Building Strong Relationships Between Flooring Pros and Designers

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Relationships are the secret to success for any business, especially in the flooring industry, where who you know directly impacts what you know and when you know it. When building out that network and a bigger bottom line, wood flooring professionals could benefit greatly from forging more relationships in the design world.

In fact, it’s one of the industry’s most powerful strategies for business development, yet one that is so often underutilized.

While contractors and retailers often work directly with builders and homeowners, having a working relationship with a designer is an excellent way to gain referrals and insightful perspectives. Here are just a few reasons why flooring professionals and designers should be actively seeking opportunities to connect and collaborate.

Unique Perspectives

Designers think differently than contractors, builders, and homeowners. When brought on a job, they can help identify blind spots you may have otherwise overlooked. Their unique perspective can help solve problems while saving time and money by thinking about things differently. When you look at a sample and try to visualize how everything will come together, it can feel abstract and overwhelming. The unique perspectives of professional designers enable them to create cohesive and creative spaces beyond what other types of professionals can.

Smoother Selection Process

Attractive mature woman shopping for wood flooring and compares colors in a hardware store shopping for home renovation project.

Do you get bogged down in the selection process? If this isn’t your favorite part of the project, the good news is that this is where designers often thrive. When you have good working relationships with a designer, you can hand off these tasks, allowing you to stay focused on what you enjoy most. They will pour hours into researching and refining options until you only need to approve your final selection from a small list of options.

Expanded Expertise

Flooring professionals sometimes may stick with what feels safe and familiar, especially regarding the type of products they install. But when you’re tasked with a project that requires you to think outside the box and utilize new and different products, it can pose challenges and hangups. This is another benefit of having close relationships with designers. They are an encyclopedia of knowledge about the latest and greatest products. They likely have installed something similar to what you’re looking at and can offer valuable perspectives and life lessons that will save you time and headaches on the install. This will help pull you outside your comfort zone while expanding your expertise and creativity.

Leads and Collaboration

a picture of wood flooring and tools

One of the greatest benefits of all is that relationships expand your network. It doesn’t matter if the designer or the flooring pro made the initial contact; the result is more money in both of your pockets. Investing time and energy into quality business relationships is a form of marketing. And as the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” As members of your network grow their businesses, your chance of gaining new business also increases, and vice versa. It’s exponentially more powerful marketing than you can achieve by doing it all alone.

Getting Started

Forging relationships doesn’t have to be a hard or overwhelming process. The best relationships develop over time with consistent interactions that build trust. Consider joining industry networking groups to seek out these “power partnerships” or start by looking online. You can find people through their website or social media and get a feel for their vision, style, and values. Once you find some connections that align with your own goals, nurture these relationships just like you would for any other aspect of your business. In time, you will reap great rewards.

Brittany Stout was named among Hardwood Floors magazine’s “40 Under 40” for 2023. She is the builder specialist and designer at Touch of Color Flooring, a family-built and operated business with locations in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, Virginia. Touch of Color has six core divisions: Builder, Multifamily, Senior Living, Commercial, Retail, and Design, and it services seven states throughout the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic. Learn more at touchofcolorflooring.com.

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