Like you, sales and business expert Deborah Flate has seen the world of selling and business growth in the design industry defined numerous ways over the years. Is it charisma and positive thinking? Having the right kind of product? Decisiveness? Calling on the right firms? Relationships? Is it all about the situation? Is it meant only for the chosen few who rise to the top? Or is there now a different story?

With over two decades of sales and marketing, coaching, training, speaking, and real-life, in-the-trenches business experience in the retail and to the trade design market, her view is now radically different. She brings her breakthrough thinking on client-focused sales along with her marketing experience and fearless innovations to the design industry. Deborah has provided the measurable results of her research and experience to companies and sales people across the country and internationally. The core belief of her company is based on the knowledge that sales leadership is a moment-to-moment choice and not about title, tenure, product or position.

Deborah, a premier sales strategist, is known for her ability to ignite and motivate sales people with her breakthrough thinking. Her coaching skills bring out the best in people, and is known for her practical, street-savvy, humorous style. She believes that business and personal growth is for everyone, every day. It’s how we should live our lives and run our businesses.

She is a sought after speaker at major conferences such as at NeoCon in Chicago (to a sold out audience) and IIDEX in Canada along with many national sales conferences. Deborah’s fusion of real-life stories and her conversational techniques, captivate her audience with her infectious spark. She has also spoken on sales and business development at design centers all over the country. Deborah has written on sales and marketing for many trade publications including Monday Morning Quarterback, Canadian Interiors and Rain Today, a sales blog.

She has been training sales people in the interior design sector for more than 20 years. She finds, however, the challenges and questions remaining the same:

How do I close more sales?
How do I get in front of the designer more often.
How do I make the most of an appointment to increase sales?
How do I balance emails, phone calls with being in front of the client?
These are questions Dialogue Consulting consistently has been asked. Deborah shows companies that, while they should be encouraging questions, their sales teams are asking the wrong questions. By changing their old way of thinking of the “sell” to client-focused sales techniques, Deborah and her team have turned companies around to achieve the highest results possible for product companies! The two foundation blocks for any company is sales and marketing. Deborah has taught salespeople in large and small companies in the design industry that it’s less about product and more about people, process, and building relationships between your company and the client. The right SUCCESS mindset builds confidence and knowledge, which in turn increases sales, revenues and profits.

“Deborah is extremely knowledgeable about the interior design industry. Her multifaceted experience and insights enabled her to wisely advise us. With her direction of our products, sales and branding we were able to achieve our goals”.
– Iris Wang (VP Design and Marketing for Brentano Fabrics)


Deborah continues to work with the best and brightest in the design field, working in both the retail and contract market. The author of “10 PROVEN STRATEGIES TO POWER UP SALES NOW” has been shared with folks from all aspects of the design industry. Her forthcoming book, “Selling in any Economy” is slated to launch in time for the 2015 holiday season.

Prior to opening her own consulting company, Deborah was an interior designer working in hospitality, contract and the retail market. She decided to define her own destiny and made the decision to get into the sales end of the industry. From there she achieved her goals to not only partner with some of the leaders in the industry, but also with smaller, struggling retail companies, helping them to achieve their goals.

Although she has worked with industry leaders such as Donghia and Larsen who are known in the residential sector, her concentration was primarily in the contract, healthcare and hospitality divisions of these companies. Her philosophy is that no business, contract, hospitality, or retail is too large or too small to benefit from her years of research and experience. Her strategies apply to every level of the design market. They are innovative and bold, helping companies in the 21st century economy.


In addition to sales, as a Regional Sales Director she turned Larsen and Pranich, both long term ailing showrooms, into strong and profitable organizations. That’s when she first realized the value of her expertise and how that could be applied to help other companies in all sectors of the design industry.

So with those successes behind her, she decided to start her own company in 2001, Dialogue Consulting. Deborah played a key role in the success of leaders in the industry such as Keleen Leathers, Brentano Fabrics, Rodolph Textiles, Maya Romanoff Wall Coverings and Gianni Furniture.

To learn more about Deborah, her philosophy, background and experience, read the case studies on the website. Don’t forget to connect with her on Linkedin, and feel free to send any questions or comments by email or phone. She will be happy to discuss her programs, and what she feels she can bring to your company.

Let’s Start A Dialogue.

You may have tried strategies that seem to work at first but are just not sticking. Your sales are up and down and you can’t seem to find the right path to consistently increase your sales revenues and profits. If you are a showroom or independent sales person, you may have thought  the answer was changing lines or getting more lines. Or if you are a showroom or manufacturer with sales people, maybe you tried increasing sales by hiring an additional sales person or replacing one of your current staff with someone entirely new.

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