Updated: Mar 18
Investing in your sales staff is one of the best things you can do as a showroom owner or manager. Giving people the tools they need makes them more empowered, confident and loyal to the business. Over time, that means less turn-over, less time lost training new employees, and a deeper knowledge base your clients can rely on.
One of the most important tools for salesperson is the space in which they work. In the decorative plumbing industry, that’s the showroom. Big or small, the showroom must make sense for the people who use it most, in terms of product organization, general flow, storage and comfort.
If products are scattered in different areas, you may find your salespeople running from one end of the showroom to another. It may seem like your staff knows every corner of the showroom but having products exactly where they should be according to your unique merchandising strategies saves people time and energy. There are many ways to organize the showroom in ways that support your sales strategies.
For retail-focused showrooms, arranging products by brand or room are the most efficient. It makes sense to the client, especially if they aren’t attended by a salesperson. It also allows salespeople to watch where clients gravitate before they approach, giving them an idea of what the client is looking for, in terms of personal taste and what part of the home they’re focused on.
Typically, grouping by price point or product category is best for showrooms that do client consults or work with designers, and have the time to pull a curated selection before the client comes in. In these situations, it is essential to add a support tool like a large design table with optional seating, so designers or sales staff can display the products they’ve chosen. Catalogues, sample boards and other materials should be close at hand. Design areas need ample storage- it’s all part of the organization.
If salespeople believe they have all the tools they need within their reach, they will have the confidence to convince customers they needn’t shop anywhere else.
It may be time to rethink the layout of the showroom or possibly even renovate it entirely, if the showroom is not giving your staff the space and tools they need. A refreshed selling space shows salespeople they are valued; good design inspires the people who interact with customers daily. It also proves to employees that the showroom is doing well and won’t be closing any time soon. You will see less turnover and be able to attract top talent.
If the showroom is heading towards major changes, you have an excellent opportunity to really engage your staff. One thing we see among our showroom renovation clients is how many of them really appreciate input from their sales managers and staff during the design phase; they are the ones who use the space the most, and they will have great insight into what kind of improvements can make the showroom better for the everyone.
Our clients often tell us how excited their sales staff are to get to work in new showrooms, and that’s a direct result of their involvement in the project.
Even if it’s not time for a major overhaul, you can always use the showroom as a tool to keep staff engaged. Invite them to be a part of decisions big and small, whether it’s about what new products to offer or what to put on display. They know the products and the clients best, and their insight is invaluable.
In the decorative plumbing world, nothing is more powerful than an employee who feels supported, motivated, and challenged. When someone spends so many hours in the week at work, they want to go in with a sense of purpose. If they feel they are making a difference, it will show in how they promote the showroom and interact with clients.