Nadia Aska 2015-01-12 01:18:25
Hansgrohe celebrates creativity Hansgrohe USA recently held a press lunch at Houston Hall in New York City. The event — moderated by Erik Christensen, Hansgrohe NA president — featured guest speakers Richard Grohe, Hansgrohe SE deputy CEO, and Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, cognitive psychologist. The creativity started with the invitation to the event, a viewfinder. The slides included the invitation, photos of the guest speakers and a few infographics with interesting shower facts. “More people have creative ideas in the shower than at work,” Kaufman said. “It helps block out external distractions, offers a change in environment that shifts perspective and jolts us out of ordinary awareness.” The Hansgrohe survey results show 72% of people have come up with ideas or worked through problems in the shower recently. The survey also notes 14% of people purposely jumped into the shower to generate new ideas, spark fresh thinking and solve problems. Kaufman also talked about the right brain/left brain myth and how in reality the brain should be split into an inner network and outer network. Kaufman explained the “looking out” network is responsible for our working memory, inhibition and flexibility, whereas the “looking in” network is responsible for imagination, mind wandering, reflection and perspective. “There are many reasons we do so well in this market,” Grohe said. “One is we take a lot of showers professionally to activate our inner network. The other is the view from my window is great and inspiring for the outer network.” Grohe mentioned that sometimes his team would meet on an island and talk for three days. One rule was nobody could leave — unless they wanted to swim — until they came up with something new. “We personally test our own products,” he continued. “We look at the water, every drop; we listen to the sound, feel the pressure and the impact. We want to make sure not one drop goes down the drain unused. It should stay on the body and sink into the skin.” He added Hansgrohe employees also get a chance to test the products. “We sometimes even shower together — clothed of course,” Christensen said, jokingly. “I have had meetings with Richard in the shower, in our bathing suits, testing out our different products. This is the DNA of the company.” When asked where he saw the most potential growth, Grohe joked he would be happy if he could sell a showerhead to all 1.4 billion people in China. “Actually, we see lots of growth in Asia because of all the new construction going on over there,” he said. “And productwise, growth will depend on region and culture. For example, in Japan you won’t see many overhead showers. They have more hand showers because they are sitting in the shower. The United States is an overhead shower market.” In response to a question about generic, cheaper products, Grohe said: “Ideas are hard to protect. Always stay creative, innovative and two years ahead.” The event closed with the announcement of the 2014 Das Design Competition and Grohe wishing everyone good ideas in the shower. “Everybody has good ideas under the shower, but it depends what you do with it when you step out to dry yourself that counts,” he said, quoting his father. Banner Supply hosts NKBA chapter meeting Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based Banner Plumbing Supply’s NKBA Oktoberfest chapter meeting featured members networking and socializing over seasonal-themed food and beverages. It also included keynote speaker Robb Best (Elkay) and his popular neuroscience presentation. “Robb Best has been a guest speaker before and he was back by popular demand,” said Steven Vincent, partner at Elgin, Ill.-based Symmetry Group. “He has an attention-grabbing delivery style, knows his topic and gave us something substantive to take back with us.” Best, Elkay’s senior advisor of cognitive strategy and director of education and design, talked about three neuroscience techniques paramount to making a sale — communication, creativity and decision-making. “These three things are key skills to have when becoming a sales ninja,” Best said. He then went on to explain the five steps to selling success — greet, educate, select, review and close. In greeting a customer, Best noted one should be acutely aware of the buyer’s peri-personal space. “Oftentimes, we as salespeople tend to step into a handshake,” he said. “This can be off-putting to a buyer. You want to stand firmly where you are, about an arm’s-length away.” He added the proper way to greet a buyer is with HENS — handshake, elbow touch, name and smile. This introduction method has been scientifically proven to produce Oxytocin, a bonding hormone. Becoming educated about your buyer’s kitchen habits is another key in making a sale, Best said. Every homeowner who spends a lot of their time in the kitchen has what Best calls a “power spot.” Many attendees said they enjoyed learning about this section and found it the most interesting. “Move this spot and it won’t matter how good the design is, it will feel off for the client,” Best said. “Ask your client where there power spot is — where they spend 80% of their time preparing for meals. Then ask permission to move it — 50% of the time the sale is lost because of this.” When closing a deal, a good salesperson can influence the brain. Best demonstrated this on attendees. “I’m going to ask three questions,” he began. “One, write down the name of the person who created the iPhone. Two, write down the color of a stop sign. Three, write down the first fruit that comes to mind. How many wrote apple? Do you see how I led you to that?” The layout of the closing document can influence a homeowner in the same way the three questions did. Best discussed the importance of “you,” the anchoring concept a brain holds to the first number it sees and dismisses the rest, the cathedral effect, binary contrast, priming, cognitive dissonance, loss aversion and quote justification. “The information Robb Best shared is good to have,” saidCindy Frenzer, interior designer at Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Interiors 4 U. “We all learned how great a tool the mind is and how we can use it to deal with clients to sell our business.” This event was the largest it has been in more than four years with 170 people in attendance. “As NKBA members we attend these events to support the chapter, network with other members and exchange information and ideas with them, and hopefully learn something new from the guest speaker,” Vincent said. “And this event met all those expectations.” —Nadia Askar
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