10 Key Colors of 2017 for Interiors and ….

When you invest such a small sum and gain such a vast return on that investment, you know, with absolute certainty, that you made an excellent decision. Well done you!

From warm, soothing spice shades to striking, bold hues, this year we see an intriguing mix of colors that are reminiscent of the natural world as well as powerful expressions of intense brights.

We have selected 10 key Pantone Referenced colors from all of the color palettes in our 2017 trends, to provide you with an edited down version helping you to make those color decisions on behalf of your clients, throughout the year. These 10 essential hues will be significant within the world of interiors, stationery, cars and much more; influencing the direction of marketing and retail sectors.

PLEASE NOTE: This e-booklet will be available for you to download immediately your purchase is made. We do not mail it afterwards. Watch for the link 🙂

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How to Successfully Merchandise Flooring…

Do you need some help, information, even inspiration about how to visually inspire your customers?

This low-cost-high-value guide to ‘Window Merchandising’ (specifically written for retailers of Flooring in the USA, Canada, UK & Australia) contains all the support & guidance you’ll need to start creating stunning retail window displays TODAY.

You’ll quickly understand the ‘psychology of visual merchandising’ and be able to ‘connect’ your store in the minds of consumers to what they see in local fashion stores when you create your own ‘trend-led’ window stories. You’ll have people talking about your windows at all the right dinner parties around town, whilst showing off the purchase they made from you.

You can make a start with a window display for Christmas 2016 and then follow the guide to create window stories through the Spring & Summer of 2017.  There are ideas on how to present show-stopping display’s to attract the attention of shoppers walking by and draw them in. Surprise yourself, buy this easy-to-understand guide NOW and make yours the best window displays in town.

Your windows will soon – Stop. Interest. Engage. Inspire……. and sell. 

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3 Design Trend Stories for 2017 – The SOcolor Booklet

This Color Book gives you 3 of 2017’s key design trend stories: Desert Wanderer, Organic Matter and Analogue Workshop. The book includes a brief explanation of each of the trends, the Scarlet Opus Trend Boards illustrating each trend’s interior style and also the Pantone referenced color palettes for each trend story.

This book will give you guidance for the design and marketing of your product in line with future trends. It is an inspirational document that outlines key themes and important color palettes for interiors moving forward into 2017. Inspiring guidance for everything interiors including retail merchandising, product sourcing, stationery, furniture, decor, tabletop, kitchen design, and much more.

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Trendbook Offer: Visually Stunning 2015 Design Trends – Interiors

2015 Design Trendbook for Everything Interiors  

For a special price of just £60 you can get all the inspiration you’ll need to support your creativity this year. Purchase our 2015 Design Trends report.

This 75 page document includes 4 different design trends applicable to anything ‘interiors’ and outlines our background research including fashion and architecture, as well as a guide to material, shape, pattern, texture, and surface effects. Each trend includes a colour palette with Pantone Fashion + Home and Formula Guide Coated/Uncoated references. A perfect source of inspiration for product designers, marketing teams, interior designers, retailers for merchandising and window dressing – absolutely perfect. See the wealth of visually stunning inspiration below:

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Materials shapefashion colourpattern

BUY IT NOW – feel supported, inspired, renewed and have your own ideas confirmed

Got a question? phil@scarletopus.com call phil / Victoria or Laura +44 (0)1482 870360

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How to Sell Interior Products to Men or Women

In our final posting of the week in celebration of International Womens Day we have a posting for men by our Dreamweaver – Phil – on Selling To Women:

Men like Stop Lights & Women prefer Roundabouts!

 

Trends, consumers, business, sales, marketing, interiors

Get a Big Cat she said!

“The 1st thing perhaps to state is that what you are about to read is the humble opinion & experience of 1 man only and is not intended to offend anyone, or to be anything more than something for you to consider.  Some of the opinion and ideas offered are derived from generalisations of specific experiences – now is that clear boys!?  After all, how can you take seriously a guy whose job title is ‘Dreamweaver’!  They are opinions from a man’s viewpoint about how to successfully engage with women in business and maybe a little in life.  During International Womens Day celebrations, an event we don’t have, we (men) need all the help we can get at a time when the smarter anyway sex, feel at their strongest because they really know how to use ‘group power’ in a way we don’t even realise exists!

In general (as I said) when it comes to any sort of work environment, men & women see themselves in some sort of competition.  Unfortunately, in most parts of the world, men of all ages will allow their reactions toward women in business to be influenced on some level and to some degree; by the ideas placed into our heads as a result of the evolutionary process.  And not to be completely exonerated, women (in general) will be ‘on guard’ for the same reason.  In today’s world we all (I know I do) like to think that we have gone beyond this and to a very large and positive degree we have.  But here’s the thing that I have learned – women have learned how to cope with the situation and then use it much more than men have, or probably ever will.  Particularly when it comes to a sales/purchasing activity.  In fact, when you think about it, almost every business activity we conduct uses the skills necessary in these 2 roles.  Managing a person requires influencing their behaviour and actions and in doing so selling ideas and solutions to them.  We need in business to negotiate something with someone every day.  It is not only when with suppliers or clients that this is done.  So in most respects women are very good in these areas because we men have over decades forced them to negotiate/sell/contract in almost every aspect of their lives.  Our (men’s) only advantage left (not a great word but for now the best I could think of) is that not all of them have realised this yet!

