Whatever you’re selling – be it cars, furniture, homes…whatever… you are really in the “Decision Making Business.”
A confused mind always says, “No.” So, your job is to guide the buying process, by getting your client to make small decisions along the way, until they get to the point where they feel confident making a buying decision.
I’m a professional development consultant for the furniture business. So these quick tips are geared toward getting the client to make a decision on home furnishings.
1) “This one or that one” – Instead of showing lots of options at one time – just show 2 at a time. Get the client to make a decision of which one they like better out of just those 2 options. Then compare the “winner” of that round to the next choice. Repeat until you have it narrowed down.
2) Get them to look at the options with “fresh eyes.” Sometimes staring at all the options just gets more confusing. Encourage your client to take a quick break – go for a stroll around the store, enjoy a coffee/snack break (preferably inside the store), or simply get them talking about something other than the decision at hand.
Usually, when you revisit the choices, you and your client will have a better “gut reaction” to what they like or dislike. At the very least, you may be able to absolutely rule out one of the choices.
3) Get the customer “thinking out loud.” Ask key questions which will force them to really think through the decision-making process, such as, “What do you like best about this fabric?” “Do you think this will coordinate well with the other pieces you have in the room?” What don’t you like about this fabric?” You’re almost playing the role of a design “psychologist.”
4) Collect your “Yes”s. If you know your client wants it, but they are just a little hesitant to finalize the buying decision, ask them questions which will create “Yes” responses, such as,
“You said this fabric will coordinate nicely with the area rug you currently have in the room, right?”
“This sofa is the most comfortable one out of all the ones you’ve tried, correct?”
Each “Yes” is what is commonly referred to as a mini “close” in selling – getting you one step closer to being able to “ask for the sale” at the end of the sales process.
Because my philosophy is more client-focused (rather than sales-centered), I call these “Yes”s small decisions that get you one step closer to getting your client to make an affirmative buying decision.
5) If none of the above techniques work, offer a housecall to take out swatches, samples, and catalog pages so you can both view the samples in the environment that the piece(s) will be placed.
Want to receive my daily tips on success in the retail furniture biz? Just “Like” my Facebook page: FAB Results with Cathy Linard