Product brings NO value to clients in the interior design industry

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What? What about the benefits of my products! It surpasses 100,000 double rubs, it fits perfectly into the configuration you need, EVEN the price is right! But is the need NOW or later? Are you there at the right time of the buying cycle?

Don’t believe me? Then believe your fellow sales colleagues. I am doing a report on the state of the industry from the sales person’s perspective and guess what the number one objection is…”I can’t get appointments”! Why? You are not creating value, you are focusing on product and that has no value to the designer today if they do not have a CURRENT need and they are not in that place in the buying cycle. You’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It may have worked pre-2009, but NOT today!

I wrote on how you can  get that appointment that makes sales a couple weeks ago..you can read it here.

Why am I so bold to say that product has no value? Because everyone is selling that same product and will say the same thing. And believe me, it’s the same in the client’s eyes. There’s too much out there to compete with, (as reps tell me on a daily basis). The competition for the SAME SALE is fierce! So you say, how do I sell more? YOU become VALUABLE, not your product. The focus needs to be on YOUR value.

So you would say, but Deborah, I do everything my client asks me to do, EVERYTHING. What more can I do in a day?

I know you do. That’s the problem! You are not in the driver’s seat, your client is. They expect that from you. As Dr. Phil says, “You teach people how to treat you”. Now, in this economic times, we need to “re-teach” our clients that WE are valuable, and that doesn’t just mean running around like the proverbial chicken..well you know the rest!

Busy does not equal business! It just leaves more to chance. And we are addicted to busy. We equate busy with success. The truth is that leaves sales to chance!

I am not saying you should not service your peeps. Far from it. I am suggesting that you make that service COUNT! You do it with more defined results in mind and knowing your process get those results and will increase your sales and leave chance out of it!

Focusing on results and implementing a strategy to get you there is the only way. Any other way leaves your results to chance.

That takes “front-loading the process”, as I call it.  Selling with more INTENTION. Asking questions until there is NO choice as to what that clients NEEDS! Not what they want, that leaves it up to chance, but what they exactly NEED for this  project. If you ask the right questions, at the right time in the process, the “chance” fades away.

So a question to ask instead of focusing on the product benefits is WHAT? Not what do you need, but what is MOST important for this to do to be a perfect fit for this project. What I ask is name the top two things that make this a perfect fit. Have you asked that?

The other big question that many forget is WHEN. When do you need this? I will tell you the longer away the decision is, the more of a chance that the competition with filter into this decision. Then, it’s going to boil down to price and that is the last thing you want. You’re essentially going backward in your income.

Many of us rely on future needs. The projects are 3, 6, 12, 24 months away. That’s OK but how certain are you of that sale? And how much time are you allocating going after that sale?

Or are you allocating more time selling to clients that have current needs NOW! They are READY to buy!

So here are three things that will put the value on YOU and not PRODUCT!

  • Find your loyal clients. Do it by looking at data. Who has been loyal to you!
  • Find out if they have current needs where your product fits exactly, not just a project they are working on where they MAY need your product eventually.  They are ready to buy NOW!  That’s where they are in the buying cycle.
  • Find out exactly what that need is (what is a perfect solution for the client!) and provide it NOW!

Then fit those longer term client’s into your schedule. I promise it works!

Want to find out more about the questions to ask and are and how easy it is to fit into a conversation and change your sales results NOW?

That’s lesson 2 Change Your Focus in my great new program called 21 Days to Jumpstart Your Sales for those who sell interior products to either designers or homeowners. It’s based on my very successful ecourse called Mindfull Selling: 7 Core Principles that Accelerate Your Sales that have helped increase sales for salespeople from companies like Larsen Showrooms, Kravet Showrooms, Baker Furniture, and McGuire Furniture.

 

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