Most kitchen cabinet businesses begin life as one or two person operations. As the business grows, new staff is added to keep up with the workload. Of course, hiring, training, and managing employees is a lot different than selling and installing cabinets. It’s easy to overlook how the work habits of a small team can affect the long-term success of your company. Is your well-paid sales staff actually holding you back?
Get Your Designer to Sell More Than Just Their Ego
Not everyone is a natural salesperson. Take your designer for example. A successful kitchen cabinet designer or salesperson should have what it takes to sell not only their design, but the entire finished product. If they aren’t capable of listening to what your customer needs and explaining how their designs represent that vision then you aren’t going to have a very happy customer. What happens when designers put their personal preferences before the customer’s? Things get very ugly. If you have a designer who’s having issues with setting their ego aside and learning to sell be sure to hand them a copy of our free Kitchen Cabinet Sales Kit so they can master the 4M process.
A patient designer who’s capable of extracting the right information from the customer and making sound suggestions that fit their needs will set the expectations for your customer. Having a designer that’s a sales ace may also lead to better opportunities for up-selling. It’s a natural fit – your designer can easily recommend upgrades with a practical mindset. This can transform a run of the mill remodel into a stunning magazine cover ready showcase.
Prevent Your Sales Reps From Destroying Your Margin
When it comes to your actual sales staff, they need to be resilient and pragmatic. So often cabinet salespeople will whittle away margins in fear of losing a sale because of perceived price pressure. If you find that that the sales process is shrinking your invoices, have your sales staff start focusing on the efficiency of the project layout. Getting the correct molding count and using one-piece combination vanity cabinets instead of multiple pieces are examples of how you can keep your pricing competitive without taking away from profit.
Sometimes the sales reps knowledge of product lines isn’t enough to master layout efficiency. Your sales reps aren’t afraid to ask the customer questions – so what’s keeping them from getting more acquainted with the remodeling crew? Getting sales more familiar with the design and installation process is a surefire way to save on costs per job.
Teach Your Team to Manage Customer Expectations
Having a designer who’s capable of making logical up-sells and a sales rep who can find ways to keep prices low without sacrificing your bottom line is critical to avoid straining your operations. Since every order begins life as a sale, having your designers and reps aware of the limitations of your business during the sales process is key to ensuring customer satisfaction.
In a business run on custom orders managing your customer’s expectations in relation to what your team can deliver starts from the second anyone starts talking to a prospective buyer. If you find your sales reps and designers constantly over-promising while the fulfillment end under-delivers then you aren’t going to stay in the kitchen cabinet business for very long.