In today’s online ordering world, what makes a person choose to come into a brick-and-mortar store and work with associates in person? A unique, boutique experience that does nothing but add value to the customers’ buying journey. That’s exactly what you get when you walk into Supply House Times’ 2022 Showroom of the Year — Norwell, Massachusetts-based Snow and Jones.
“When someone walks into our showrooms, they will see striking vignettes that mix-and-match vendors, as opposed to your common showroom that section off each vendor,” says Patricia Jones, vice president, retail sales and third-generation family leader. “We aren’t afraid to take risks with our designs in order to achieve the elevated level of design that consumers won’t find elsewhere.”
Snow and Jones has two of these 5,000 square-foot boutique-style showrooms in the New England area — Norwell and Yarmouth, Massachusetts — serving primarily the residential market and its designer, architect, builder and contractor customers.
The other half of the Jones family showroom duo – Danielle Jones, president, and cousin to Patti Jones — says the showroom designs are so well thought out that often customers will enter and say “Just give me that whole display!”
70 YEARS OF ELEVATED DESIGN
The company is celebrating 70 years in business. In 1952, Danielle and Patti Jones’ grandfather, Robert Jones, founded the business alongside his brother Jimmy and their friend, known as “Mr. Snow.” The following year, Snow decided to exit the business and the Jones family continues on to lead the company to its tremendous success. Now run by the third-generation Jones family, showroom growth has gone from less than $1 million to more than $8 million over the past 10 years.
Adam Jones, treasurer at Snow and Jones, says the company carries the original Jones family values with it today. “Our number one thing is always family,” he says. “We are all very close and hands-on with the business. We watched the generations before us instill that family atmosphere throughout the company and we learned from them; having a family culture will always be a top priority.”
Beginning the family business back in the 1950s was no small feat — it took immense hard work. Patti Jones says that hard work mentality drives the entire company today. “Our family believes in having a hard work ethic, so we make sure our team aligns with that as well,” she says. “We learned that value from our grandfather and fathers.”
Snow and Jones team of 76 associates works together with great synergy, and many have been with the company for decades. “Everyone on our team is willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done; there’s no ‘that’s not my job’ mentality,” Danielle Jones says. “Many of our employees have been with us for 10, 20 or 25 years.”
The generational loyalty expands outside of the company’s internal operations, as Patti Jones adds that many of Snow and Jones’ customers are generational as well. “Many of our customers are also onto their second or third generation of family leadership,” she says. “So they’ve been working with Snow and Jones for years and we align with them on the importance of family.”
Josie Mackinnon, showroom manager at the Yarmouth location, is one of Snow and Jones longtime employees and says the seasoned sales team knows how to balance years of experience with the ability to adapt to each customer.
“What sets our showroom and team apart is that we take pride in the customer service that has been offered for over 70 years, and we have a sales staff that has more than 10 years of experience with a deep knowledge of product,” she says. “The team at Snow and Jones offers the highest standard of professionalism. The sales staff regularly engages in vendor trainings in order to be current on product innovations. We understand although we have years of experience it is a new and unique experience for each client that walks into our showroom. We pride ourselves on our customer service.”
FIVE-STAR SALES TEAM
When it comes to sales strategy, Snow and Jones takes pride in its market knowledge, focusing on the niche it is best at — working with the residential contractor, designer and homeowner.
“Knowing our marketplace is what has kept us successful for 70 years,” Danielle Jones says. “We know our customers and we know what they want. We look for growth opportunities, but we also stay in our lane and are very aware of what we are good at — luxury residential design — so we invest heavily in that sector.”
In order to excel in its niche, Snow and Jones works hard to qualify its customers, and sticking with an appointment strategy has helped.
“On our website, customers can choose an exploratory visit or a planned visit,” Patti Jones explains. “This helps the customer be prepared to meet with us and it helps our sales team know exactly how to run that appointment.”
Successful sales start with having the right sales staff. Danielle Jones says Snow and Jones focuses on hiring individuals with a sales background. “As long as they are willing to learn, plumbing and mechanical can be taught,” she says. “But you can’t really teach sales, so sifting our hiring strategy to prioritize seasoned sales professionals has been a huge benefit.”
Snow and Jones’ sales team is so talented that five of its Norwell location associates qualified for the Kohler Prestige Award trip in 2021. “To have five of our team members qualify for this trip is a huge accomplishment for a showroom of our size,” says Danielle Jones.
Craig McEvoy, branch manager with Kohler says Snow and Jones’ team ensures the customer experience is best in class.
“Their showrooms are updated with the latest displays and they have interactive and working displays where appropriate. Staff is constantly embracing training on new Kohler products and technologies. Snow and Jones continues to be a great host in their showrooms for designers and builders,” he says. “Finally, Snow and Jones greatly values their plumbing contractors who use their showrooms to help their clients select the right products for their projects.”
A five-star sales team needs support to work at their best. Patti Jones points out that Snow and Jones has made improvements to the showrooms in order to better serve the sales staff. “We recently added a private office so our sales team can move meetings after the consultation status to a secluded area,” she says. “We’ve also invested in a support staff within the showrooms so the sales team can focus on customers on the floor.”
Patrick Jones, vice president of trade sales at Snow and Jones says overall, the showroom is an incredibly positive place to be. “Our culture is overall very supportive and positive,” he says. “Everyone has a positive attitude, and when we’re searching for new team members, that’s a key component.”
To serve the luxury kitchen and bath market, Snow and Jones thinks out-of-the-box with many of its showroom vignettes, staying well-connected in the local design community in order to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
“You’ll see bright wallpapers and lots of accessory items,” Danielle Jones says. “We’ve shifted from the traditional slot-wall showroom look to a more high-design, luxury feel, and it has really resonated with our customers.”
Patti Jones adds that they aren’t afraid to take risks with displays, and again, being incredible in tune with the marketplace and customer wants helps keep the showroom displays working for the company.
“Danielle and I aren’t afraid to do bold things such as pink wallpaper in a display, but we also aren’t afraid to admit when something isn’t working,” she says. “We use Instagram as a tool to follow designers and stay on top of trends.”
Snow and Jones’ focus on Instagram is evident in its own page, as the company posts beautiful photos, video segments with staff and trend information regularly.
Mark Sorenson with manufacturers’ rep Magruder and Associates emphasizes Snow and Jones’ work on social media. “Snow and Jones is young and agile, always embracing the latest trends,” he says. “They are fun to follow on social media with consistent helpful posts covering a vast range of things today’s consumer wants to learn about.”
Sorenson adds that Snow and Jones is well connected with some of the best designers in the industry, and are a loyal partner. “Working with them is knowing that we’re in it together, even when things go wrong, they will solve the problem and satisfy the client.”
John Magruder, owner of Magruder and Associates agrees, saying every designer he knows in the South Shore does business with Snow and Jones. “What also is so amazing is that you have such a very high share of the interior designer/ architect market on the South Shore,” he says. “Snow and Jones’ commitment to having its team well-trained in all of our product lines gives us this confidence that each and every designer we send their way will have a smooth experience. They have a sharp focus on a few profitable, service and quality-centric companies and that’s a large reason for their success, and we are very happy that our lines fit in with their strategy.”
Showrooms have faced tremendous challenges as inventory levels declined due to supply chain disruption over the past couple of years. Patti Jones says this played into the showroom’s decision to focus even more on the luxury, high-end niche.
“When product became very hard to get, we shifted to focus on ordering some of the more design-oriented, high-end inventory we didn’t usually keep on hand,” she says.
Danielle adds that throughout the disruption, Snow and Jones’ emphasis on qualifying the customer proved beneficial as well. “The first question out of our mouths was ‘when do you need this?’ So we knew we were showing things that we knew we could get them by their deadline.”
It’s no secret one of the greatest threats to showrooms today is the internet and its various online ordering and virtual design tools. Snow and Jones combats this competition by offering elevated, daring designs and a customer experience that keeps people coming back for decades.
“Our team is so experienced and focused on relationships, and we continuously invest in upscale, unique vignettes; both of these are benefits that customers can’t find online or at big box stores,” Patti Jones notes. “When you come into our showroom it’s an experience. You’re getting design inspiration and meeting with a design consultant. We strive to make sure our customer has such a great experience inside our showroom that they won’t want to buy the product anywhere else.”
Danielle Jones agrees, point out that the value Snow and Jones brings is one that truly eases the customers’ minds.
“When people walk into our showroom we want them to leave their worries at the door,” she says. “They will see our beautiful designs and meet with our caring sales associates and know that we are going to take care of everything they need from start to finish.”