Building Customer Layers

To Your Residential Base

The number one request I get from custom framers is to help them find more customers. That makes sense since more customers mean more business. But finding more customers involves understanding more about the ones we already have.

The majority of customers in most shops today are what can be termed as “residential”. This means they are purchasing custom framing for their homes. Because of this, design is far more important than price. Residential customers tend to frame only a few projects per year and they frame because they value the enhancement and the preservation they receive. It’s very important to note that point of sale pricing is designed for this type of client.

When we attempt to apply this same type of pricing and emphasis on design to other types of framing customers, we often fail to provide what they need. That is because their needs are very different than those of residential customers. For example, a commercial designer, representing a local business needing art and framing will have price and service as higher priorities than design and preservation. If we don’t recognize this, we will not grow sales to this type of customer. To appeal to customers who need art and framing for businesses, we need to understand that budgets and services like delivery, on-site consultations and installations are very important. If we price their projects using the same pricing model as what is used for residential customers, we will not be very successful.

The key to building business with different types of customers is to anticipate what they really need and create a program that meets their needs. If you do that, you will attract different types of customers. If you offer the same selection, prices and services to every type of customer, it will not work for many of them. So, if you want more customers, figure out first what they are looking for and then create a way to give it to them. You’ll be surprised how something that sounds this simple will work so well.

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