Architectural Design Sales, based in Denver and Salt Lake City, is viewed as a leading specification firm within the Rocky Mountain Markets. One of the keys to their success is that half of their time is spent training showroom staff to specify their client’s products, with another 30% of their time devoted to architects on project work (like their tremendous placement with the Four Seasons Private Residences that will be in a future blog story!) and the remaining 20% with commercial/distributor sales people. We asked Craig Iverson, Principle, Architectural Design Sales, to provide his insights on Successful Sales Practices.
Q: Describe the sales tactics you find are most successful in your market.
A: We target each market channel in a unique way. First, we identify the key influencers, i.e. multi-unit inner city architects and interior design firms and we maintain communications with every contact. We don’t take the wholesales for granted either since they are always changing. We know the showroom sales staff for both residential and commercial and we make sure we keep them updated and informed. We make ourselves available for “counter days” and events. For the decorative kitchen & bath showrooms, we recognize that it requires a large investment in time and training designed to meet their clients’ needs and expectations. This is a competitive environment for branded products – especially to obtain key display positions – and YES, we are pushy for space and update meetings. We position ourselves as an asset to every sales person, a trusted partner they can rely upon. To enhance this strategy, we join industry associations including the AIA, ASID, NKBA and DPHA.
Q: In what ways does your team interact with customers in order to drive sales?
A: What Works: Become a trusted partner with each decision maker to support their efforts and attain joint goals, but also be aware that you will not “win them all” – even though you can win most. What Does Not Work: If you lack sincerity in your business relationship. Specifiers and end users have many choices. You have to really want to work with your clients to be at the top of their list ongoing.
Q: Where do you see the market going in the next 6 months?
A: We are focused on select opportunities in all channels. Sure, there aren’t as many as one-two years ago, but they are in play. Gross profits are very important, more so than in past years. We really think the coming six months will be every bit as challenging as the past 12 months. Sales are going to be limited to the individual event (one to eight units per specification). For the near future, holiday budgets and household commitments will constrict plans of renewal resulting in cool business conditions. April to May should be the business wake up time frame for pent-up renewals.
Maintaining and expanding current accounts is critical for success. Quality name brands, like BLANCO, will survive with consistent attention. We see SILGRANIT® II is the core product to keep our business moving forward for the near future recovery.
About Architectural Design Sales
Architectural Design Sales was established in 1984 and has four full time sales associates. The principle is Craig Iverson and their territory includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. http://www.archdesignsales.com/