Accessories: Selling the total package
By Megan Salzano—IIt’s no secret that dealers looking to boost their ticket sales would do well to sell the total package for any floor installation. This includes both the primary flooring material and the matching accessories. When it comes to accessories, that means trim, moldings, vents and stair treads. These floor accessories serve different purposes, but the most important is that they help to give the “finishing touch” to any installation. Whether it’s a single room or the entire house, accessories are the key to a happy customer and happy store owner.
“Once you’ve sold the floor, your next step should be to provide the accessories that complement the floor,” explains Pennwood president Kraig Coxon. “Die transitions hide the cut edges and gaps needed for expansion and contraction. Second, it is important to present all the finished accessories that come with installing a floor. In addition to the normal quarter-round, T-moulds, reducers, etc., it is important to provide vents and steps to complement the work and give it that coordinated, tailored look.”
David Moore, Senior Product Director, Wood and Laminate, Mohawk, agreed, adding: “New floors are a work of art. It should be protected the same way a masterpiece is protected with a picture frame. A frame gives structure to the photo and ensures a long life for the photo. Accessories are the finishing touch that maintains the structural integrity of the floor.”
In addition, profiles unlock creativity, allowing customers to choose the various coverings they want for aesthetic and functional reasons, without worrying about the challenges profiles overcome, explains Karen Bellinger, Vice President of Küberit USA. “At the same time, profiles provide the special bloom at a transition point or floor edge, the embellishment on a stair step and the thoughtful design details at every bend. Simply put, profiles distinguish well-designed projects with a totality of design considerations, making every detail special.”
So, what’s the best plan of attack for floor dealers looking to sell the “total package”? Bill Treiber, technical sales and education manager at Artistic Finishes, said a dealer should, for example, sell accessories with a “must-have” attitude. “While there are choices when it comes to accessories, there is no choice as to whether you need them,” he explained. “The key is to know your options and recommend with confidence that whatever you are using is the best choice and should be used. Prioritize your recommendations based on the code compliance requirement coupled with customer likes and dislikes.”
Joe Kennedy, president of Perfect Vents, said accessories should be part of the original quote. “Don’t make accessories an ‘addition’. Including them in the original quote always gives you the option to remove them if the cost needs to be adjusted. This is the best strategy for a few reasons. First, it’s a lot easier to give the customer a complete total including everything instead of throwing a bunch of extra items in. Second, if the cost of the job is more than the customer is willing to spend, you can remove items like the recessed vents. will reduce costs and it will seem like you are discounting the job, but it will not affect your margin.”
Blakley Satterfield, product manager, residential resilience, Mannington Mills, said floor dealers serve as subject matter experts to help consumers decide which products will perform in their spaces. Trims, moldings and vents work to complete and enhance the aesthetic design customers want to create when installing new floors and updating their homes. These finishing accessories are an essential part of the overall performance and longevity of their floors – ensuring making sure customers are aware of these performance benefits is key to ensuring they are satisfied with their overall setup for years to come.
Below is a rundown of some of the latest accessories to hit the market, along with tips from those vendors on how to be successful with them.
Digitally printed accessories now include steps and risers, such as these Artistic Finishes products.
Sales tip: “When selling the total package, consistency in the materials supplied and appearance is critical to the overall aesthetic. That’s called paying attention to details. If a job requires both floor openings and finishes, the same materials should be used throughout. Knowing the different products available will help you make the best choices and thus make recommendations for your customers.” —Bill Treiber, Technical Sales Manager
Küberit transition profiles are designed to address transition issues while adding an elegant design element. Küberit wall protection profiles ensure well-accessible corners, as well as the edges and curves of wall base areas. While protection is the fundamental quality for wall protection profiles, professional installers know that these profiles allow a more efficient installation of wall cladding from edge to edge.
Sales tip: “Floor profiles open up stylistic and flooring options for customers and provide answers to every surface, every edge of a cladding and transition between materials. The right range of floor profiles ensures that a floor covering retailer never loses the opportunity to help customers with the floor covering they want and the structural problems that need to be solved.” —Karen Bellinger, Vice President
Mohawk’s new Performance Accessories display includes samples of its exclusive 5-in-1 multi-function tool that allows the user to use a single transition to create five different applications: carpet transition, T-molding, end molding, hard surface reducer, and a flush or overlap kick nose. It also includes the company’s new waterproof quarter-round.
Sales tip: “Mohawk also launched a new Performance Accessories demo kit that comes with the display – or is sold separately – that includes three chainsets with samples of finishes to match wood, laminate and vinyl, a waterproof quarter-round for WetProtect flooring demo, a stair tread demo , an underlayment swatch book, a brochure, and a color book that a dealer can use to match any flooring brand in their showroom.” —David Moore, senior product director, wood and laminate
Pennwood has created wood transitions with multiple stain options designed to blend in with the floor.
Sales tip: “By offering all the available accessories to get the job done, you also increase your gross profit dollars. Traditional are mouldings, mouldings, vents and steps with a high gross margin.” — Kraig Coxon, Chairman
Perfect Vents is constantly innovating to better serve its customers. In 2021 it will continue that by offering a new range of sizes. From a brand new visual of its 2 x 10 vents to custom sizes up to 8 inches wide and as long as a football field.
Sales tip: “[Accessories] offer the opportunity for a store to stand out from the pack. If you can show a client that you pay attention to every detail of the job, you show them that you care about what you do and that you want the best job done for that client.” —Joe Kennedy, President