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Bring in the Pros: Color Consultants Help Customers Find the Perfect Colors

Just about every home improvement store offer paint assortments. So how can you make yours stand out?

One way is by offering the services of an in-store color consultant, who can help overwhelmed customers choose the perfect colors for their homes. In addition, this service brings more traffic into your store and helps make it a paint destination.

About three years ago, Pete McCloskey, manager of Strosniders Hardware in Potomac, Md., teamed up with a local color consultant to provide that additional service to the store’s customers.

“A licensed color consultant in our area approached us and asked us if she could come in our store to work with our customers,” McCloskey says. “It’s worked well so far, especially since we recently remodeled and moved our paint department to the front and center of the store.”

The consultations are free, but customers can hire the consultant to come to their homes for more in-depth consultations if they’d like. The service has been so well-received that a second Strosniders location added it to their store as well.

Tom Christopher, president of Christopher’s Hardware in Sandy Spring, Md., has a similar setup with a local color consultant, who comes in to the store for four hours each Saturday. Just like at Strosniders, the service is free, but the consultant will visit with customers in their homes for a fee.

“This service offers our customers a great value,” Christopher says. “They appreciate it and will be happy to buy all their paint from our store—so the service tends to build loyalty.”

It’s a win for everyone: Customers find the paint colors they want, the consultant earns new business and your store gets more sales.

Want to try something similar in your store? See if there’s an independent color consultant in your area who could do consultations at your store for a few hours a week.

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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