With the recent Museum Glass® price decrease, we wanted to offer framers a series of blog posts focused on how to maximize the opportunity with tools you can use to position your shop for sustained success, from pricing, selling, and employee training. In this post, industry expert, Kirstie Bennett explains how training your employees can directly impact your shop’s profitability and sales on premium glazing products.
I’ve said before that a structured training program is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Having well-trained employees in your shop has a direct impact on your ability to sell the best you have to offer.
When it comes to premium products, solid training is critical. If it has been a while since you’ve reviewed your training program, now is a good opportunity to take a closer look at how your employees are selling premium products, like Museum Glass® and Optium Museum Acrylic®.
Understanding that pricing for every business is different, with the Museum Glass price decrease, custom framing shops are likely to be in the position to use more of the product in more customer projects. This is a good time to make sure employees have what they need to be successful with these products.
Have a conversation
When we begin a conversation with a customer about a piece, we talk about structure. Here are some examples of questions that we typically ask: How important is it that the piece is protected? (Almost always, it is.) Where will the piece be hung? What light sources are nearby? It is a high-traffic area? What sort of room will it be in? How big is the piece?
The answers to these questions give you a starting point for options and recommendations. Customers come to you for your expertise and want to be educated about the materials that are best for their projects.
Customers want choices
When it comes to glazing, this initial conversation about structure helps us determine if we should be considering glass or acrylic, anti-reflective, and so forth. From this point, we are able to talk about options. Focus group research shows that customers appreciate being shown different types of glazing, regardless of their ultimate choice. Our own observations about customers back this up. Offering choice is good for the customer relationship.
If you are using the price decrease to narrow the price difference between Museum Glass® and Conservation Clear®, make sure your employees are fully aware of this and are comfortable presenting this information to the customer. Communicate the price decrease in a positive way that gives customers the impression they’ll benefit, not that you are trying to unload product.
For example, employees can say something along the lines of, “We’ve just had a price decrease because Museum Glass is doing so well, and we are passing that along to our customers.”
If, like our shop, yours sells ready-made frames, you can offer choices there as well. We train employees to let customers know about glazing options with ready-made frames too. Many more that you might expect choose to swap out the existing glass for Museum Glass.
Tools for employees
Tru Vue® offers great tools for demonstrating the benefits of Museum Glass® and Optium Museum Acrylic®. We work these tools into our training along with our own customized displays and make sure all employees use them during the design process with the customer.
- Tru Vue Glazing Displays: There are multiple versions for both Museum Glass and Optium Museum Acrylic available free for the framers to use during the consultation process. We keep these handy at the design table and make sure that our employees put these into the customer’s hands when talking about glazing options so they can experience the difference. You can order your own by clicking here.
- Tru Vue Training Videos: Tru Vue has a great library of videos that are helpful to train employees. One in particular that I have found useful is the Using the Tru Vue® Glass Choices Display video. This video walks employees through the steps on how to work specific types of glazing into a conversation, using Museum Glass as the example. You can build your own script around this video to use for any type of glazing, including Optium Museum Acrylic.
- Your Personalized Sales Tools: Your display wall is not only the best place to show off your design aesthetic and craftsmanship, but it is also a great tool for employees. Having customized displays in your shop that show off custom framing options are the best tools for employees to explain what is possible and to inform customers on upgraded materials, including glazing.
Offering quality is our culture
In our business, offering customers the highest quality materials is part of our culture. Our employees are trained to always offer Museum Glass, or in specific cases, Optium Museum Acrylic. We follow a script that includes the question, “Which glazing do you prefer?” Then we show them Museum Glass (or Optium Museum Acrylic) so they can experience the clarity.
We also educate the customer about glazing choices on our website, social media and newsletter. Customers research online as a first step in their projects. Seeing that we know and recommend products of this level of quality says a lot about our business.
In addition to these tips from Kirstie, here are some other ideas for employee training on glazing choice:
- Have an employee frame their own piece. At Tru Vue, every new employee goes through the process of having one of their pieces custom framed using Museum Glass. Not only do they get to experience the product, they learn more about our customers’ businesses.
- Set up daily scorekeeping to track how often employees are recommending Museum Glass and/or Optium Museum Acrylic and the rate of sale. Learn more about daily scorekeeping from industry expert Ken Baur here.
Check back on this blog for more articles on selling premium glazing, including an upcoming pair of posts from Ken Baur on profit-boosting pricing strategies.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.