“Our number one competitor is the Internet,” Sayah says. “We have to get the word out that lighting technology is changing, and if consumers and designers want to know how it’s changing, they need to go to a lighting showroom,” he affirms. “With LEDs, selling lighting is going to be a whole different ballgame than in the past. At Lights Fantastic, we’re positioning ourselves to be that expert.”
To that end, Lights Fantastic actively courts the design community, regularly holding chapter meetings for the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), as well as groups of professional remodelers.
Groupon deal: spend $35 to receive a $100 gift card. An astounding 900 people made the purchase.
“We’ve changed the look of our showroom so much, that we wanted to get as many people as we could in to see it,” he says. The sizable discount was worth the expense because of the volume of foot traffic it generated.
The most jaw-dropping change in the Dallas showroom has been the transformation of the upstairs space. Formerly encompassing the offices for Texas Fluorescents, Sayah relocated that function to the Texas Fluorescents factory off-site. In its place, he established a designated “Design Center” that showcases the various products it sells in realistic settings. For Sayah, it was the most effectiveway to show designers, builders, remodelers, and homebuyers some of the most impressive possibilities available in lighting design. Since LEDs are rather contemporary in appearance, the emphasis of the Design Center and downstairs showroom is on modern design.
Establishing Lights Fantastic as the source for LED lighting knowledge also means hiring qualified sales associates. Sayah often recruits from art and design schools in the Dallas and Austin areas to find people who are, above all else, design-oriented. When it comes to LED education, he points out that even the most knowledgeable lighting salesperson has only about two years of LED experience because the category is still in its infancy. Therefore, bringing someone from outside the lighting industry up to speed on LEDs does not involve a steep learning curve requiring years of amassed study.
“I’d love it if every lighting showroom became as progressive as ours when it comes to LEDs,” Sayah comments. “If [lighting retailers] start promoting their expertise in LED, then the consumers will think twice before making a purchase and will come into a lighting showroom to learn more about the choices available. My hope is to get people everywhere excited about lighting!”