One-on-one is not only for fun
‘It’s not just about [clients] coming into the showroom and picking out colours and fixtures,’ says Vicki Gillingham, Henley design manager. ‘It’s about building a relationship with them – and them with us. We take the time to get to know our clients and discover what is going to best suit their lifestyle to make the right suggestions; for example, if they’ve got pets or kids, we make sure they pick the right flooring, and paint finishes on the wall.
‘At the end of the day if the client feels comfortable with the consultant, then they’re going to be more comfortable throughout the entire process and happier with the end result.’
At different points of the sales process Henley focuses on offering a personalised experience during showroom appointments. The first is an information session and tour for small groups on weekends, and the second is a six-hour follow-up colour appointment focused on product selection.
‘The first appointment is [at the stage] the clients have put down an initial deposit but are still deciding which house they want to build with us,’ Vicki explains. ‘We show them all the standard options and upgrades, and let them browse for as long as like, answering any of their questions. If they’re happy with us, the sales consultants then finalise all their quotes and they return for their colour appointment.’
Vicki adds that while other builders may have different specialists for various zones of the home, such as externals, flooring or windows, Henley makes sure there’s one main point of contact during the crucial period of product selection.
‘We look after the client through the whole six hours, so it’s one consultant to the [prospective homeowners]. Team members are often re-quested by particular clients because they’ve already met them on the weekends and they’ve started to build a good relationship. I’m forever shuffling things around so clients can have their preferred consultant!’