I love dealing with clients one-on-one and trying to find the perfect floor for their project. It’s one of my favorite parts of my work. But figuring out how to best serve every client’s unique needs, as we all know, is no easy task. To help make things easier in the critical early stages of a consultation, I developed four questions we ask each client to find the best floor for their project; all within two minutes. We’ve found that nine out of 10 times this questionnaire leads to a floor the client ends up choosing. I came up with these questions through trial and error over the years and whittled it down to the most essential. Here are the four fundamental questions we ask every client:
1. What kind of color tone are you looking for?
This is the first question we ask because clients usually have an idea of whether they want a dark, light, or a gray floor. If they’re unsure, considering the light sources in the rooms can be helpful. A room with a lot of natural light will really bring out the beautiful hues of darker floors, like walnut or a deep fumed oak. If the room gets less natural light, lighter-colored floors are a better option. Once we have the answer about color tones, we know which direction to go in terms of the style they want.
2. What is the overall style of your project?
Are you looking for something modern, traditional, transitional (which is a mix between traditional and contemporary), or midcentury? Those are typically the top four types of styles that we see here in Los Angeles. Of course, you can put a lot more subcategories within those different styles, but pretty much any design aesthetic will fit in those four.
3. How high are your ceilings?
This is the one question that differentiates us from any other flooring company. Something I learned through working with designers like Kelly Wearstler is this extremely important scalability question. If you have a low ceiling that’s 9 feet tall, you shouldn’t be going with a super wide 11-inch floor. That should be for the super-high ceiling projects that are 13 or 14 feet high. Once we ask them that question, it gives us a sense of what will be a better fit. And a lot of times we hear, “Oh great, it would have been a big mistake putting the wrong size flooring in there.”
4. How much traffic will the space get?
If my client has a lot of parties, big dogs, or young kids then softer floors like walnut, as beautiful as they might be and as much as they might fit everything else on the litmus scale, are not something we recommend. We try to move them over to a fumed oak, which has a similar look as a walnut but with a much harder Janka rating.
These four questions should not take more than two minutes and can save hours of your sales team’s time while prolonging your client’s floors by decades. If you were to add one question to this list, what would it be? Feel free to email me your answer to email@example.com.