Are high-end sales still possible in a challenging economy? They certainly are, and creativity and ingenuity are the keys as Jan Patterson, Jan’s Draperies, West Fargo, ND, proves.
Thirty-six years of experience, hard-earned referrals and personalized customer service helped Patterson land a job consisting of more than 80 honeycomb shades.
Not only was this a large job, but 27 of those 80 Hunter Douglas Duette® Architella™ honeycomb shades were motorized—which had the added benefit of doubling the profit on the sale.
Patterson didn’t have any prior experience working with motorization, but with the help of her fabricator Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN, the job was fabricated and installed perfectly. Bob Golling, Warren Steven customer service representative; Jim Holter, sales representative; and John Hoglund, motorization specialist, assisted Paterson in putting an accurate bid together. Patterson was then able to establish a price fair for her and the customer.
Being a few hours away from her fabricator, Patterson normally relies on her son, David, to install the final job. This time was a little different. Patterson called on Warren Steven Window Fashions to activate and secure the motorized shades properly. “Motorization involves intricate systems, and you really need professional help when you’re working with such expensive products,” Patterson says. “John and Bob were very knowledgeable.”
Patterson is currently waiting to hear back on another quote from a home boasting 57 motorized shades. Despite the downturn of the economy, she is still able to find profitable sales. “I’m very honest with people. I try to be very reliable, too,” Patterson explains. “If there is ever a problem with a job, I find a solution immediately.”
A majority of Patterson’s referrals are by word-of-mouth. A strong networking relationship through a local contractor and the distribution of Hunter Douglas’ Designing Windows consumer magazines, customized with Jan’s Draperies business information, secure prospective sales. She has found that from every 10 books distributed, approximately seven leads are gained and five jobs are sold and placed with her fabricator.
Patterson keeps extra copies of Designing Windows with her at all times. “I’m always looking for opportunities—whether it’s meeting people or noticing a remodel project—residential or commercial,” Patterson explains.
is the marketing assistant at Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN.