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May 1, 2004
Residential lighting sales can be extremely lucrative, with each sale offering the potential of profit margins that are often very friendly to electrical

Residential lighting sales can be extremely lucrative, with each sale offering the potential of profit margins that are often very friendly to electrical distributors.

Still, these profits can be even greater for those who take the time to gain a thorough knowledge of lighting applications, benefits, features and styles. Even though many customers believe they are do-it-yourself home experts, most are willing to learn new design techniques that are likely to increase the value, ambiance and safety of their surroundings.

  • Know the product and the market

    Read and study architectural, landscaping, regional business and consumer publications. These publications will readily identify the latest style designs in your area as well as hot new sales trends.

    Also, review lighting catalogs from manufacturers so style and aesthetic recommendations can easily be made to customers attempting to achieve a specific look or upgrade the value of their home.

  • Listen, learn, consult

    Ask plenty of questions. What is the color scheme and architectural style of the home? Which rooms and areas are to be lit? What are they used for and what mood is the buyer trying to establish in each? Does the area involve handicapped or elderly individuals and if so, do they have special needs? Is additional lighting needed due to safety issues? What are the highlights to a home's interior and exterior?

    Questions such as these will provide a great deal of insight into the lighting requirements of the buyer and other sales opportunities that can be developed through informed suggestions.

    Remember, lighting can enhance home and property values in several ways. The choice of the proper fixtures can increase aesthetics on their own. Lighting can accent exterior landmarks and valuables for day and night viewing. It can provide blankets of safety to dimly lit areas. In addition, Energy Star lighting products can save money by using less energy and providing the same efficiency of other products for longer periods.

  • Offer artistic advice

    Lighting is an art form. Think of your favorite movie and the efforts undertaken to light the most seemingly simple sets. Although most lighting needs are likely far less intricate, this exercise provides a good understanding of the many technicalities involved in the process, which can range from back and front to under, down and silhouette lighting.

Although most buyers may have a relative idea of the effects they would like to create, many lack the technical or aesthetic lighting ability to make it a reality. Learn lighting fundamentals and increase single purchases to package sales.

Sea Gull Lighting, Riverside, N.J., offers education through the services of its Learning Center, which provides a broad range of seminars accredited by the American Lighting Association and courses related to the sale, specification, design, merchandising and installation of residential lighting. For more information, visit

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