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challenges

GRATEFUL FOLLOW-UP

For many salespeople (including myself) follow-up is the weakest skill. It takes scheduling, organizing, and consistent action for follow up to be effective. It takes doing things you don’t want to do. It takes failing – a lot! – and trying again. It takes rigorous evaluation and measurement to improve and build the follow-up muscle. And it never, ever ends.

Whether cold or warm calls, managing web leads or referrals, follow-up is a skill and a practice of patience and persistence. It will ALWA…

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Practice - the practice

It sounds funny…but practice is a practice. Medicine is a practice…as are yoga and meditation.

Practice practicing. Some of that is thinking of practice as a repetition to develop a skill. Or through practice, to develop an understanding of the nature of practice…the emotions that are part of it, the stages to be experienced, the discomfort and awkwardness that is PART of the practice and of development.

Practice allows us to build a relationship to discomfort so that we can see it for w…

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Asking for the Commitment…are you asking enough?

Here’s a question…when you KNOW that the solution you presented is spot on, and the customer agrees…and yet they have a question or a concern – which you overcome, do you then ask for the sale?
And if they hesitate or say: ‘I want to think about it,’ do you manage it and ask for the sale again?
And if the sale is not forthcoming, do you ask for and get an appointment – to ask for the sale again?

Okay, this might seem like waaaayyyyy too much for you. You may call it too aggressive. Too inse…

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Handling Objections…what is enough?

Let’s extend developing our questioning skills to include handling objections.
As we evaluate our relationship to objections, it’s important to look at the reaction to objections and the response to the objection. They are separate yet related actions.

Ask yourself: Do I really know what they are concerned about…or am I assuming I know? Do I accept their concern as valid – and maybe even agree with them? Do I understand their concern, and do I have a response to address it and move beyond i…

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Cold call, warm call, hot call…what is it? Go with the easy ones first

Outreach occurs on an ominous note because we collapse outreach with cold calls…which many salespeople fear and despise…and consequently, aren’t very good at…so the cycle never gets broken and the perspective continues.
If you see the relevance and value of outreach but don’t have much experience with it, the fear and resistance are understandable. So, let’s start with the easy stuff…hot and warm calls.

Hot calls are those customers who are actively looking, and you happened to connect wit…

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Why wait?

As traffic begins to slow in both retail and trade showrooms and we look to satisfy our commitment to making goal NO MATTER WHAT…we find that relying solely on the door is not a good strategy for achievement.

Relying on the door is a waiting game. And it puts all the eggs in one basket… and it’s not a sturdy basket. It may seem easier to just wait and see what happens, right? But what if the traffic is insufficient to make your goal at your current performance levels? Then what? Can you affo…

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Securing Appointments

What secures an appointment is a confirmation call and ALL in-person appointments need to be confirmed. If it's a morning appointment, ask them if a call the evening before or early that morning works better for them. If an afternoon appointment, tell them you will call them that morning (say between 9-11) to confirm the appointment.

A call works better than an email or a text because you want to TALK to them! And if you give them homework (whatever was missing when you met them such that …

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Objections to Appointments

When we are committed to the process and the outcomes of making appointments, we need to prepare for the objections that come with them…so that when they happen – and they will!.. we are ready with a response that will turn that objection around to make the appointment.

A few of the most common objections and responses are:

“I am busy and will just pop back in.”
“I can understand that…and what many of my clients/customers/designers have found is that by scheduling a time to meet again, …

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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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