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Consultative Selling

Guardrails #2

To continue with the guardrail conversation… setting boundaries.
A boundary that helps guide the conversation is the ability to say “No.”

Say NO when the client/customer asks for things that cannot be done – either within the current budget or timeframe.
Say NO when the client/customer asks for additions without adding to what they are paying for it. 
Say NO when the client/customer asks you to ‘take it out of your commission’.
Say NO when the client/customer asks you to do something that you know is…

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Guardrails #1

In the very simplest of terms, as a sales professional, our job is to make it easy for our customers/clients to say yes… and to buy from us. 
To do that, we need to truly be responsible for the entire sales interaction and how it goes, and where it ends up.
Guardrails help that. 

By guardrails, I mean guiding the conversation so that it doesn’t veer off course and stays in the lane for the intended outcome. Guardrails include asking questions that will direct the discussion and get the answer…

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GRATEFUL QUESTIONING

How can we bring gratitude to questioning? When do we need it the most?

Let’s look at where questions start. Are they coming from a place of interest and helpfulness?

Are the questions originating from compassion and a desire to understand?

Are the questions courageous (tough to ask but we know we must) and considerate (asked in a
way that is respectful and kind)?

When a sales interaction is successful (in that it produced a sale or an appointment), take a moment to present and to be gratef…

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GRATEFUL GREETING

This is where gratitude matters most…when we welcome clients, customers, and prospects into the showroom and collectively and individually create an environment that is warm and inviting.

Our thinking and conversations internally impact the experience that we create for our ‘guests’ 
and when we understand the impact that we have, we can be responsible for it and be
intentional with it.

What do you do to prepare yourself to be welcoming and grateful to incoming guests?
What do you do to rem…

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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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Asking Confirming Questions

This step leads back to the first blog on this topic…assessing versus assuming.

Confirming questions solidify what was discussed and even decided, by asking a question that removed any doubt. As an example, a salesperson is working with a customer and asks them if there is anyone else who wants to participate in the project…as a way of identifying the decision-maker. The customer says, “I make the decisions about furniture.”

We all know that there are several elements to consider in making…

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Asking Clarifying Questions

Where assuming can bite you is when you are sure you know what the other person wants or means without really knowing... either because they haven’t fully offered that information, or because you haven’t asked enough questions to have enough information.

Ask questions that MAKE you sure you know what they mean: “Can you be more specific?” “Can you describe that to me in more detail?” “Can you tell me what that would look like to you?”

Don’t be afraid to slow things down so you can be sure…

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Asking Forwarding Questions

As one of my teachers, Sharon Drew Morgen said: “The person who is asking the questions is the person who is leading the conversation.” And she was right.

Questions keep the volley going and answering them without asking another question ends the volley. After answering a question, ask another one, like: “What is important to you about that?”

All questions don’t require an immediate answer in response. Ask a question in response, like “Can you tell me more about that?”

Consider that …

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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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