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Prepare for Takeoff!

Today’s post is a guest article from Keith Castonguay.  Keith has experience in retail sales,  retail sales management as well as the buying end of the furniture industry.

Several years ago the FAA made sweeping changes in the world of air safety. These changes resulted in using what was commonly referred to as the “preflight checklist”.  The result of implementing this checklist was a 50% decrease in airplane accidents.

Using one in your store for rookie and veteran salespeople alike could prevent the crash and burn of many sales encounters.

Using a checklist so that salespeople can re-engage themselves as to where they are in the selling process with their customer can often be very helpful. They can also be customized to reflect the culture of our company’s mission.

Here is an example:

Where are you in the selling process?

  • I HAVE EFFECTIVELY GREETED MY CUSTOMER 

I gave a non-product related, sincere greeting.

Welcome to (your store). Are you folks enjoying the great weather?

I gave the customer the option of looking on their own or making the search easier.

Would you folks like me to get you started in the right direction or would you just like to look around?

(This approach will often put customers at ease because you are providing the customer a choice)

I KNOW MY CUSTOMER’S NAME AND THEY KNOW MINE.

I HAVE MADE A SOLID MEANINGFUL INITIAL CONNECTION WITH MY CUSTOMER.

  • I HAVE PERFORMED A NEED’S ANALYSIS

I have inquired “tell me about your room”.

I know which room of the home my customer is working on.

I know who will be using this room, and how it will be used.

I know about my customer’s shopping experience.

I have sketched the room.

I know why they are in search of a new set.

I have offered solutions and gave great demos.

A good opening here is, “I would love to help you find a great new sofa for your room, before we do, do you mind if I just ask a few questions about the room it will go in, this will help make the most effective use of your time while you are here’?

  • I KNOW WHICH OF THE FOUR SHOPPING STAGES MY CUSTOMER IS IN

1 – Dreaming

2 – Exploring

3 – Planning

4 – Decision

*I also have a plan to move my customer from each stage to enhance their shopping experience and move my customer closer to the decision stage.

Try to be cognizant of where you are in the selling process with each customer during the day.

After each opportunity write down 3 things that you did particularly well during the exchange and 2 things that you could do to improve.

Use your next up to work on the two things that challenged you the most.

Start with the fundamental belief that the customer is here to buy or to at least find the solutions to their room needs. I have the skills and the products to make this happen. This customer is better off buying from me here today than anywhere else with another salesperson. This is true until I have gained enough information to believe other wise.

Give it a try.

Keith Castonguay

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