- SUZEN FROMSTEIN
DAVID DUNCAN, Shelley Alexanian's Signature Collection “Diamond Service”
Known as “Dunc” to his colleagues and customers, David Duncan joined Alexanian as a sales professional in April 2017. Alexanian’s opened its first store in Hamilton, Ontario in 1925. At that time, the company specialized in imported hand-knotted oriental rugs from around the world. Today, Alexanian sells all manner of floor and window fashions including area rugs, carpet, hardwood flooring, carpet, tile flooring and window coverings.
David works out of the Newmarket store. “From the ownership on down, staff behind the scenes offer superior support. Alexanian allows you to make mistakes and they are always there to work with you to fix it and get better when issues inevitably occur. I also can’t say enough about my manager, Hamid. He is a great person and a great leader,” the professional salesperson says.
Prior to joining the “A-team,” David had a 20-year corporate sales/B2B career at various organizations including Breakwater Solutions, Spin Master, Systemgroup, Ryan ULC, and Bell Canada. He sold floor coverings in the eighties. Some health challenges caused David to step back from the “dog eat dog” environment of corporate sales.
“I have always been inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Besides painting the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, da Vinci had many other talents including architecture, sculpture, engineering, geology, and hydraulics. In my current role I get to help people beautify and enhance their homes. This soul-affirming work is much more fun and just what the doctor ordered.”
When purchasing a diamond, it is important to consider cut, color, clarity, and carat (weight). The cut creates the “sparkle and fire.” Without a high cut grade even a diamond of high quality can appear dull and lifeless. Colour is the second most important characteristic to consider. Diamond clarity is the assessment of small imperfections and carat refers to weight. Whether selling jewellery or floor and window coverings, delivering Diamond Service depends on competence, customer service and caring.
Throughout his professional sales career, David has focused on two things: putting the customer at the top of the pyramid, and, making the sales process as easy as possible. This customer-centric approach reduces the fear around making decisions and shortens the timeline to do so. “And, If someone is unsure about their options, I am always open to having a no-obligation, professional conversation,” David says.
Customers appreciate this. “People come into Alexanian for a reason. I quickly identify customer needs, and then do whatever I can to make the experience as perfect as possible. And, because I am committed to expanding my product knowledge, I offer families as many quality and budget-compliant options as possible.” Because of ongoing technical training, David also teaches customers how to maintain the products they have purchased.
Recently, David served an older couple. They had already visited 12 stores before they arrived at the Newmarket location. They decided to do business with David, not because of price, Alexanian didn’t have the lowest price, but because of how David treated them. “We felt comfortable and it was clear to us that David wanted us to make the most appropriate flooring choice and really cared about how our selections would look in our house. We were so pleased we even purchased some window coverings from him,” they said.
David will come to the customer’s home to measure and often attends the installation. To facilitate decision-making, he will also deliver larger samples to allow the customer to experience how the product will actually look in their home environment. “If you are my customer, I want to help you to make the right decision. More importantly, I want you to feel like I am just a friend, discussing your options while sitting on your couch, not just another pushy salesman looking for a deal.”
“I do what it takes to ensure my customer has a positive experience and am motivated by helping someone, solving a problem, or even brightening up someone’s day by making them laugh.” David’s customers appreciate this, and often send positive online and handwritten testimonials/thank you cards. In fact, Alexanian describes him as one of the top review gatherers within the company.
“When interacting with customers it’s important to put myself in the customer’s shoes. I do my best to deliver the same kind of service I want to receive when I am the customer. Recently, a customer wanted flooring that would stand up to her two dogs. I went to her home and met her dogs. Together, we looked at the various floor samples in her home environment. This personal attention gave her the confidence she was making an informed decision.”
Prior to launching his sales career, David obtained a civil engineering degree from Seneca College. He is a member of the Canadian Meccano Club (CMAMMAS) and uses a Meccano model construction kit of perforated metal strips, plates and girders, wheels, pulleys, and gears and axles to demonstrate the principles of mechanical engineering to grades 4 and 5 Leo Baeck Day School students.
His 14-year old son, Aaron, and their dog, Tyson, a German Sheppard mix, keep Dunc active. “I am all about ball sports, and it’s a passion that I am happy to share with my 14-year old son now. We consistently play golf and tennis together, and we challenge each other. Tyson also likes playing ball sports.”
Father and son have also started travelling together, including a Baltic cruise and Japan. “Visiting Japan was an incredible experience. The people and the culture left a lasting impression and the technology and organizational flow of the country was decades ahead of North America.” They are currently planning their next adventure - a trip to India.
As a last word, Dunc says, “Regardless of what you are purchasing, you deserve Diamond Service. I welcome an opportunity to deliver it, or to talk about floor and window fashions, or meccano, my wonderful hobby.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category
17480 Yonge St.
Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 8A7