showroom with experienced, knowledgeable salespeople who truly want to help, the battle is won.
There’s plenty of research out there to help adapt to pandemic selling and shopping. But at the end of the day, we know what really matters in the kitchen and bath showroom world. It’s turning everything, no matter how difficult, into an opportunity to succeed.
Friday, August 14, 2020
DDI System combines ERP functionality together with leading-edge eCommerce, CRM, and mobile phone operations in a single solution. Join the webinar Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT and see how DDI can support your entire team in delivering personal and successful customer experiences that incite loyalty for new and repeat business.
Michael can be reached at email@example.com
Don’t forget about the Kitchen either. The classic Talis C Kitchen faucet is now available in Matte Black!
Look for a new digital brochure coming this month. It will encapsulate this new finish offering to the Talis E collection and more finish extensions coming to other hansgrohe collections and products.
CEU Events is honored to be recognized as a solution by the HKS Learning Team.
Housel relates two stories. One involved a person who made a fortune and who skipped gold coins worth thousands of dollars across waves in the ocean, "just for fun." To him, Housel claims, money was a plaything (he subsequently went broke). The second story involved a modest man whose life work was as a gas station attendant and janitor. When he died at the age of 92, his estate was worth more than $6 million that he gifted to local charities. Housel asks, how did a janitor “with no college degree, no training, no background, no formal experience and no connection massively outperform” many professional investors?
The answer points to one of Housel’s conclusions. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a successful investor. It takes patience and a willingness to defer gratification. You need to be able to withstand market volatility. Housel uses Netflix and Monster Beverage as examples of the benefit of patience. If you invested $1,000 in Netflix in 2002, by 2018 your Netflix stock would be worth $3.5 million. If you made the same investment in Monster Beverage in 1995, by 2018 your stock would be worth $30 million. During those time frames, each stock spent 94% of its time below its all-time high.
Housel considers market volatility a fee for the cost of investing. No one knows that better than Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, who is regarded as one of the savviest investors of all time. Housel discovered that Buffet accrued at least 95% of his wealth after his 65th birthday. Buffet recently celebrated his 90th. If Warren Buffet had only invested for a 30-year time period, his net worth would be 99.9% less than it is today. Buffet’s “skill is investing, but his secret is time,” Housel writes.
Luck is another major determinant of long-term returns, greatly influenced by your date of birth. If you were born in 1950, between the ages of 13 and 30 your investments earned next to nothing. If you were born in 1970, you would have earned nine times more than those born in 1950 during that same age span. If you are a millennial born in 2000, you will have to save much more than your parents.
Housel makes the distinction between being rich and being wealthy. Rich people make a lot of money. Wealthy people have the freedom not to spend. Many rich people are not wealthy because they feel the need to spend to impress others. Wealthy people don’t care about what others think. What’s important to them is using their resources to control how they spend their time.
Monday, August 10, 2020
Showrooms have a unique challenge to try and out-market or outsell their competitors. You need to find ways to engage clients in conversations and try to connect with the individual person. Both sellers and buyers are experiencing their own unique struggle in how to make this connection.
As many of you start to experiment with virtual communication, you need to be aware that there are a lot of mistakes or problems that can occur that would turn off the client and send them to a competitor.
A June 2020 survey from Rain Group found that buyers (defined as influencers and decision makers who purchase goods and services) noticed a host of issues when being “pitched” virtually. 89% of the respondents cited “experiencing technology problems “ as the leading virtual selling mistake. This is a hard problem to avoid, as internet outages can be out of our control. Even CNN guests and reporters have glitches with their videos.
Roughly 8 -10 buyers cited poor visuals during online meetings, issues with responsiveness and preparedness, and a lack of presentation skills as other top mistakes. These responses indicate that buyers notice the level of organization and professionalism from sellers, who must adapt to this new normal as remote work continues amid the pandemic. These mistakes are much easier to avoid by preparing and practicing.
Following is a chart that reflects the mistakes that buyers experienced while engaging in virtual selling:
- Experiencing technology problems 89%
- Using poor or no visuals during the online meeting 86%
- Not responsive to my questions or concerns 84%
- Not prepared 83%
- Lacking presentation skills 80%
- Sending poorly written emails 80%
- Distracted by people, external disturbances 77%
- Making an unprofessional impression 75%
Hopefully, being aware of these common mistakes will help you avoid them in your virtual selling efforts.