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Selling Furniture & Mattresses-How to Handle the Internet Objection

Salespeople today have an objection that really is relatively new, “I can buy it cheaper on the Internet.” We mentioned this in a previous article, see I have had several requests to explore the Internet objection in more detail. Before we get into all the details, please make sure that you are complying with your store’s policies and procedures. If you are in doubt, show this article to your sales manager and ask him/her if he/she has any concerns or improvements. Here are some tips from the best retail salespeople on handling the I can buy it cheaper on the Internet objection.

Rephrase- Rephrase the objection to make sure you understand it. Feed it back to the customer for her clarification. There are times when she will correct you and give you more information. Most often she will agree that you understand her objection. The additional listening and interaction should cause a tighter bond between you and the customer, thereby increasing your chances of closing the sale.

Isolate the Objection- Before you start to address the objection isolate it. A question like this can work wonders, “Other than the price are there any other concerns that you have about ____?” We always want our customers completely satisfied with their purchase. If she answers “no that is my only concern” you can now go on to answer her price objection.

Fact Find- Most stores require verification before matching prices. We need to know exactly which website, which model, what size, etc. Sometimes the customer tries to get the best of both worlds. They want a lower price but they want your store’s reputation, service, and inventory. They get a price from a competitor often on the Internet that does not include delivery and then present it to you as a delivered price.

Add To Cart- When you are on the website doing the research remember to proceed to the checkout to determine the delivery costs. Every Internet dealer is different. Some build the delivery cost into the price and offer “Free Delivery” while others feature lower prices and then add a delivery charge and a handling fee. The charges and fees vary from website to website and sometimes product to product.

Research- When you are on the website doing your research discover how customer service issues are handled. Are there fees associated with returning the product? Look for the fine print. Find the potential downfalls and risks that your customer may not be aware of. Before you approach your management with a possible price match be sure that you have thoroughly researched all the particulars.

Create Value- Use your store’s price guarantee and satisfaction guarantee to assure your customer they should be doing business with you, not some 800 number. Your store’s reputation is part of your value proposition. Your inventory is part of your value proposition. Without sufficient inventory levels you cannot offer fast delivery to your customers.

Close- You should not be too anxious to match price until you determine the offers are comparable. A thorough analysis of the services that your store offers as well as the Internet company needs to be completed before you approach your store’s management with the possibility of matching price. Sometimes because there is such a huge gap between the services offered and the credibility of the store and the Internet retailer, the store will not match the price. You will need to review all the advantages and benefits of doing business with your store with your customer in order to close the sale. Some stores will match price with the same exact services and also offer the customer another choice at a different price with the stores full array of services which includes their reputation. See the video in if you do not believe the store’s reputation is important! Some stores will just match the price and close the sale.

Action Step- Please post your comments with your best practices when handling the I can buy it for less on the Internet objection. For more ideas or to share successes please call me at 419-560-3169.

Wishing You Success,

Pete Primeau

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Comments (2)

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  1. Vladimir Petrosyan says:

    I think that no internet will ever replace customer service that most stores will offer. I just think that we need to focus on building report more and more with our customers.

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