This particular question opens up a huge can of worms for professionals in the industry and their clients. What many salesman want to say is, “YES! How quickly would you like them installed and will you be paying with Cash or Credit Card?” But, in all honesty, rarely are people ever that upfront about how they view your business. Here is where we often see a huge difference in expectations from the perspectives of the consumer versus the mindset of the retailer or Window Coverings Professional.
The Consumer mindset –
I just moved into my new house. I finally closed the loan, the real estate agent is calling me seven times a day, I have to think about landscaping, remodeling that downstairs bathroom, work is hectic and, realistically, about a hundred other things are pressing down on me. On top of this, I really don’t want to walk around my house and let the neighbors possibly see me naked; I NEED WINDOW COVERINGS. At least this shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ll check out the “big box” home improvement stores, and maybe a low cost window covering specialty store as well. I want to get a fair price so I’ll call at least two places, and maybe three. I will tell them I need some blinds, and let them take care of it from there. If the installation costs aren’t too much I might even have the store install them for me.
For consumers, the bottom line is often being too busy and unsure of the best way to get window coverings.
The Retailer mindset –
I REALLY NEED TO MAKE SOME SALES. The store has been slow lately and I have mouths to feed, I hope we get calls and the opportunity to get some people a quote. When people call, I know they are usually price shopping so I have to give them the lowest possible price and outbid my competition. I wish I had better training on all the options available to customers, but my boss keeps pushing these one particular blinds because, as he says, this product provides the customer with a good price and it is one of the best profit margins in the store. OK, I need to review what it is I’m supposed to say…Hmmm, ”I can get you a quote on some blinds right away. Please give me your sizes and I’ll have a quote ready for you in a day or two.” I just have to send the measuring guy over there and he will hopefully get those numbers to me soon so that I will have time to do the bid. It might be nice to actually meet a customer someday.
For retailers, everything is usually sales driven as volume is the key to their pricing (and their business).
The Window Coverings Industry Professional mindset –
“I know the woman who left me a message this morning is very busy but I want to make sure that I help her get exactly what she really needs. I’ll return her phone call and discuss a little about what she’s looking for and set up an appointment to see the areas in which she’s having problems. I know the woman said she wants blinds but so often customers ask for a particular window treatment solution and change their minds when I can explain to them and show them that what they’re asking for won’t do the things that they want. It’s important for me to give everyone a personal consultation and ensure I help my customers get solutions to their problems, not just a product with the most features or benefits. After all, what good are all those features and benefits if the product doesn’t do what the customer wants? I enjoy helping people, and I hope this woman lets me do what I enjoy. She may feel overwhelmed, but I know I’ve been trained well, I’ve worked in this industry for many years and with just a brief initial visit I will be able to provide her with the perfect solutions for her specific problems. If only people knew that we can provide superior service along with great quality products at very competitive prices they would be shocked!”
For industry professionals, the bottom Line is relationships, and personal service is the key.
In a perfect world, we all try to come together with other people and relationships to make sure that we get what we need. Take a good marriage for example. Both sides need to listen to the others opinion and work hard to satisfy the other’s needs. Usually when a person feels valued, they are willing to do the same for you. In business, it is no different. A professional should only be thinking about how to make the customer happy. There needs to be a great deal of communication about your specific desires and needs for your home. They will, in turn, find the products and solutions that are best “married” to you. Remember, the industry professional hopes to have you for a client for many years, and hopes that you will refer him or her to your friends. So, think long term and hire a professional to assist you with your project. It may take a little more time but you are sure to have a better experience and your choices will give you the exact solutions you were looking for.