17 April 2009

Every dog has its day

There are no prizes for guessing what the hot news topic is at the moment.

Ever since the news broke earlier this week, there has been scant room to talk about the state of the world' economy and my fervent wish to give us all a break from images of Woolworth's branches closing or airfields full of unsold cars has at last been fulfilled.

Yes, the story that has swept all before it is the news that the First Pooch has arrived at the White House. He is a Portuguese Water Dog and his name is Bo. The six-month old pup was a present from Senator Edward Kennedy and his wife Victoria

It seems that the First Family have allergy issues and that was why they could not just take the first adorable mutt that turned up at a Washington animal rescue centre.

Though some breeders claim that Portuguese Water Dogs are a hypoallergenic dog breed, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, so one suspects Bo is safe until the sneezing starts.

The point of this tale (tail?) is that the Obamas were looking for something special and were prepared to go the extra mile to get it.

What about if they had been looking for a new kitchen or bathroom and wanted something special?

Is there anything about the products on display in your showroom that show visitors, who are far from experts when it comes to picking a kitchen or bathroom, that there is 'something special' about the ranges you offer?

Many people settle for the average kitchens and bathrooms they see on sale at superstores because they are not aware that there is something better on offer, or believe that anything even slightly better will bust their budget.

Some, maybe most kitchen and bathroom buyers, perhaps cannot afford to buy from an independent and are reluctant to take on credit to do so. But the minority that can afford to buy the better quality kitchens and bathrooms, which independents in the main sell, is still a large number of people.

I'm prepared to wager that every customer who walks into a well-appointed independent kitchen or bathroom showroom is looking for 'something special'.

Perhaps they are keen cooks who want advice on which appliances will let them indulge their passion. Or they could be seriously sporty and looking for bathing facilities that will ease the aches and pains of a Sunday morning match.

Perhaps they are newly single and really cannot be bothered to work out how to heat up supper or they may have a new baby and want to make sure the washing machine they pick will virtually sterilise any item of clothing it washes.

You know in your heart-of-hearts that the superstore down the road with its average range of kitchens and bathrooms will not give these 'something special' seekers what they need. You also know that they may settle for less if you miss the opportunity to show them something special.

But by asking questions that are not obviously budget focused, by showing interest in their needs, and putting forward suggestions of features that will tick all the boxes on their wish list, you will be showing that you are something special too.

Every dog has its day they say, and while there may be fewer of them around, customers looking for something special do not all live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

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