Obviously if more people start making the magazine cutouts they’ve glued to their vision boards and reference books into real-life replicas, you’re going to have to gear up for an up-tick in business. That means, it’s time for you to take a long hard look at your operations.
How would you do if a wave of requests came right now? I’m not talking about another housing bubble. With business the way it has been in the industry, it won’t take a huge leap to feel like a major shift. Are you ready for even a mild surge in business? Things have been slow for quite awhile, and there is no doubt you’ve cut back on staff and funds. If you’re not ready – well, you’ve got work to do.
Preparing doesn’t mean you need to go on a hiring spree; it means you need to make the best with what you have (or get better resources) and examine your crew with a fine-tooth comb. Make sure your sales staff is equipped with the kitchen sales tools they need, and that everyone knows what is required of him or herself. Your sales people need to be well prepared for your business to thrive with vitality.
Get through the sales process quickly
Your team should already be doing this, but if not, this year they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. You should insist that your sales team quickly and accurately qualify all leads who walk into the showroom without scaring them off. They’ll need to have the ability to connect and listen intently to the needs of the prospect, quote quickly, and hands down, be the first ones in the house – not metaphorically speaking – they literally need to be in the house taking measurements before anyone else has a chance to lure your future customers away with the “great deals” they offer.
Be prepared for Prospect Prima Donnas
People who start their kitchens this summer (or anytime this year for that matter) are likely going to decide what they want quicker than ever before and want what they want, when they want it. Think about it –people have been dreaming of redoing their kitchens for…well, years now, and you can darn well bet they’ve been doing their research. Once again, this is another reason you need to get through the process quickly. If you don’t give them the answers they want right away, they will go to someone else who can. Obviously some of these kitchen buyers will come with misconstrued perceptions of price, product and time frame (for starters), so it is your job as an industry expert to skillfully draw them back to reality right from the beginning.
Now is the time to prepare for success. It’s been long enough, and your company should be eager to fill that unwelcome sales void that has made itself at home for the past few years. Opportunities will soon be knocking at your showroom doors – will you be ready?