Hank Darlington 2014-02-11 05:01:38
Build 'soul' in your showroom > Aren’t you just worn out hearing brick-and-mortar showrooms are giving way to the Internet? I know I am! First, I don’t believe it. Second, I know there are a number of things you can do to prevent it from happening. Learn to become first-class showroom sales professionals; Identify the values you and your showroom have to offer and “sell” them to your clients; Carry products that can’t be shopped on the Internet; and Build “soul” into your business. Let’s zero in on the last highlighted point above. The definition of soul is an entity regarded as being the immortal or spiritual part of a person (or in this case, business) and though having no physical or material reality, is credited with the functions of thinking and willing, and hence determining all behavior; the moral or emotional nature of man (business). Don't become just another brick-and-mortar showroom. When you start building a brick-and-mortar showroom you have to first dig a foundation. Then you pour concrete and lay cinderblocks to grow that foundation. Almost every one of my building blocks below is self explanatory. If you’ll take a few moments to study them you’ll think of some others that can help guarantee your personal success and the success of your showroom business. See if you agree that these will make a great foundation (soul) for your business and help guarantee brick and- mortar decorative plumbing showrooms are here to stay. They also apply to the wholesale side of the business. Integrity: Being 100% honest and forthright in how you run your business and your personal life. Teamwork: As the old saying goes, it takes a village of everyone working together to achieve your goals. Walk your talk: Don’t just give lip service to rendering great service. Do it! If you promise to do something, make sure it gets done! Constant improvement: Never be satisfied with where you are or how you’re doing. Constantly work to do it better. Lead by example: Great companies have great management — it all starts at the top. Everyone must set a great example for each other. Measure against core values and key principles: You must have a well-thought-out written set of core values and principles. Everyone must know what they are and work to not only live up to them, but exceed them. Motivation: Nothing helps an individual or company succeed as much as strong motivation. For the individual, it takes a commitment to self-motivation — dedicating a small amount of time almost every day to becoming better, healthier and happier. Good leadership: At all levels! Obviously the stronger the leadership, the stronger and more successful the company will be. Pride: Are you proud of your individual achievements? Are you proud of your company? Are you proud of your showroom? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” or “I’m not sure,” you have some work to do. Fun: You should look forward to going to work, seeing your teammates, working with your clients, etc. If you’re not having fun, identify why. Change it if you can. Life is too short to not be happy every day. You are in charge of you. Focus on being No. 1: You must focus on being No. 1 as an individual, a team and a company. Everyone likes a winner, you included. Common goals: You should have a list of individual and team goals, including goals to grow sales, margins, close ratios, obtain more clients, achieve better sales and productknowledge skills, and being happy. Two-way communication: Communication is important at home and at work. Learn to be a good listener. This applies to working with your clients, your teammates, you vendors and your boss. Team members first: Winning sports teams have strong individual players who know how to work together. The best quarterback would fail without great blockers and receivers. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Positive attitude: A positive attitude is very powerful. The glass half-full, a sincere smile and enthusiasm are contagious. Folks with positive attitudes enjoy life and succeed more than those people who aren’t blessed with one. Let teammates know you care: Don’t take things for granted. Reach out! Be caring and helpful both at work and at home. Sense of urgency: Feel a real need to be the very best sales consultant you can be. Life passes by so fast. Don’t wait for good things to happen. Go make them happen! Commitment to be the best: There are a lot of very average folks out there. This is OK. But wouldn’t you want to be the very best you can be? I hope so! You only get one shot at being the best, so why not give it a try? Make the commitment. Input: Share good ideas, successes, failures, concerns and feelings with teammates, bosses, family and friends. You have a lot to contribute, so don’t hold it back. Enthusiasm: This one is so powerful and contagious it’s scary. When you’re enthusiastic it will rub off on those around you. Love what you do and who you work with and let it show! Everyone will be the better for it. One sale at a time: Concentrate on one client/one sale at a time. Give individual attention to each client to the best of your ability. Each sale will build on the next. Cross-train teammates: Whether it’s the showroom, warehouse or accounting, cross training will make the whole team stronger and better. Flexibility: Very rarely should something be set in concrete (unless it’s the foundation of building blocks we’re covering right now). Rules/laws are made to be reviewed and changed when necessary. Show flexibility with teammates, clients, vendors and even family and friends. When you show flexibility you can expect to receive it back. Vision: A company, showroom or individual without a vision on where they want to go won’t get very far. For a company, the vision starts at the top, is communicated to the team and executed by all. For the individual, the vision is where am I now, where do I want to go and how am I going to get there? Do you have a vision? Mutual respect: Having respect for teammates, clients, vendors, friends and family is an important building block in any foundation. Once again “do unto others…” Sacrifice for others: Giving part of you to others will make you a better person. Help your teammates become better salespeople. Help them become stronger with their product knowledge. Help them with problems and difficult clients. Do this and it will come back to you. High expectations: Set your sights (goals and vision) high. Work hard at each building block and the odds are very good you will meet those high expectations. Happy teammates: Everyone will have more success and have more fun when the entire team is happy. Look for positives: Don’t be a chronic complainer (We all know some). Look for the positives and the odds are you’ll find them. Act like an owner: Treat the business, your job, your teammates, your clients and your vendors as if you were the owner of the business. Take pride in everything you do. Do well in this area and I’ll bet the owner will take notice of your activities. Show understanding and love in times of crisis: Let’s face it: the last several years have been tough on businesses. Instead of being a doom-and-gloom person, work harder because this too shall pass. Last year was better and 2014 will be even better. Challenge each other: Challenge each other to grow sales, margins and to render better service. Challenge each other to help each other, be positive and enthusiastic. Be a cheerleader for the whole team. Develop a great work ethic: Once again, you have to go to work every day and do everything in your power to be the very best you can be. Learn to work both hard and smart. Give your company 110% effort every day. Trust: Always be trustworthy in everything you do. Give trust to others and expect to receive it in return. These attributes have been big contributors to the successes I have enjoyed in both my personal and professional life. I strongly believe each one of the above will help guarantee your success as well. Start now by building “soul” into your business and personal life. Good selling! Hank Darlington, owner of Darlington Consulting, writes several monthly articles for magazines, teaches seminars, and offers a full range of small business consulting services to kitchen and bath dealers, distributors and manufacturers. Darlington was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the National Kitchen & Bath Association in April 2004. He can be reached at 2010 Granite Bar Way, Gold River, Calif. 95670. Phone: 916/852-6855, fax: 916/852-8866, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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