In an age of superb virtual reality and endless possibilities thanks to the internet, the showroom continues to hold an important place in most installation businesses.
To any good installations business, a showroom should be their domain. One of their best tools to wow potential customers and help reinforce the message of quality and craftsmanship that the sales person is trying to get across. It is the single best way to show a potential client exactly what to expect if you were to carry out their home improvements. Get it right, and you will find it brings home the business most of the time. However it is very easy to get it wrong. These are just a few of my tips that will help create a sharp, inspiring showroom that no customer can resist.
Consider these as tips to follow if you’re starting out from scratch, or planning a complete and total showroom revamp.
It might sound like an obvious place to start, but variety is key in any successful showroom. With so much choice out there in the market place, a well stocked showroom displaying as many options and configurations as possible of the products you sell will help your customers get their minds round exactly what is possible.
So many times I have heard from my own customers that the other showrooms they have visited on their travels had such little to look at. We make a point at our place of showing as much as we can. If a customer has never bought windows and doors before, how can they be expect to learn the full extent of the product range? Variety, options, customization is all key in a showroom. Get this bit right, and you’ll be on your way.
Keep It Outdoors
Now, this point might be a bit difficult to carry out, depending on the location. But, if you’re an installations company that does glazed extensions, I fully believe that an outdoor showsite is the best way to show them off. The reason? The weather.
I know some of you are going to disagree completely with me on this, but if anyone asks me, I’ll always say that an outdoor showsite with a good selection of glazed extensions demonstrate far better to the customer what to expect from their new room. Whether it’s raining, scorching hot, freezing cold or blowing a gale, this is a great way to show your potential clients that your glazed extensions holds up against all weathers perfectly.
You simply cannot do this if they are inside a big building with heating and air conditioning. I understand that some simply won’t have the space to have such a thing on site, but for those who do, there is no excuse. Outside is best.
Demonstrate As Fitted
It’s something that has always bugged me, windows and doors sitting idle in timber mock-ups or just left leaning against a wall. How is that supposed to inspire a customer to imagine that door on their home? It doesn’t. If you want to have a stunning, realistic showroom, show your products as though they are fitted in a real life home.
Use brickwork, real or false. Use rendered walls. Use a door canopy and pillars if you have to. Just don’t leave your windows and doors left sitting in some shabby timber or fixed to a spare bit of wall. Again, speaking from experience, my customers spend great time in telling me that seeing a window or door leaned up against a wall didn’t inspire them with confidence. They want to see how their stunning new front door actually looks fitted.
It’s hard for customers to really understand how their new windows and doors would look on their home. You can’t go fit one for them as an example, but you can use your showroom to give them the closes possible experience as possible.
Fill It With Colour
White is boring. It might still be fairly popular with windows, but when it comes to doors, white is definitely dead. If you’re wanting your showroom to catch the eye of the visitor, it’s best to do it with colour.
When I say colour, I don’t mean Rosewood and Light Oak. They don’t inspire anyone. I mean purple, sky blue, anthracite grey, yellow, green etc. Make the customers go “wow” the minute they step through your door. Funky entrance doors are one of the best and easiest ways to impress a potential customer. Brave new colours customers hadn’t even thought of before, traditional ironmongery on contemporary doors, weird and wonderful glass options. When all that is combined in a showroom, it creates a powerful and aspirational atmosphere.
As a side note to this, it is also important to keep the showroom light. No point in having it dark and dingy. Get as much natural light in there as possible. Use bright LEDs if you’re going to use artificial light to brighten the place up. If you’re going to fill it with funky new doors and coloured windows, keep it bright!
Use Glass To Your Advantage
Glass is an art form. Always has been, always will be. But do yourself a favour, get rid of the climbing roses and diamond lead. No modern showroom should be dedicating any space to those sorts of glass options. We live in an age of great customization, so take advantage of that!
Fill your windows and doors, or bi-folds or whatever else you have in there with bespoke designs. Use bevels, triple glaze them. Design some sandblasted units with clear numbers and letters. Sandblasted top lights with clear house numbers look particularly good right now. Create modern new designs that haven’t yet been seen and break the mold. No customer wants to pick a glass design they have seen for years already, or what their friends and neighbours have already got!
The key to any awesome showroom is to get your potential customers inspired. To make buying windows and doors an exciting prospect rather than an expensive and boring one. The points above are just a few factors that I consider important to a quality showroom. There are of course others that are important too; slick POS marketing, quality food and beverage facilities, engaging and friendly welcome by sales staff, keeping it well maintained etc.
If you have any tips of your own to add to the list, please leave them in the comments section below.