Let Your Visuals ‘Sell’ Your Showroom

by Autumn McGarr
Sarah Reep

Whether your designers are designing kitchens and baths in a retail showroom or working from a remote location, the visuals that your showroom delivers represent your business.

Consumers value being able to see what they’re potentially going to buy. Remodeling a home is stressful, so being able to see – in detail – what a redesigned kitchen or bath will look like before a homeowner signs a purchase contract is vital. Words alone cannot adequately describe what visuals can – that is, if they’re done in a complete and high-quality format.

Your market area and client base can establish the minimal standard regarding how elaborate and detailed drawings need to be in order to successfully compete. However, even if you don’t have a great deal of competition, producing professionally detailed drawings will make a difference in your presentations, and will likely increase your opportunity to quickly close a higher-priced sale. Indeed, if you don’t create quality visuals to sell your projects, you could risk losing the sale entirely. Customers in those instances will pick your brain and take your valuable time but will be less likely to commit to a significant investment because they lack confidence in what’s presented.

I’m not saying that drawings are the only things that contribute to a sale. I am saying, however, that visualization does matter. Throughout my career, when selling ideas and programs to those who control funding, a visual, far more than a written description, invariably won clients over.

Visualization Matters

While traveling across the country, I’ve collected input from designers who produce professional presentations that feature quality drawings. 

Most use a computer program (versus hand-drawing) that also allows them to generate a cabinet order and price. It just makes business sense, provides for accuracy and ensures that potential revisions are manageable. Providing inspiring presentations to sell your designs will also increase the value of your showroom’s services and elevate your business overall. Consumers will either seek out a showroom that produces drawings or will be inspired to seek out your showroom, through a referral, by seeing one of your client’s drawings when they’re ready to embark on a remodeling project.

Kitchen and bath consumers want great ideas; they also want inspiration for making a purchase. Remodeling is a major decision that impacts people both financially and in terms of their living arrangements. Not having a detailed enough visual could break a sales opportunity. If a homeowner is not inspired, they most likely won’t execute the purchase. Impressing prospects leads to both sales and referrals. Homeowners will remain loyal if you connect personally and convey your ideas well.

Often, at least two people make a final purchase decision. Providing quality drawings that illustrate solved problems and eliminate pain points can become a bridge to get people on the same page with a designer. Well-understood visuals are vital to transforming dreams into an executable plan and a closed sale.

With great visuals, potential products can be considered with confidence. For example, showing a serving area or wet bar might not be within the scope of what a prospect had imagined or requested. But visually depicting a plan can increase the opportunity to win a sale or add profit to a potential project.

I also find that many designers remain unaware of the importance of detailed drawings. Homeowners, for example, might choose a designer over a contractor who provides an attractive price but does not dig into the use of the space and show it to prospects visually.

Our industry, unfortunately, has been slow to adopt new technology. By putting in a little more effort, designers can differentiate themselves and succeed by using their drawings as selling tools. Pre-designed computer resources, such as 2020 Design Cloud Decorative Items, also help in working smarter and more effectively.

Most designers report that, when shopping, consumers will provide a sketch or a simple drawing, possibly from another shopping source. Often, in this case, they’re shopping price. However, they’re also likely suggesting that they want more than they were previously shown. With just a bit of work, you can create a better looking, more detailed, more inspiring visual that wins a sale, while validating your qualifications and professionalism.

Designers who pride themselves on quality drawings work to deliver high-resolution jpeg renderings. These higher-quality looking drawings still retain their appeal on a large conference room television monitor. Customers should also be permitted, after a sale is locked in, to save high-resolution perspective images on their computers and cell phones so that they can share your visuals with others.

Visuals & Your Showroom

The presentation setup in your showroom is essential to this process. Where should you sit? How should you present what you want to show?

A tiny laptop screen is not the way to present your ideas to a client or prospect. It’s far too small for multiple people to see details on the same screen. Instead, try to get your visual projected on a second monitor for a more significant impression – or, even better, use a large TV monitor in a defined space such as a conference area or a room with some privacy. Curious, unrelated people will be less likely to interrupt, and you and your client can be more focused.

Producing and sharing quality, well-detailed drawings brings it all together during a meeting. Designers can better utilize their showrooms by integrating the physical showroom with design drawings, combining drawings with displays to achieve a higher closing and more-effective engagement with designers.

A designer’s success with visuals starts with the business owner; they set the standard. I recommend that owners consider allowing time for designers to hone their technical skills along with their product knowledge and selling skills. Establish a professional drawing style that you want as a standard for your business. It’s acceptable to set guidelines for drawing time applied to a project, but don’t cut it too short, as it could eventually affect your bottom line. You could also run the risk of losing a reliable and influential designer who doesn’t get to advance their skills, as we all know employee turnover can be costly to the sustainability of a business.

Consider how showroom presentations should be created, your showroom’s drawings style, and your presentation process for a more successful client engagement. It takes some time, but ideally, it’s time well spent in terms of results. ▪

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