Insights from LBM Dealers who’ve grown their sales with a showroom refresh.
BY: LBM STAFF
An interview with Michael Waites, president:
Q: In this feature, we usually focus on lumber/building material dealers marketing to builders and remodelers. Your company puts the spotlight on consumers. What can full-line LBM dealers learn from your successes?
A: First of all, it’s strategic that we focus on the consumers. During the dormant builder years when the economy took a hit, we set our plan in motion to be ready for the turn around that we’re now seeing. While others were closing their doors, we were strategizing for the future.
Those plans led us to invest in a large showroom that spotlights our manufacturers’ full product lines, as well as featuring a multitude of color, glass design and style options. The biggest tip for other dealers is to have working displays where people—whether it’s a builder, remodeler or homeowner—can see, feel and operate the products they’re going to invest in.
Q: What is it that sets your showroom apart from others in your area?
A: All of our windows and doors are working models, rather than just being displayed in a stand. Plus, we install our products into 2×4 construction and finish them off with casing or stucco. Customers are excited because they have the sensory experience of seeing the product as it would look installed in their home, and then operating the units. Most importantly, they’re not restricted to just looking through catalogs.
Q: How are builders using your showroom?
A: Our local builders are coming in with their customers for a hands-on experience. Our sales representatives assist them with product education, selection, plan take-offs and quotes. Since we show complete product lines by select top-quality manufacturers, we have a product for every style and budget, making us a one-stop shop.
Q: What type of assistance did you get from vendors to update your showroom?
A: Support has been tremendous. Our key vendors have worked with us to provide displays, signage and samples at little to no cost. They’re also committed to supporting our 10th anniversary celebration activities.
Q: How are you promoting your new showroom?
A: We have new eye-catching signage on our showroom exterior, and we participate in print advertising and home shows. We often see people walk in with our magazine ads in their hands. And, right now we’re revealing our remodeled showroom in new local television ads.
Q: How has the new showroom affected your sales?
A: The expansion has had a definite increase in our sales. In addition to in-home appointments, we now have significantly increased walk-in traffic.