It has been said before, but it bears repeating: Today, every sale counts! To make that sale, dealers, decorators and workrooms have tried-and-true methods to follow. In most cases, they are the very same activities and programs that made their businesses successful in the first place. Things like: know who your best customers are, solve their problems with the best products and the best customer service, keep in contact and keep an eye on expenses.
Another tried-and-true method is to extend the sale. In our Spotlight feature this month (page 18), in addition to creating beautiful draperies for a client, custom workroom owner Marie Adkins also created custom bedding (quilt, pillows and shams) and reupholstered a chair and bench. Bedding, Adkins will tell her customers, needs to be appropriate to the beauty and quality of the draperies and the rest of the room. Don’t let this extra sale slip by. If you can make a custom drapery, you can make a dust ruffle, she adds.
Window coverings professionals also need to be ahead and stay ahead of customers’ needs. We hear so much about green design, sustainability and energy efficiency. Customers are there already. They’re asking about products, what they are made of and how they will affect their interior environments. Energy efficiency is a top concern right now, in warm climates as well as cold. In a new column this month (The Green Window, page 46) Neil Gordon begins with the benefits of sunshades. They can save energy for your clients, make them feel better in their homes and offices and improve your business.
Technology offers many ways for businesses to stay vital to customers at low cost. Social networks are among the fastest growing tools businesses can use to link with customers and each other. Creating communities among customers and other professionals can help grow business; find new suppliers; discover new ideas and fresh talent; and spread your marketing message well beyond its traditional reach. This month’s cover story (page 20) provides some information on social networks (including our own D&WC Connection!), explains how networking is helping one group of retailers stay competitive, and how and why retailer Roger Magalhaes started an e-newsletter for his company Shades IN Place.
In a few short months, D&WC’s Designer & Workroom Conference convenes in Jacksonville, FL. Its educational and networking opportunities remain second to none in creating a professional and social community—the vital links for finding solutions to doing business today.
Draperies & Window Coverings