I have written about how the marketplace has changed, and we need to change our approach to selling to Interior Designers. I’ve written a lot about why we have to change and what we have to change.
In my last blog, I laid out the 7 CORE PRINCIPLES OF OPTIMIZED SALES, and yet many showrooms remain too afraid to change what they are doing. They are afraid if they do anything to interrupt what their salespeople are doing, they will slow things down. That is just not true. No showroom or salesperson I have worked with has been slowed down in any way. Two things happen, (1) they become more focused on non-administrative duties, and (2) they become more focused on finding business and upselling. They have only increased sales. But fear can really get in the way of progress.
So I have a little story that I think anyone can relate to, and that is of the book store. The simple small, privately-owned book store we all went to (at least those over 35). We remember going there and the smell of books and the very kind owner and the feeling of calm being surrounded by lots of books with soft music in the background. We sometimes would spend hours there.
Then the big fish comes and eats all the little book stores up..just like that! And that big fish was called Barnes and Noble or B. Dalton (remember that one?). And the little book stores never saw it coming or met the new trends facing people; less time, more one-stop shopping necessary.
And those of us who continued to love books had to flock to these new, big stores. They even sold other things that had nothing to do with books. It was like a Super Store!
But alas, along came this small fish who saw the future of sales and knew that brick and mortar was no longer the way of the future, and it was called AMAZON.
I am guessing the brick-and-mortar stores were so incredibly popular they thought it would last forever! Who wants to buy books on this thing called the internet anyway! People need to feel and sit and have their coffee drink. We’ll just ignore that gnat.
And that small fish, who saw the future, is now the biggest, unreachable fish of all. This fish saw the future and capitalized on it; to the tune of FIFTY-THREE BILLION (with a B) DOLLARS.
And where are those brick-and-mortar stores? You guessed it, out of business, for the most part.
Well, my readers, this industry is at that point. We are the Barnes and Noble right now. We’re the brick-and-mortar that want to keep doing things the same way even though the whole marketplace has changed.
We continue to focus on more and more products as we have always done and give ourselves more work, but continue to have lackluster sales. I know this because I talk to showrooms, product companies, and salespeople every single day.
Our big fish presents itself in the way of clients and designers have more choices than ever. Restoration Hardware is becoming the Amazon of our industry.
The game has changed…FOREVER.
So, here we are, as an industry, at a crossroads.
Do we continue to do everything the same and pray that “things get
better”? Do we think this is good as it gets? Or do we really look at what works to increase sales, and that is selling by NEW RULES.
We need to stop focusing on the product we sell and focus on what the designers need RIGHT NOW! That’s the NEW RULE.
Many resist because it’s darn comfortable to sell the same way and continue to find fault and blame everything outside of our control; the economy, bad vendors, bad marketing, the presidential election (yes, someone told me that!)and now, of course, COVID.
We can play by new rules that work!
And here they are:
Seven core principles for reaching optimal sales performance
- Sell with intention
- Be the solution
- Pull don’t push
- Change your focus
- Give them what they NEED FIRST
- Follow up with purpose
- Make time count
So I will cover all of these in the following few blogs. Keep reading. Or better yet, email me @deborah@dialogue-consulting. We can set up a time to chat about these.
I work in many different ways. My ecourse (read about it here), one on one, and do-it-yourself pre-recorded videos package. All live venues are totally customized to your needs, but all are based on the 7 core principles for reaching optimal sales performance.