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Process for Selling Intangibles

Selling intangible outcomes like appointments is different from selling tangible outcomes, like sofas or chairs. Selling an intangible requires a process of introducing the concept when you first realize that it will be the intended outcome of the sales interaction. This is because it is CLEAR that the customer cannot buy today – based on the answers to your questions that were intended to determine that (not your assumptions).

At that point, introduce the concept: “Since we can only accompl…

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Organized for Appointments

The Greek poet Archilochus said: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training”. The same is true for our level of structure and organization.

If we are really intending to manage our actions in time and achieve our targeted outcomes by successfully making and executing appointments, we need to be structured to do that.

And that means to be organized by having appointments IN YOUR CALENDAR as one-hour placeholders, using the repeat function on yo…

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Intended Outcomes

My program, “Sell it or Schedule it”™, is called that because the ONLY outcomes of a selling interaction is to close the sale or to arrange another contact time…in order to close the sale. To either write it up today because the customer is far enough along in their buying process to be able to confidently decide…or they aren’t! In the case of the latter, an appointment will ‘forward’ or ‘advance’ the sale so that you can close it at the next contact.

Anything else isn’t an outcome, but a step …

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Everything Old is New Again

I am often asked by showroom owners to ‘focus on fundamentals of selling’….as if there was anything else. ☺

Selling home furnishings has been a consultative selling approach for as long as I have been involved in it. The archaic ‘borax’ sales approach died out with short-sleeved salesmen with even shorter neckties… and was replaced, with people (often women) who are interested in learning about the problem or the vision and helping solve those with engagement, understanding, and knowledge. Ap…

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April Showers Bring May Flowers

As lead times remain long and product pricing and freight continue to rise, we are faced with the question of timing. It’s likely that home furnishings (and I speak to fine quality products here) will never be more affordable than they are right now. And right now is all we have. Now is the time to take action and make decisions. 

That thinking needs to start with the sales professional. Waiting favors no one. A client/customer who believes that waiting until supply chain challenges lessen or…

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High Point Furniture Market

In the spirit of Spring and the transition and blossoming nature of the season, High Point Market was a welcome respite from the isolation of the pandemic.

It ‘felt’ well attended, both in the buildings and on the streets, and had an old and new quality to it.

Old in the sense of seeing lots of people I have missed in the last couple of years, and the chance to sit and talk about how they and their business have changed.

Old and new in revisiting shared experiences (I got a lot of “You once t…

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The Start of a New Quarter

The beauty of quarters is that they are measurable and manageable components of time that allow for a bit more breathing room than months alone allow. 

As sales professionals, we are challenged to make goal every month and to make goal every quarter. However, it doesn’t always work that smoothly…with significant goals, you might miss goal one month, go a bit over the next month, and look to square up the quarter in the third month…which is why I like quarterly goals so much.

Each quarter t…

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Equals (Product) Solution

If you are still reading this series, you have come to the summary of addition: Problem plus Priorities plus Process equals Solution.

The product solution that you create by asking questions in these three areas and combining the answers will produce a solution that will compel the customer to take action…now.

Presenting a solution that captures the essence of what matters most to the customer standing in front of you requires focus, attention, patience, and persistence. And the satisfacti…

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Process…plus….

Of the three key points, this one is most critical to know in order to direct the interaction to an outcome today – and the only outcomes that count are a sale or an appointment.

Every buyer is somewhere in their buying decision. Where they are and what they have done and what remains to be done will impact what they CAN do today. 

Surprisingly, this is the area least explored by most salespeople or considered critical in what outcome can be achieved today. And I assert that not knowing th…

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Priorities…plus….

As we did in the first blog of this series (Problems….), we will focus on one element. One element that when added to the others creates something magical. 

Priorities are those things that matter most. And there aren’t a lot of them, which is what makes them priorities. 

When working with a designer or with a retail customer, ask what the priorities of the project/product are…and limit them to THREE. 

Ask: “What are the three most important elements to you?” Then listen and take no…

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