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challenges

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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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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Problem…plus….

In this series, I am going to share a perspective with you that will have a lasting impact. These three initial points added together create something…something worth sticking around for. 

When people have a home furnishings problem, they seek a solution with a designer or with a retail showroom. They come with a problem to be solved or a vision to be realized – or both. It is up to the professional service provider to find out what that is and to satisfy it. 

To put this into place,…

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New Year’s....are you ready?

I hope you have made good use of this month to reflect on the past year and start to put pen to paper to create the new one. 

Have you completed your goals for this year? Did you make them 12-month goals or did you try to achieve them by Thanksgiving so that you can enjoy the holidays stress-free, with your loved ones?

  • What did you learn from this year that you don’t want to repeat next year? 
  • What new challenges await you? 
  • What are the areas you want to develop – business skills? Tec…

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Christmas

Whether or not you celebrate this holiday or share your life with people who do, this is likely to be a different kind of Christmas. From the pandemic to supply chain challenges, this holiday is surely one to be created. 

As store shelves may be emptier than usual, Christmas presents might be replaced with gifts of ‘experiences to be shared’ or home-made treasures or treats from local shops. Maybe we will spend less time on getting presents and more time on being present to each other and to …

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The Last Month of the Year

December is a funny month. 

For retail showrooms, this tends to be a slower traffic month with a lower average sale. And, like November, it also tends to be a good delivery month, with holidays driving making homes lovely for family and guests. 

Residential trade business continues to be strong and retail traffic has started to wane a bit but is still sufficient to hit targets. And trade showrooms can go either way as these are not typical times. 

Given the unpredictability, this is a c…

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GRATEFUL for YOU

In this Thanksgiving week in America the conversation turns to Gratitude. What am I grateful for? How am I fortunate?

The original Thanksgiving had the Pilgrims grateful for making it through the tough winter and grateful for the friendship and partnership with the Native people who helped them to learn how to live in this New World. I love that as Americans we set aside a day to be present to what we are thankful for, big and small. And that we share this day with loved ones over a special mea…

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GRATITUDE and CHALLENGES

It doesn’t take much effort to be grateful for the easy stuff…and we can forget even then.

It’s harder to be grateful for things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to go.

It’s harder to be grateful for the adversity itself and what the opportunity can teach us; a subtler more – dare I say evolved – experience of gratitude that for me that requires practice and effort. It takes work.

I have a solid practice of saying “thank you!” when I am happy with the results (I always say thank you when…

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