If I asked you to name the absolute-without-a-doubt-most-powerful piece of technology in your showroom, what would you say it is? Here’s a hint: It’s in the purse or back pocket of each and every client that walks in and out of your front door. Yep, it’s their smart phone, and it is hands down the most influential and important technology that’s ever set foot in your business.
Stop for a minute and think about just how significant that device is. It is their perpetual link to everything they know, love and want to know and love in this world. And…it’s quite consequential to you as well, because it’s where they are going to dream, research and be inspired to make decisions about their future living spaces.
I also want you to ponder a term Google coined in 2011 – ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) – which described results of Google’s research on how the internet changed the way consumers learn about products and services when making buying decisions. Previously, consumers would first visit stores/showrooms to learn, but Google found that buying habits evolved long before 2011, with consumers accomplishing their research – and often their buying decisions – online, prior to ever meeting a professional in a showroom. This should come as no surprise to you and me; we’re consumers, too, and it’s exactly how we shop.
Now, seven years later, smart devices have come along and taken over our lives, exponentially increasing our access to information. The influence is now truly 24/7 as smart devices live with us all day – at our work, in our car, in our home…even in bed with us at night. Heck, I can’t even scurry to the bathroom in the middle of the night without looking at my smart device first. There is truly nothing in the universe that has more influence on a consumer.
So, you and I should both be thinking, “Wow…If this device goes everywhere they go, sleeps with them in bed at night, wakes up with them in the morning…How do I leverage the heck out of that?” That is our Future Forward winning outlook and attitude. This “smart connect” to information will continue to evolve from phones, to watches, to ear pieces, to lenses, to the eventuality of cybernetic implants. It isn’t going away, so our future success depends on embracing and leveraging these technologies to our advantage.
Today, we kitchen and bath professionals can leverage these changes and easily make ourselves exponentially bigger than our showroom simply by developing what I call “Perpetual Influence” (PI) with our customers. Perpetual is ceaseless, without interruption, and that is exactly what the information is as it streams though your client’s smart device.
Our predicament is that we have no control over the information they receive unless we act to be involved. We will win and influence our clients if we enact an aggressive, perpetual plan to communicate and impact the information that’s on their smart device. We need to step up as their trusted professional advisor and aggressively apply Perpetual Influence strategies for the information they see on their smart device to both benefit our businesses and successfully guide them to achieving the highest level of satisfaction in their beautiful new living space.
Let me share five keys you can use to start building Perpetual Influence today:
Take control of their smart device and use it to work in your showroom. Don’t use your computer or smart device, as these stay with you in the showroom, whereas your clients’ devices go home with them. When they are sitting in bed tonight reviewing ideas or looking to be inspired…the links that you pre-positioned for them are sitting there ready to go in their browser.
Create a smart device-friendly showroom. Do you have guest access to WiFi? Do you have links to favorite websites and designs set up as QR codes so clients can scan with their devices instead of typing? Do you have a comfort zone, with a comfortable sofa and chairs and maybe a specialty coffee machine that makes your showroom inviting for you and your client to collaborate using their smart device?
Make it easy for your customer and you, too. Focus on what you can control, manage or influence easily. If it’s complicated, it won’t work for either of you. I bookmark my favorite links and save them to a living document that I store in DropBox with articles, blogs, products, partner websites, design trends, etc. By keeping all my “share” links in one document, it’s easy for me to find whatever I want to share by going to one folder. I simply copy, paste and share.
Inspire clients with your previous work. Save links to digital photo albums of past projects that can easily be shared with potential clients. One of my favorites practices is to save links to Virtual Reality rooms where a new prospect can look at a previous job in an immersive, VR environment right on their phone.
Leverage your preferred partners. They are often much bigger companies and are already focused on your client’s smart device. They have wonderful tools, information and product videos, even augmented reality opportunities online that are fun and informative for your client. Use these; they work. I bought a remodel product myself from a local dealer because of the augmented reality link they shared.
Influence their friends and family. Encourage them to share the links you provide and post throughout the project cycle. Include their social media community in the excitement and make sure they know how awesome you are. What a great opportunity for sophisticated prospecting!
After care is important, too. Make them a customer for life and have a plan to share care and maintenance information. Your suppliers often have great material and video that you can share to maintain after-care connection and keep yourself in line for their next project.
Take control this very second and put into action your very own Perpetual Influence program. It’s time to leverage the heck out of the most influential source in your client’s life! ▪
John Morgan is well respected for his work helping kitchen and bath professionals evolve their businesses. He served as NKBA national president in 2013 and was recently named a KBDN Top 50 Innovator. He currently serves the industry as a consultant, rep, trainer, columnist and national speaker, and can be reached at: [email protected].