Fixturelite’s campaign to connect operators with new clients has turned into something big and the dollars generated by the effort provide the proof. As of Sep. 1, Fixturelite’s referral program, connecting operators with new clients, has generated more than $7.2 million in sales.
Started out of necessity
“We started the ‘Operators Wanted’ campaign about two and a half years ago, out of necessity,” explained Steve Orlando, cofounder of Fixturelite, the industry’s leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment and design tools. “Because of our focus on designing the best break rooms in the business, the design community and the micro market locations themselves were reaching out to us on a regular basis. We needed operators to meet the demand – and we still do.”
Orlando said the referral program has compounded exponentially. “I had one source reach out to me for one breakroom, one operator referral. That turned into seven,” said Orlando, who added that Fixturelite gets contacted by facility managers, office managers and designers, who generally have the same inquiry. “Here is what we want to accomplish with our break room. Do you have an operator that you work with who can make it happen, with your guidance?”
Stunned and then very happy
For Orlando and his business partner, Troy Geis, one of their favorite moments in business is when they call an operator and give them the good news about the new account they landed, just because they are associated with Fixturelite.
“They are generally stunned and then very happy, in that order, primarily because we’ve done the up-front work when it comes to design,” Orlando said. “We love watching our operators grow and clearly, it is a win-win for everyone involved.”
Trying to work with every good operator
In some cases, Fixturelite’s location contact, after seeing a Fixturelite market at another location, might want to replace the existing operator because that operator simply does not prioritize design in any way. They might be using equipment on loan and discount or worn-out racks and shelving. Before accommodating that request, Orlando said that he always asks the decision maker an important question. “How is the operator doing from a product selection standpoint and in terms of the service they provide?
“If the location contact indicates that the only problem with the existing operator is their lack of interest in break room design and quality equipment, we always make an effort to educate the operator, guide them into our program and help them understand that if they do not focus on the design needs of their client, they will soon be losing the location,” Orlando continued. “It is typically a wake-up call for the operator, and it turns into a new client for us. The operator keeps the location, the location is happy – everyone wins.”
Late to the design dance
“For that type of operator, one who is ‘late to the design dance,’ we often end up saving a number of other locations for them right out of the gate and get them on track to grow their business by working with us,” Orlando noted. “The Fixturelite Design Tool is a very foreign concept for an old school operator, who may still feel that a micro market should cost as little as possible, assemble as fast as possible, and be lined up along one wall – much like a bank of vending machines. We get them to start thinking about design and the customer experience; it represents quite a transformation for their business. They really appreciate the increased revenue and customer loyalty that comes with a well-designed micro market.”
Recent trend spells growth
Orlando said that recently, Fixturelite has been hearing from location contacts who want to elevate their break room as part of the effort to bring employees back to the office. “We are reverse engineering the vendor selection process and it is a clear trend that is going to keep us very busy for the foreseeable future,” said Orlando. “For operators who are aligned with us, we anticipate there to be a great deal of continued referral opportunity.
Operators: align your company with Fixturelite and get ready to grow! fixturelite.com