I went to pick up my mail today and, as usual, stood by the garbage can and unloaded 1/2 of my mail that was squeezed like a sausage into my tiny mailbox.

People are looking for sales anyway they can today. So they are resorting more and more to postcards, letters. brochures, and any other, sometimes expensive marketing materials. Where does that end up if I can’t use what they are selling? Right in that garbage can! Once in a while, if it’s pretty enough, I’ll put it in my file of great marketing, but it does not make me buy!

That’s called MASS MARKETING. We deal with it on a daily basis. The calls, the letters, the postcards, the brochures, all to get that elusive sale.

Then it occurred to me that the sales methods many still use of showing more and more product is tantamount to mass mailing.

A lot of lost opportunities to sell.

So let’s talk about the solution. It’s planning and having a strategy to make a sale.

Most often a sales person is asked to fill their calendar with appointments. Once you’re at the design firm (although it’s getting more and more difficult to even get appointments), you make some small talk like “are you busy?” and dive right into that suitcase and start the show. I am now calling this show and blow. You show product and blow to the next appointment.

Let’s look at what works much better. Having a plan to work toward a sale even before you pick that phone up to make that appointment. Doing a little due diligence. See what the designer has purchased in the past and initially build on that.

Call and verbally make note of that and ask what they are currently working on that you can help with. You have prompted the designer to focus on what he or she is currently working on. There’s a need there and you are about to fill it.

It’s a much more focused approach. Ask and deliver!

Here’s how that looks:

Hi Gary, it’s Toni calling from XYZ showroom. I was reviewing your sales and first I would love to thank you for all the furniture you have purchased with us. So I am wondering if there is something you are currently working on that I might be able to help you with?

The client answers: Yes, as a matter of fact there is, I need a sofa.

Great! I see you have been using a lot of our ZYX collection. Is that the style you are currently looking for again?

Client: Yes, it is. Is there anything new?

Yes, there is actually..I’ll be there at 10:00 to go over these with you, OK ?

Client: Sure!

Now isn’t that a lot easier? AND here are the results:

  • You can serve the client’s needs and make their job easier.
  • You become very valuable to them and they think of you as a problem solver.
  • They’ll think of you more often.
  • Once you get the appointment, you can UP-SELL and work on that project!
  • And if you have time..show that new collection! If not, great, you can now make another appointment to see them and work on some more projects while you’re there.

I ask this all the time when I am faced with the dreaded..we need to make more calls and show more product..that’s what we’ve always done.

Would you rather go on four appointments that day, show a lot of beautiful product, get lots of sample requests (and maybe even a quote or two) and hope it turns into a sale which may or may not happen? Those are the old methods that will not work anymore.

Or would you rather go into that same meeting with something they have ASKED for, solve their problem and that day end up with one appointment and $15,000.00 in sales.

And most importantly..

You are working toward a sale instead of mass marketing!

This may not work for every single call. However, if we could just move the needle over and do more of these kinds of calls, especially for our “A” accounts. The rewards will be amazing, I promise!

Deborah Flate, founder of Dialogue Consulting, has trained hundreds of sales people in the interior design industry, after her own sales career with high end product companies and showrooms.

She teaches people HOW TO SELL! Deborah increased sales by 300% for one of her clients using these techniques to train their sales people.

She is a sought after keynote speaker on revolutionary new ways to Power up Your Sales NOW! and has a four part e-course based on her ebook: THE FUTURE OF SELLING TO INTERIOR DESIGNERS!

Picture this; after implementing this 4 part ecourse system, your sales people increase their sales from 10% – 30%? What would THAT mean to your bottom line? Click here to get that right now!

For information on booking Deborah for your next sales conference or her ecourse, “Powering up Your Sales NOW! The future of selling to interior designers, email at deborah@dialogue-consulting.com or call her at 773-281-9448.