Friday, 28 October 2011

EDITOR'S COMMENT: Safety first?

Editor of Kitchens & Bathrooms News,
Philippa Turrell,
Scanning tweets, recently, one caught my eye. It read “Most house fires start in the kitchen, so how can we address this safety issue to our benefit”? WHAT? I know it’s tough out there on the high street but have kitchen retailers really come to this? While I understand the company was looking for an alternative angle to traditional sales patter, I can’t see how this could ever help close a deal – unless of course you’re trading in domestic fire extinguishers.
When a customer enters a kitchen showroom, they are looking to create a dream environment that adds value to their home and lifestyle; they’re not considering how to prevent household disasters. The kitchen company retorted that it could help address consumers’ unspoken concerns. Unspoken or unknown? Why would you even bring this to a potential client’s attention?
 If you were buying a new car, you wouldn’t expect the salesperson to point out how many road accidents happen each year, or the number of shark attacks if booking a holiday to the Golden Coast. And if they did, wouldn’t you just take your hard-earned savings and invest it in something ‘safer’?
While I’m no expert in sales, surely starting with style, quality, value for money, or technological convenience would entice consumers. And the kitchen’s desirable but functional features should be backed up with appropriate safety benefits, just as a matter of course.  
To be fair the company did state ‘if it reassures the customer, then promoting the safety aspects of your products becomes a selling point’. I don’t disagree with this, at all. Of course, safety is paramount in the kitchen – and is particularly of concern for consumers with small children -but in a sales pitch should it really come first?

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