Providing the Best Natural Stone Experience with Help from Buechel Stone’s Dealers

Buechel Stone’s design centers are a great place for you to browse our vast selection of natural building stone veneers. At all of our locations, we also have natural stone dealers we work with. Often we find that while our showrooms may be the preferred place for viewing our large stone panels and learning all about what Buechel Stone has to offer, our local dealers are often ideal for confirming availability, placing orders, and scheduling delivery. We asked two of our Stone Design Consultants – Jacqui in Minneapolis and Cristal in San Francisco – to share ways they’ve worked with dealers to provide the best experience for their clients.

How did each of you get into the natural stone industry?

Jacqui: My natural stone journey began several years ago when I worked as a sales representative for one of Buechel Stone’s top dealers in the Minneapolis area. I was overwhelmed by the world of natural stone – there was so much to learn. Fortunately, I worked for a dealer who sold thin and full veneer as well as landscaping products. There were towers with veneer stone displayed outside where I could touch and feel the products I was selling, and I would use those to test my product knowledge. This dealer had a huge campus of products over a few acres, and I never tired of walking through the aisles of natural stone products. Their unique beauty captured my design heart. Over the years, I saw many natural stone projects and visited the job sites to get a first-hand understanding of how a product selection moves on to installation.

Cristal: I was working at a tile company that made high-end tiles and sold to the trades. I loved the natural aspects of the product. Being natural is what really drew me to Buechel Stone and the inherent beauty only a natural product can offer. When the Design Center opened in San Francisco, I jumped at the opportunity.

Jacqui, as someone who previously worked at a natural stone dealer, what are some of the benefits a dealer can offer a homeowner or contractor?

Jacqui: During my time there, I was exposed to how efficiently dealers coordinate all the behind-the-scenes steps for their customers – things like how they process orders, take returns, and ship products to job sites. This is where I first learned things like what a Moffett is, plus the logistics of staging an order, getting it into a truck, and how it is moved around during installation.

What are some of your favorite memories from working for a natural stone dealer?

Jacqui: Getting to know the masons. I have a great deal of respect for them; they are true artisans. When they walked in, covered in dust and dirt to get supplies, it was always an opportunity to learn more about installation and the field. It was like a family – we all took care of each other from beginning to end. It worked. The best dealers form long-term relationships with tradespeople, and I was fortunate to work for one of them.

Thin Stone Veneer Masonry Training with Mason Dick Kaiser at Rock College - Circa 2004

While working there, I participated in a training run by Buechel Stone, which is how I first met Tony Mueller and Phil Weber. This was by far the most influential natural stone training I ever had that impacted how I approached my job, both as a natural stone sales representative back then and a stone design consultant today. I learned about thin and full veneer, testing, how critical water abatement is to prevent installation failure, how to do a takeoff, and so much more. It showed me that the Buechel Stone rockstars truly are the experts in natural stone.

Rock College I---Buechel Stone Dealer Training in Stone Cutting Saw Shop with Wayne

What has been your experience working with a client that a dealer sent in?

Cristal: I had a client call who had been working with a local dealer. This couple was hoping to visit our San Francisco showroom to see larger stone displays as well as a wider variety of our stone. They knew they wanted a light gray stone with an Ashlar shape and were considering options with a little more color variation as well. These customers were comparing prices from other local stone suppliers but also wanted to ensure availability and quality, as it was a sizeable project for their home’s exterior that they were looking to complete soon.

The couple stopped in our showroom to see what we all offered and learn a little more about us. They were in the showroom for about an hour and while here, we discussed shape, color, variation, and – most importantly – availability. By the end of their visit, they had selected Chilton Country Squire as the ideal fit for their vision. Afterward, they visited the other local stone yard that was quoting a lower-priced product.

I was very pleased to receive a message from the customer a short time later that they had indeed selected our product and placed the order through the dealer. The customer wrote a wonderful review and was very pleased with Buechel Stone’s available options. This is just one of the many great examples of how our design centers work with dealers to help clients make their final selection. By displaying many of our building stone products – over 80 here in San Francisco – on large panels, our showrooms are the perfect place to help a client envision the final look of their home. Meanwhile, placing the order through the local dealer ensures they are receiving the best service for pricing and delivery. I love hearing from our dealers that they were able to help a client that visited me in the showroom because they were able to quickly supply them with material in their yard. It’s a win-win-win experience for everyone involved.

Jacqui: My goal as a Stone Design Consultant is to help get a customer to a final selection by providing the very best customer experience. Buechel Stone Design Consultants working together with local dealers can be optimal for all parties involved. A customer can visit our design center feeling confident about their selection, then leave knowing their local dealer will handle the rest: ordering their product, getting it shipped to their job site, or even coordinating installation. Thanks to the relationships built with our local tradespeople, our masonry referral can help if there isn’t one slated for a project, keeping the whole process moving swiftly and smoothly.

Not only do I depend on and trust our dealers for orders and delivery, but I also call them when I need a sample or if my customer wishes to visit their showrooms. I enjoy calling a dealer to tell them I’m sending someone their way. It’s all about providing the best customer experience, and whatever it takes to provide the best experience is what I strive to do. It wouldn’t be the same experience if I didn’t have the support from our Dealers.

Our stone design consultants thrive on helping customers choose the perfect natural stone for their project, but we know that’s not where the process ends. Reach out today to find out how our team of rockstars will work with our dealers to provide the best natural stone experience from start to finish.

Jacqui Plasha
Stone Design Consultant
Buechel Stone Design Center – Minneapolis, MN

Cristal Szyndlar
Stone Design Consultant
Buechel Stone Design Center – San Francisco, CA