In the furniture industry, there are several reasons why somebody would be hired or promoted to a manager position. Here are three reasons that I hear quite often:
- They were very successful at sales and it was the next step
- They have previous experience managing inside or outside of the industry and they seem to be a good fit
- This is a family business and it is the next position for your son, daughter or relative
In the end, it doesn’t matter why you hired the folks on your management team. What matters is how well they perform in their role. Just like your salespeople need to be taught how to sell, your managers need be taught how to manage and lead. People are not natural born managers. Too often, we talk with companies that don’t provide the necessary training and support to ensure a manager’s success. This leads to frustration and disappointment as store owners watch managers struggle and fail to perform. The leadership and direction a manager can provide is far too valuable to your organization to let to let this happen. Continue reading “It Pays to Train Your Managers”
In my position at the Furniture Training Company, I talk to furniture retailers all day, every day. Although most of them understand that training is necessary, they simply don’t want to pay for it. They tell me things like:
“It costs too much.”
“We’ve decided to put your training on the back burner.”
“I already know how to sell what we have. I’ll train my salespeople myself.”
It’s likely that half of the people working for you today won’t be working for you next year. It can be difficult to want to invest too much into a person that isn’t that invested in you.
That being said, have you ever wondered why turnover is so high in your store or at your company? If your employees were as successful as they thought they were going to be when you hired them, would they leave at such a high rate? Continue reading “Training is an Investment, Not a Cost”
The more I talk with furniture retailers across the United States, the more I realize there is a universal reason salespeople don’t close sales…it’s because they lack confidence. There are 3 real things a salesperson could lack confidence in…
- The customer’s willingness to purchase
- The product solution they have presented
- Their own ability to make a close
In this post, I want to focus on the first bullet – the customer’s willingness to purchase. Trust me, I have been there before. You ask the right questions, you show the right product, but, you aren’t sure that the customer is on the same page. We have all had customers that aren’t very talkative or don’t show strong emotional reactions to a presentation or product.
The trick to closing is encouraging and recognizing buying signals. What is a buying signal? Buying signals are signs or clues that your customer is ready to purchase. Continue reading “Don’t Lose Sales Because You Don’t Recognize Buying Signals.”
Going to the High Point Market can be a fun and exciting experience. It can also be boring, long and dull. With close to 180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of exhibit space and 2,000 showrooms, the High Point Market can put just about anybody into shock. So, here are six quick tips that I use to make sure I have a stress free and enjoyable time in High Point.
1. Bring a portable charger for your phone/tablets – You will be surprised how quickly your phone battery drains while walking around High Point. Especially if you are in the bigger more centralized buildings. Your phone will be working super hard to try to find data and phone service. By noon, you could already be actively working to save as much precious battery juice as possible. So, simply bring a portable charger for your phones and other mobile devices. I have really enjoyed my portable charger as it is very small and flat. It will give my phone one complete charge. Continue reading “6 Tips for a Fun and Productive High Point Market”
How familiar are you with this dialogue?
Potential Customer: “I really like that sofa, but man, I just don’t know if I want to pay that much right now.”
Salesperson: “Ya, I have a couple of sofas that are less expensive. Let me show them to you…”
Unfortunately, this is a very common experience. Because we don’t have confidence in our knowledge and skills, we will do anything just to make a sale. We will simply cave into an objection and move onto another product that may not be what the customer really needs. Remember, you are not there to sell furniture! You are there to make happy customers who refer their friends and family to you.
Remember that when you hear an objection, your customer is really asking you to give them more information. We teach the steps you should use to overcome an objection on our training website, but I am going to give you the first step today. When your customer objects to your solution, the first thing you should do is acknowledge and empathize. There is a simple formula…
Acknowledge + Empathize = TRUST
Continue reading “Objections or Opportunities”
My wife and I have been looking to buy a house over the last few months. And as I am sure you are aware, buying a house means buying new furniture! I might as well help out this industry that has been so good to me and my family.
As we have entered several furniture stores, we routinely say “I’m just looking” to each sales associate that approaches us. The process is a little different in each store that we go to, but one thing is the same. The re-approach is non-existent or unsuccessful. Here is one way that a salesperson re-approached my wife and I…
We were walking through the showroom, just looking at pieces of furniture, not really showing any interest when we heard, “Hey, that chair right there is on sale. Let me tell you how much the sale price is.” Then, he pulled out his phone, opened is calculator app and typed in some formula to come up with a number slightly lower than the price written on the tag. I was not impressed. First of all, we had no interest in the chair. Second, why were the sale prices so cryptic? There is no need to make a long story short because we simply left the store empty handed. Continue reading “When and How to Re-approach an “I’m Just Looking” Customer?”
If you are anything like me, you already know that you do not want help as soon as you walk into a store. Often times, I feel that I can trust my own knowledge and instincts more than I can trust a possibly dishonest salesperson.
BUT! Maybe you have experienced a situation similar to this before…
You are in a store…any store. You have been walking around trying to find a specific product and you just can’t seem to find it. You know you need help, but you don’t want to ask. Then, suddenly a store employee approaches and asks, “Can I help you find something? That way I can help your time here be more productive.” You then tell the employee what you are looking for, they guide you to the item and stay by your side and give you information and suggestions. You buy the item and leave happy.
Why does this happen to us? How is it that we can start off not wanting help, and then accept it eventually? It is because the salesperson or employee became an EXPERT! They were the expert and of value to the customer when they told the customer they could help them find what they were looking for…implying that they are an expert on product placement! Continue reading “Power Statements for “I’m Just Looking” Customers”