EXCLUSIVE: John Winnings Talks Custom Install & Appliance Selling
Winnings, who recently opened a new experience showroom in Richmond, and will shortly open another Victorian showroom in the Chadstone shopping centre, is also growing out its home automation and custom install business having learnt some lessons along the way since launching their business extension.
Earlier this year we exclusively revealed that Winnings was extending their business from appliances to home automation.
Now in an exclusive interview with ChannelNews, CEO John Winning claims that the custom install market is not as easy as selling appliances.
Winning also revealed that brands are getting better at marketing, alongside the reasons why the Winnings Group is experiencing a lot of success compared to mass retailers selling appliances, who John claims are doing a ‘shocking job’ when it comes to service.
A simple walkthrough Winning Group’s head office in Sydney reveals row after row of staff who are handling customer calls.
There is a training centre for custom install staff with the Company now employing over 110 specialised installers.
This claim John Winning is why his company is witnessing a lot of success.
It appears that when Winning first entered the custom install business they took on almost any custom install jobs from the $20,000 job to the $500,000 + job now the Company is concentrating on the $30K to $150,000 market as their sweet spot.
“Those big $500K jobs are riddled with risk, they take a long time to do, they blow out and there is a lot of trades involved. This is not where we want to be. The bigger the job the more complexity there is, and this is not necessarily good business” he said.
When it comes to staff and training Winnings is now training their own installers, 4 at a time in their Sydney based training centre.
According to Winnings, these staffs are being taught how to deliver “good customer service” and are being bought up to speed on custom install technology from the likes of Control 4 and Savant.
Recently Bowers and Wilkins CEO Phil Newton cut a deal with Winnings to sell their new networked speakers headphones and speaker range as part of their offering.
Customers in Victoria and NSW which is Winnings stronghold State can now see both appliance and custom install products inside a Winnings showroom.
Currently, Winnings management is working with several brands in the custom install market.
“We need to deliver the right technology to justify the price, some people think that a connected home is a Google or Alexa speaker and a few products and that a couple of thousand dollars will them a connected home. This is not our market he said”.
“We are working with a wide variety of people from architects to builders to project managers and with customers directly who are either renovating or building a new home to offer an end to end solution from their appliance to home automation needs,” said, Winning.
“We make people feel good, we train our staff to make them feel good and we deliver a good experience,” he said.
At any one time, Winnings is carrying $70M worth of stock and that there is a “massive difference” for a customer who walks into a Winnings showroom to buy appliances vs visiting a mass retailer shop claims Winning.
Winnings Group who also own Appliances Online describe the difference between their showroom operation and their online as being distinct.
“The customer who buys from appliances online is buying a replacement appliance while the showroom customer is either renovating or building a new home. It’s a considered purchase and we need to make them feel good about the brand they are investing in” he said.
“Mass retailers have become me too; they are running 5-day sales every other day just to get customers into their stores and then they are not necessarily delivering a good instore experience he said”.
“We deliver a good experience whether that’s when they buy the product or when one of our plumbers, electricians or installers comes to their home and this is key to the growth of our business whether it be appliances or when we sell a custom install experience” he added.