Over the last 3+ decades, clients have brought in a number of kitchen project file folders containing newspaper clippings and magazine articles which show photos of products they like. More often than not, the client looks at the clipping and can’t remember what it was that he liked!
Remember the notebook paper that you put in your binder mentioned in my last post? When you cut out an article or photo, glue stick it to a piece of the paper in your binder and make some notes about what you like and don’t like. Date the note. If you get in the habit of gluing and dating, all of this information will prove to be very valuable as the process continues.
Create categories and tab the pages accordingly. You can add new tabs and even create “sub tabs” if needed. You’ll know when you have too much information under one tab. When that happens, create sub-tabs. For instance, under the “Appliances” tab, you may find that you want to add a sub-tab for each appliance. I had a client who was a professional chef. I would have bet the farm that he wanted a really high-end cooking appliance. WRONG! He didn’t care a flip about the cooking unit; he could cook on anything! His passion was reserved for the refrigerator!! His binder held 20 pages of data on refrigeration products he wanted to talk with me about!
As you gather your kitchen project information, put all of it into the binder and MAKE NOTES as soon as possible. If you talked with someone, put her name and contact info with the notes. As you obtain pricing information, make this note on a separate page so you are not exposing prices to competitors or others as you make new notes.
Remember you can have too little information but you can never have too much! You can sort through everything in your binder after you have gathered all your information.
Carry the binder with you as you travel about. You can even leave it in your car. You may pass a showroom and decide on the spur of the moment to stop in and gather information. You can find a lot of information when you are not specifically looking for it!
On behalf of all of us in the kitchen and bath industry, as you visit showrooms, please let the showroom consultant know the purpose of your visit. If you are just looking for ideas and are not a potential buyer, please be upfront and tell the consultant that. He or she will appreciate your candor. The showroom consultant probably works on a commission basis. No one wants to waste time or energy, including you!
In my next post, I’ll explain the budget process so that you can determine what type of customer you are or will need to be in order to successfully complete your kitchen project!
Let me know what you think of this process so far!