Sliding Doors Could Be The Answer…

If you were around in 2008, you remember fighting for every job and trying to come up with ways to stand out from the crowd.

Some of you did it with price – discounts on woodgrains and hardware, financing, or quick installation.

Others added to their offering, trying to capture more spaces in the home and hopefully increasing the average sale.  Pull out drawers in lower kitchen cabinets, garage flooring, window coverings or even shower doors.

In 2008, I was working for Eveready Hardware and we came up with a sliding door program that many of you added to your standard offering.  It helped us get thru the recession and some of you are still offering this program today.

I’m not sure what the rest of this year will look like, all I know is that increasing your average sale is never a bad thing.

Not sold on sliding doors?

Think about this –

How many times have you installed a beautiful reach in closet behind noisy builder grade bypassing doors?

Do you think if you had a program in place you could get 20% of those clients to buy doors from you?

Let’s start with the competition – There aren’t many options for your client to buy new sliding doors.

They could do a weekend project, buy the doors from Home Depot, and hope they are the right size.  I don’t think someone that just spent a couple of thousand dollars on closets really wants to do that.

Sure, they could try to find a reliable contractor (good luck) and have custom doors made.  Again, I don’t think most people want to do that and it would be expensive.

If there is a Sliding Door Company in your market, they make beautiful glass doors and are a great solution. Except they are expensive, there is a long lead time and families with young children might not want glass doors.

So, you can see there really isn’t much competition.

Offering your clients sliding doors gives you an opportunity to increase your average sale, and helps you differentiate yourself – as a total solution.

Richelieu offers sliding door hardware solutions to fit every budget and application.  We even have a team of technical specialists that can help you decide which system is right for you.

If you are just getting started below are my “go-to” systems that should cover the majority of your applications.  They are easy to use and work with ¾” material.

  • 89DCD2M – This is a top hung system that will hold 99lbs per door and all the hardware is surface mounted which makes it very user friendly.  Band a ¾” panel, add one of our oversized handles to the door and you easily just added $1000 to the total sale of that installation.
  • 89CD40CX – Don’t want to hang the doors off the header?  Building a built-in wardrobe or a garage cabinet? The CD40 could be the system for you.  This is a bottom rolling system that features adjustable bottom rollers and a top guide for smooth travel.
  • Bridge 600 – Need something that will hold more than 99lbs?  Want to add a few more bells and whistles – like soft close and a full-length aluminum handle?  Bridge 600 is a perfect solution.  It features an upper guide rail and lower track for smooth/quiet travel.  Surface mount hardware and sold in kits makes this system very user friendly.
  • PL2550 – Does your customer prefer full access to the closet? The PL2550 is the perfect solution. It’s a bi-fold door system made for ¾” panels.  Only drilling required is one 35mm hinge hole, everything else is surface mounted.  It also features a top track and carrier that will prevent any door sag.

Are you a little more advanced?

Working with high-end clients?

Our co-planar door hardware is the best on the market.  Co-planar hardware is a by-passing door system that when closed, the doors are flush – keeping a consistent reveal that most high-end clients are looking for.

If you would like more information about our sliding door offering please visit Richelieu.com – here is a link to our sliding door selection wizard or reach out to your local Richelieu rep.

Are you currently offering sliding doors?

What are the obstacles?

Any wins?

I would love to hear your comments.

Thank you for reading!

The Winner IS…

For those of you that have missed it, there has been an interesting debate going on in the ACSP Facebook group.

Wendy Scott – ACSP President, bet Eric Marshall – President Elect, that valet rods were most popular closet accessory.  Eric argued the tilt out hamper.

Coming from a profitability standpoint, if you have the room it makes the most sense to include at least one hamper in every closet you design.  Besides selling a more expensive accessory, you are also adding a door.

If you are looking at ease of installation, and an accessory that fits in every closet – valet rod is the clear winner.

I created a TiK ToK video and posted it on Instagram and Facebook.

In case you missed it – let me know what you think.

 

It came right down to the wire.

Valet rods took an early lead and I think that Eric might have stuffed the ballot but ultimately hampers ended up the winner!

I think that you should be offering both accessories as often as possible.

Increasing your average sale is the easiest way to be more profitable.

Also a quick FYI –

The ACSP has start doing Zoom Topic Tuesdays.  It’s basically a virtual round table giving everyone an opportunity to network in place and share ideas.

  • The first one was “Home Offices from Design to Install”
  • This week we discussed “What Are YOU Doing Today That Will Help YOU Succeed Tomorrow”

Next week is all about marketing.  “What’s working, what’s not.”  Attendees will share some of their best tips.  Here’s a link to the Facebook invite.

Also, I just want to remind everyone that I am still scheduling virtual sales meetings with design teams, if I can help you keep your designers engaged please let me know.

Stay safe and I look forward to “Zooming” with you soon.

Social distancing, home schooling & running your business!

This has been some ride.

Many of you were on pace for your best March ever, plenty of work in the pipeline and plans for expanding.

Now you are struggling with keeping your guys employed, juggling installs, and what does “essential business” really mean?!?

Are you in a state that is still allowed to work?

If you are, I know you are hustling to get as much done as you can because nobody knows what tomorrow brings…

Here is a list of things you can do to ease the concerns of your current customers.

