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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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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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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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Me, too…

Habits take time and attention to develop. If you haven’t read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, put it on your list for 2022. It identifies the elements necessary for creating and keeping new habits.

I think I explore and train others and write blogs because I need to hear the message as much as I need to share it. For me, it helps to combine a new action with a reliable one to build a new habit…. like taking vitamins at night when I put the coffee together for the next day.  I can’t do …

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Get it in Writing

Have you finished writing your goals for the new year yet?

If this is your first time setting goals and putting them on paper, then give yourself a break. Did you get started and distracted? Did you lose your way? Did you need help with articulation but didn’t ask for it? No worries, just sit down and finish it. Even if you only have a couple of things written down, it’s a start. 

If you have written goals before and had good results and still haven’t finished, well…are your goals inspirin…

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Prep for the Holidays

I am hopeful that your year has been strong and that your business has been consistently good each month.

And I am also hopeful that you prepared for HOW you would do business at the end of the year as the holidays approached.

One of the benefits of setting yearly goals (broken into quarters and months) is that you can anticipate and predict the cycles of traffic and buying highs and lows. You can manage how your business will be taken care of and your goals achieved during vacations and h…

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Commitment and Communication

The home furnishings and home improvement industries have been drinking from a fire hose for the last year. Lots of showroom traffic consisting of people who have been staying home…and using their tired, broken, uncomfortable furniture much more than they used to. And they have been buying like crazy!

August traffic lessened a bit. Maybe vacations, maybe their houses are getting full, maybe they have COVID. Whatever the reason, less traffic didn’t necessarily equal less written business, as those…

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Connection and Communication

Mask, no mask?

Social distance or get close enough to talk?

As the pandemic rails on and showrooms manage incoming opportunities, the ability to communicate while wearing a mask remains tricky.  It’s hard to read full facial expressions, to hear people who speak softly behind a mask, and to repeat once or twice to be understood. 

It’s helpful to the customer (for their comfort and information) to initiate how the interaction will go…and if someone needs to repeat what they said, it’s understo…

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