Showrooms require a substantial investment to be effective, but the rewards can be great. Showrooms can enable you to position your company’s image as one of quality, craftsmanship, value and professionalism. These are all attributes that a prospective buyer wants to see in a prospective seller.

The very first thing that a prospective customer is likely do is to jump on the Internet to find a half dozen or so window and door dealers in their area. The next thing they will do is to go visit each one to see what type of windows and doors are out there so that they can decide what is right for them.

With that being said, Rule Number One is to make sure that your showroom is effectively advertised at least on the Internet if not also in the local newspaper or television station. You can have the greatest showroom on the planet, but your promotional budget must also include enough for advertising to let prospects know you’re out there and also to get them to add your showroom to the short list.

So once a prospect decides to visit, an effective showroom will make the prospect feel great about your company overall while helping them to see a variety of the product types, styles, colors and finishes that you offer. Lately, I have been visiting some dealers to see exactly how their showrooms are set up. I want to get ideas for window dealer training, so it is useful to go in to see not only the types of displays that successful dealers may have, but also to observe how prospective customers react to these displays…to see what sells windows and doors!

If a window dealer sells doors, having one of the company’s best doors as the entry way to the showroom is always a great idea. Let the prospective customer experience the feel of walking up to a beautiful, solid door with a beautiful door handle and secure locking mechanism. The prospect can put him or herself in the shoes of a visitor coming to their own home. “How will they feel when they approach my front door? What does this door say about the home and the family that lives within? Is it us? Does it imply a sense of style? Is it secure?”

Once beyond the door, give the prospect different color and style options as he or she travels into the showroom. One of the best I have seen is a showroom within a showroom! It brings the prospect through an entry door into an enclosed area with four walls. A variety of windows are mounted on each of the two adjacent walls as well as the exit wall, which also includes additional doors. As the prospect is led into the inner showroom, he or she feels what it is like to approach that door from the outside, and as they leave the inner showroom, they seem to take a closer look at the interior side. While inside the inner showroom, the prospect can check out a wide variety of window styles from the inside. They can see how the windows look from the inside. See how they feel to open and close. Operate the locks. See how easy or difficult they will be to clean? Compare colors, styles and finishes.

Once outside the inner showroom, one can see the outside view of each window. One dealer that had this setup was selling windows that had a wood finish on the inside combined with a low- maintenance and durable vinyl construction on the outside. The “showroom within a showroom” setup worked particularly well in this case!

No matter how elaborate your showroom set up may be, the goal should be quite simple: Convince prospective buyers that even if they have not yet made up their mind which windows and doors to buy, they do know one thing for certain…they want to buy them from you!

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