I have spent all of my adult working life (being very young that’s not so long!) learning about people in order that I can improve my abilities to sell, manage & develop them in business.  At the age of 18 a great guy and mentor to me – Graham Petty – gave me a gift one Christmas; a copy of Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends & Influence People and being a man I read the 6 principles in it and then took the next couple of decades to accept that Dale was right!  The most important skill required in business, if not in life, is found in this book.  In general men, and oddly in particular salesmen, are not very good at this skill even though they think that they are.  Women however, seem to have a natural flair and ability for it even when they are talking!  What is it I hear you ask – it is LISTENING.  So if you want to be good at selling to women then you have to get on board double quick with the idea that you have 2 ears and 1 mouth and at the very least should use them in that proportion.

In dealing with the modern woman in business you must have a high degree of confidence, excellent knowledge of your subject, a good memory and flexibility.  Now I will tell you why this is my opinion. 

 Confidence:

In general women spot weaknesses readily and seem to then place them to one side without feeling the need to exploit them.  But they have this knack of letting you know (when they are ready) that they have spotted this but will not exploit it.  Have a guess what that does to the weakness?  Men also spot weaknesses, but we are a little blunt, quick and basic in our attempts to then highlight the weakness as we see it as a competition (irrelevant of whether we are speaking to a man or a woman).  Guess what this induces in our opponent – the same weakening of the weakness that a woman can induce?  Nope!  An aggressive gladiatorial defence mechanism – well done guys, way to go!

Some guys (well most actually) when engaging with women in business suddenly experience/develop an infant like understanding of our language.  Confidence is quickly confused with arrogance, know–it-all and condescension in the misguided belief this will impress a woman or ‘show her how it’s done’ – oops!

So development a quiet and reassuring confidence about yourself, your business and your role before engaging with a woman.

Excellent Knowledge:

Men like to be sold to, or to believe that they have made a buying decision – you see to us it is all a competition no matter who we are dealing with.  It is a challenge, a game however the process is described we see it as something to win.  A woman simply doesn’t.  She wants a fair and equitable deal where she feels comfortable that the process was beneficial to both parties.  In fact, in general, women are prepared to come out of the ‘deal’ slightly worse off than those she engages with as long as it feels good for all and she in essence achieves her goal.  How dangerous is that?  What this all means is that to conduct business successfully with a woman, you must simply provide information of a high quality in a truthful way and then wait and listen for the questions.  A woman will lead you to the sales you seek without the ‘combat zone’ that as men we believe is an essential part of the process.  Remember 2 key facts: Women will inherently distrust a man until he demonstrates he is trustworthy.  Men generally give men the benefit of the doubt and so we are not expecting the reverse and so may not take the right opening shots.  Women will inherently not believe marketing messages but will look for confirmation.  Men?  Well how many of us challenge a Ferrari advert before we have decided that we just want to drive it?

So develop a thorough knowledge of your subject in order to be able to supply any information requested about it – if you do not know never try to ‘flannel’ a woman – they have built-in radar for that, thanks to our actions over 100’s of years!

Good Memory:

A simple short subject (especially as you get older!).  In a group women discuss things but not with any particular structure or in any particular order.  Men like order, straight lines, agenda’s and time blocks.  Women don’t need these things I have found.  If you let their conversation flow and listen very carefully, they cover enormous ground and everything they need to and in the end spit out a conclusion that is as good as any group of guys – and this has often left me thinking “where the heck did that come from it could n’t have been this conversation?”  And is it just to annoy us or confuse us, but more than 1 woman will speak at once and ‘they’ all hear all whilst we hear the loudest – it’s really weird.  So don’t stop this seemingly disjointed methodology, let it flow and listen well and develop the ability to remember key points.  They will.       

Flexibility:

This is the best saved until the last…all men in business need to know this one.  It will save so much time and provide so much more enjoyment and success.  It links everything said above and is the point of my title.

Men love straight lines, turning left and turning right, having a destination and getting there, knowing when to stop and when to start and enjoy having the rules.  Men sit revving their engines for the unspoken competition, guidance and structure that stop lights at road junctions the world over                                 provide.

Women meander, dream, flow, don’t need rigid structure and rules to avoid crashes and fights, get to their destination after they have had time to drink in things that they see en route.  Women prefer roundabouts where a general set of rules apply with courtesy, forgiveness and if you make a mistake no matter just go round again you’ll get to the intended                                 route again in the end.

We happen to be in Interiors where it is said that women make more than 85% of the buying decisions.  Personally, I have concluded that a woman somewhere makes the larger portion of decisions in all walks of life – they just don’t shout about it so much because they are used to (thanks to us yada yada…) not getting the credit publicly and can live with that happily.  

