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Selling Furniture & Mattresses – Round Table discussion on Selling Systems

Topic: In Your Expert Opinion Are Selling Systems Helpful? Yes or no and why.

MEL OPP

I have worked with two companies that have used a selling system. Based on my experience I would answer yes and no. Let me explain. I feel that the system can be good, it all boils down to the teaching, training, implementation and continual training.

A past company that I worked for as a store manager put in place a selling system. We as store managers spent 5 days learning the system as well as learning how to teach, coach and use the selling system. As the system was put in place our Saturday morning meetings were spent teaching the system step by step to the sales associates. Follow up training was also done in areas that we felt the staff was weak in as well as working with individuals that were struggling. This system had selling steps, we worked within the system and each sales persons personality to make it work. After many years I still find myself going back to this system.

The second company, teaches a selling system during the new hire training. This is done by handing out the system, the new associates go around the table reading out loud the hand out, very little is discussed. After this is completed some of the terminology may be used, but new associates are never shown or taught how to use the system. Once you are in the store, training is over, selling system is very seldom if ever mentioned. I talk with new associates and ask them what they thought about the training, my constant answer “they talked a lot about the furniture but not about how to sell it”.

Do selling systems work? Maybe yes, maybe no and the monkey wraps his tail around the flag pole. It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have.

KEITH CASTONGUAY

I do believe selling systems are important and helpful.

I also believe that the most important element to having a selling system is to have the discipline to hold concurrent workshops every other week to refine the system and work on the areas of the system that are in need of attention.

I also think the system should reflect the company’s culture in general but not diminish the individuality of the sales professional.

A system that is easy to coach and learn from is the most important. I am a big proponent of the “SALES JOURNAL”. It provides a daily body of work in writing for a salesperson and sales manager to learn from.

ALAN BARNETT

I do believe in selling systems. Once a week, our store manager will sit down with each employee for approximately 15 minutes and go over the previous week’s results. We go over the six metrics that constitute the lifeblood of our store. When a new employee comes on board, they are assigned a mentor. The on-boarding, as they call it, lasts for approximately 5-6 weeks. It is also a time where the new employee will work closely with the store manager and showroom managers. We usually have one sales meeting per week on Sunday morning. It lasts approximately 20 minutes. Once or twice a month, we try and get a factory rep into the showroom to do some advanced training on their product. I think you need to develop separate categories for sales systems. One may be motivational. The other is sequential. What I mean by sequential is the following. Some highly sophisticated car dealerships have highly effective ways of tracking sales from the time the customer appears on the lot right thru multiple purchases. They incorporate a system of staying in contact with their customer(s). It may be a birthday card, service on a vehicle, or just a timely phone call. The third is educational. Keeping employees aware of industry trends, product knowledge etc. I believe some combination of all (3) are useful.

BRIAN PANCOST

A sales system is very helpful for several reasons:

1. It allows you to get all of your sales people on the same page. Customers should have a similar experience with all of your sales people. It won’t be the same but it should have the same framework.

2. If you are having a tough go it is nice to have a system to fall back on. Get back to basics- some times as salespeople we make our lives way harder. We try to be fancy and think we can sell anything to anyone. When we stray too far from our framework we confuse ourselves and our customers. I am not anti new, but if it isn’t broke don’t try to fix it.

3. A sale can be summed up very basically as going from point A (greeting) to point B (closing). There are many different routes that can be traveled and a sales system gives us a path to go back to if we stray too far.

4. They work!

Wishing you success,

Pete

 

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Comments (6)

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  1. Douglas says:

    Great post. Very informative. Selling systems are only as efficient and effective as the user. Thanks again pete!

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks Douglas! That is true! I loved your last two articles. Great job!

  3. Keith says:

    good input guys. as always its great to share ideas and learn from each other .

  4. Mel Opp says:

    Being a newer subscriber I guess I have to be careful as to what I answer to. But seriously, I really enjoy reading and exchanging information and ideas with everyone. It keeps me fresh and thinking. Thank you Pete and thank you guys for the info. You all have a wonderful day.

    Mel

    • Pete says:

      Thank you Mel for your contributions! I am not on the front lines any more. I admire all of you who are. I believe the most relevant content will always come from our RSAs who work every day belly to belly with consumers! Thank You!

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