Friendly conversations lead to smart hardwood floor choices

Rod Lorenz

Voster_Asian_Walnut_Stained_3_2_451100.jpgChoosing the right hardwood floors for your home is a very personal thing. That’s why when a young couple came to us with their heart set on an American walnut floor, we started asking them questions about themselves.

We had to get to know them—their tastes, color preferences, lifestyle, etc.—before we could give them meaningful advice based on our hardwood floor experience and knowledge.

Why did we do that? We could have just focused on selling an American walnut floor to them. That’s what they wanted, right? Why complicate things?

Because that’s not the way do things at Ralph’s. We want to have friendly conversations with our customers, so that we can help guide them to the best choice for them. We’re not looking for a quick sale. We’re looking to help our customers get the floors that will give them the most delight possible for many years to come.

In this case, I think that approach really paid off. During our time with the young husband and wife, we found out that they have little children. That immediately raised a red flag for us, because the American walnut they wanted is a relatively soft hardwood. In our experience, we’ve found that it doesn’t stand up as well as harder woods to the roughhousing of rambunctious kids.

When we explained this to them, they understood, but they still has strong desire for the look of American walnut.

That’s when what we do gets really gets fun—when someone needs a solution for their unique needs and we’re able to use our expertise to come up with one.

That’s exactly what we did for this couple. We felt Asian walnut, which is harder, would be a great alternative for them. And because the floor was going to be site-finished, we were able to choose a stain color that made it resemble its American counterpart.

Then we worked with their cabinet company to come up with just the right color combination to complete their vision.  They got just the look they wanted, but we helped them avoid a floor that wasn’t a good fit for their lifestyle.

I don’t think that would have been the outcome if they had simply visited a big-box store

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