  • Communicate the steps you are taking to keep your employees and clients safe. Examples are –
    • Following CDC guidelines.
    • Employees are staying home if they are sick. If you have paid sick leave let your clients know.
    • Cleaning work areas, tools, vans and home after the install is done. Make a quick video with you phone.  No, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just put it out there.

Send an email blast to everyone in your database, don’t have an email list?

Put this front and center on your website.

Hit the phones and let future installs know.

Do you work with builders, new construction?

Can you move up any of these installs?

Many of my customers in NY are requesting that there isn’t an overlap of trades on jobsites.  This is great way to keep your guys working.

Have you put a system in place to do virtual sales calls?

Zoom meetings work great.  I have used it to meet with my clients, my sales reps and even been a special guest at my customer’s sales meetings.  If you would like me to be part of your designer sales meeting please reach out.

Adding an inventory check list to your virtual sales call is a great way to get you client engaged in the project.

Do your clients know that you do garages?  Potential clients might be much more open to having you in their garage then in their bedroom.

Are you in a state that is sheltering in place?

Use this time to update your showroom, website and marketing plan.

COVID-19 isn’t going to last forever, make sure you are ready when your clients come back.  All of your clients are home right now organizing their houses… I know that’s what my family is doing.

Start to think about ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Richelieu has unique products like anti-bacterial melamine panels, solid surface material, and decorative hardware.  As you can imagine, the interest on these products exploded in the last 30 days.

We also use the good, better, best strategy for many of our products.  Review your current offering, do you have good, better, best option for handles, hooks, accessories, panels, etc?  If you don’t we should talk.

How can you save your client money without reducing margin?

Or what about going the other way – how can you increase your average sale if given the opportunity?

Many of the above ideas have come from the ACSP (Association of Closet & Storage Pros) Facebook group and The Closet Summit’s message board.  Leaning on your peers will help you get thru this difficult time.

Last week I was a guest on the Cabinet Maker Profit Podcast, interviewed by Dominic Rubino.

The topic was “How to Sell Home Installs in a Time of Crisis”Click to here to listen to the podcast.

Not into podcasts, you can watch the interview on YouTube.

I would like to take a second to recognize all those on the front lines.  Thank you to first responders, grocery stores, delivery drivers and everyone else that is risking their own health to keep us safe and fed.

If there is anything that I do to help you during this time please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

We will get thru this!

What’s Trending 2020 – Concealed Connectors

Can you believe we are two months into 2020?

How’s your year going?

Are your leads trending up?

Average sale?

Close rate?

If you have completed projects pics using Richelieu hardware please email me.  I love to share your job photos on social media.

If you are posting on Instagram or LinkedIn – be sure to tag @RichieDeMarco – I’ll comment and re-post.

In case you missed this – We have already discussed –

One of the most common questions that I am asked is about concealed connectors.

You design a beautiful walk in closet, pick your favorite textured panel and accessories only to look up at that mis-matched plastic connector.  Sure, if you want to get fancy I can supply a metal connector but, on some projects, you need more of a furniture look.

What do you do?

Richelieu introduced a new product called Striplox which is getting a lot of traction.

It’s a male-female connector that works with ¾” material and is the perfect solution for the top shelf of your closet.

Striplox comes in various sizes and shapes depending on your application and material.

You can connect two ¾” panels, join countertops, support floating shelves, the possibilities are endless.

Check out this short YouTube video to see how it could work in your closet applications.

What do you think – a closet winner??

If you are interested in trying here is a link to our website – you can buy a couple of pairs for testing.

We also have a starter set, if you would like to play with the different sizes.

If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Richelieu rep or – email me anytime at RDeMarco@Richelieu.com

Thx for reading!

What’s Trending 2020 – Part III

I hope you have enjoyed my first two “What’s Trending” posts.

This week I wanted to discuss a product that has been popular in kitchens for years, and is now showing up in closets.

Aluminum frame doors and drawer faces.

No these aren’t the type of aluminum framed doors that you are getting from Home Depot or Lowes.

These are high end scratch resistant doors that come in a variety of profiles, insert options and pre-drilled for ease of installation.

Don’t like the aluminum finish? We have color options!

If you have been following along with my posts, you know the hottest finish right now is  Matte Black.

There are a lot of customers using the invisible aluminum profiles (#RIC-658FL or RIC-15) with back painted glass for a totally different look.  Check out all of these color options –

These doors are available up to 94” high so no problem using as a sliding or bi-folding door and all hardware is pre-drilled!

This is a great option for mirror doors in a walk-in or upgrading any reach in closet with by-passing doors.

The best part of all of this is that these doors are very easy to order on our website.

Here is a link to our configurator –

Click the category of the door or drawer face you plan to order, pick you frame, insert etc.  Add your dimensions and you will have a price and order placed in minutes.

We also sell a great display kit that shows all of the profiles and color options.

As the awareness and our industry grows, homeowners are spending more money in their closets.  You might not use these doors on every job, but if you have a customer looking for bells and whistles, aluminum framed doors are a great option.

If you need any additional info please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Richelieu rep or – email me anytime at RDeMarco@Richelieu.com

Thx for reading!