So take a look at your retail outlet /design plans / design schemes / products and see if they reflect the fact that most of your sales and potential business will come from a decision made by a woman; and do the processes that you have in place reflect and accommodate the way a woman thinks and behaves?”

What advice do you have on this subject? Leave your comment let me know…..

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How to Sell for the non-Salesperson

Being in business often involves the need for someone to take on the role of salesperson, at some stage. This often falls on a person who didn’t sign up for it, doesn’t want to do it and possibly has all sorts of misconceptions about what it is and who can do it.

This post WILL HELP YOU. A lot of complete ‘rubbish’ is spoken about the subject and some (not all by any means) people are actually in business to make it seem like a complex, difficult task and one that needs lots of training, perfecting, processes, procedures, etc etc. And, there is a place for all of this; but this place in not in a small business full of creatives, technologists, engineers.

You are building up contacts, making appointments and getting close to the point of having to carry out that most frightening of all steps – Selling. It’s easy for those of us with the ‘gift of the gab’ and even simpler for those of us referred to as ‘natural salespeople.’

Sit down & pin back your ears for some really great news – there is no such thing as a natural salesperson and neither is being thought of as having ‘ the gift of the gab’ a good thing. It’s better expressed in my view as being ‘gobby, full of yourself and generally being an idiot!’

Each one of us can win new business from new customers, or from existing customers in other words – SELL.  How so I hear you ask? Absolute gem coming up so pay attention.  This is why:

‘People do business with people they like’

Now, unfortunately, I am able to claim to have been a ‘salesperson’ for more than 30 years – which does not necessarily make me good at it but, it means that for 30 years I have been reading books about how to sell, attending seminars being told how to sell, being put on training courses to be shown how to sell and I’ve spent thousands of hours with ‘professional’ salespeople. After an extraordinary amount of money has been spent on me do you know what I have learnt?

‘People do business with people they like’

Learn how to be liked (yes this is something you can learn) and you will never look back. Don’t switch off now, stick with me and you will see that it is not about being the centre of attention, nor is it about being the life and soul of anything, or being in the limelight. Here is the second absolute gem:

‘Be genuinely interested in the people you meet’

However we were created, the end result was that we have two ears and a single, solitary mouth; you must practise to make sure that you always, without fail and never forget, to use this equipment proportionally to the numbers in which you own each then you will have taken a huge step toward being a very successful winner of business.

I mean, speak for no more than 1/3rd of the time and listen for the rest – in fact if you can get this to an 80 / 20 split you will be flying!  However, when you are doing this it is essential that you use your ears to LISTEN and not to hear. It is just as important that in your early client meetings you use your mouth to ask questions about the person, their business and their problems. Do not use your mouth (until much later in the process) for speaking too much about yourself, your business and your product or, service.  This is because in very simple terms – no one is interested.

The key to being liked is very simply:

‘Be genuinely interested in the people you meet’

Altogether there are 6 basic principles that if you put into action you will be liked by most people who meet you and you will therefore become hugely successful at winning business. It might surprise you to know that – again my personal opinion – a huge proportion of ‘salespeople’ are actually not very good at it. They’ve read too many poor books, been got at by too many people making a living out of training salespeople or, have had the dubious benefit of learning from experienced salespeople who weren’t very good to begin with. Imagine that, a whole bunch of salespeople who think they Can, but actually Can’t. This leaves the field wide open for any of you reading this and willing to put the preparation and effort in. Selling is all about preparation and hard work – along with being liked.

So back to those 6 points for you to put into action – I should say that they are not my words of wisdom because if they were I would have no need to be sat here this morning writing this for you. The cool fact about these wise, wise words is that they were written in 1935 by a guy called Dale Carnegie – and I can confidently tell you, despite many attempts to find one, nothing better has been written since. I attend colleges, universities and seminars to listen to how selling is taught. In modern, fancy language, supported by theories for this and that; they all basically say what Dale said more than 70 years ago!

P1: Become genuinely interested in other people.

P2: Smile.

P3: Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest & most important sound in any language.

P4: Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves.

P5: Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

P6: Make the other person feel important – but do it with sincerity.

Now is that simple or what!

As I mentioned earlier, many thousands of pounds have been spent on building me into the salesperson I am today and I can with all honesty say to you; the best money ever spent on making me into anything was the £3 my then boss, Graham Petty, spent in 1983 when he made a present of Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ book to me. Sadly, I can’t make a present of the actual book to each of you lovely readers, but I can make a gift of the knowledge and suggest that you rush out as soon as possible to get yourself a copy and read it cover to cover – to read it will take you less than a day and yet the knowledge will last you a lifetime.

To buy the book for under £7 or $10 visit: http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0091906814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254819555&sr=1-1

Let me know how it goes for you and what successes you gain from it, or feel free to ask me any questions that still remain about ‘Selling’ phil@scarletopus.com

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