Caution salesIf I had a nickel for the number of times I’ve heard designers distinguish themselves as being different than salespeople, well — I wouldn’t be writing this blog.  I’d be floating around in that $25M yacht we posted last week on Twitter.

So why is it that designers hate being called salespeople?

After all that is what they are doing — selling, right?

We are a software company, of course, but over the years our industry knowledge and research on best practices made for some great content for training classes.  And as our customers began asking us for more information, we responded by developing a 2-day training course that teaches cabinet dealers to sell better.  In our kitchen sales process (the 4M Sales Process), our trainers always start off by asking the group a very important question.  And it was always so interesting to me to listen to the answers.  We would have cabinet dealer owners, managers, designers of all different experience levels and even manufacturer sales reps in the course.

The question was: “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a salesperson?”

The answers from designers of ALL experience levels were so consistent it was uncanny.  Here they were:

  • Used car sales
  • Dirtbag
  • Someone who is going to pressure you or take advantage of you

So you can see where the issue is.  Designers loathe salespeople.  Salespeople wheel and deal.  They talk too much.  They never listen.  They’re sharks.  Evil, really.

Designers, on the other hand, are more like architects with an artist’s flair.  They pride themselves on spectacular designs.  And they are good at it.  I mean I’ve seen some brilliantly amazing designers in my time.  What they can do with a kitchen just blows me away.

But because of the designer’s mental frame of reference, the design IS the sale.  And that’s the challenge. Because when you look at the whole process — from the moment a prospect is met to the moment they ultimately finish their project, the design is a very tiny piece of the overall process.

But don’t try to tell that to a designer.   They’ll shoot your head off. *grin*