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Consultative Selling

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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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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