Common complaints among consumers shopping at brick and mortar retailers include bad customer experiences, bad customer service, having to cater to the convenience of the retailer and being directed to buy whatever the salesperson is spiffed on.
Your potential customers won’t tolerate salespeople who do not place them at the center of the universe. According to BKBG Conference workshop leader the Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs, most people believe closing occurs when a customer decides to buy and either signs a contract, agrees to pay for an item or puts down a deposit. Closing, according to Phibbs, is the end of the selling process. It’s the conclusion of a journey. In a kitchen and bath showroom, closing occurs after a customer decides, after talking with a designer or sales professional, to partner with the showroom to create a new kitchen, bath or other space in their home.
Phibbs believes there’s a good reason why a person leaves the comfort of their home to make a special trip to visit your showroom. That reason is to buy. Here’s Phibbs’ guidance for closing more sales:
Your sales professionals need to establish trust with potential consumers by asking the right questions and actively listening to responses to demonstrate that they understand what the customer wants and needs. Instead of asking what type of kitchen someone is looking for, ask how the customer wants their new kitchen to feel when the renovation process is complete. If budget were not an issue, what would their dream kitchen look like and include? Ask what they like about their existing kitchen. What needs to improve?
Creating emotional connections is the second key to closing more sales. Customers who connect emotionally to products, your design recommendations, etc. will spend three times more than they budgeted to obtain them. Phibbs advised offering supporting information about a particular design or product that provides certain benefits such as the ability to make a unique design statement, feel like a professional chef or entertain like a Hollywood star. Painting a picture of what your customer values most, enables you to build emotional connections. Phibbs states that a salesperson’s job is to give customers the ability to treat themselves, accomplish what they left the house to do and be rewarded for spending time in your showroom.
The third key is to create a sense of urgency and anticipation. As sales expert Robb Best has noted, consumers shut down when they are presented with too many choices. You can create a sense of urgency simply by asking for a commitment. You might want to begin asking what the client’s timeline is or asking if they would like for the remodel to be completed by the holidays? Depending on response, you can provide a timeline when purchasing and scheduling needs to begin. You can create a sense of urgency by explaining the timeline required for a kitchen remodel.
Key four to closing more sales is to become a trusted advisor. People buy from people they trust, especially in a kitchen and bath showroom where the purchasing decision often involves ripping apart one’s home. Phibbs suggests that you can build trust by using the Felt, Feel, Found method. “I understand how you feel about this process. I felt the same way when I remodeled my kitchen and I’m in the industry. We understand how to minimize those stressful situations, because our customers have found the reward of having a new kitchen is so worth it.” This is the time to share stories of other clients who had the same dreams as the person standing before you and why they trusted you to build their dream kitchen. Make it real because consumers can spot a phony a mile away.
Phibbs claims that price is never the reason why a sale is not closed. As he pointed out at his BKBG workshop, consumers are not really interested in the features of a product. They don’t care how many finishes or door options are available. They want to know how remodeling their kitchen or bath will improve their life and make them happier. You are not selling new kitchens or baths per se. Instead is what you offer is a feeling. In order to close more sales, you need to become a trusted advisor, connect on an emotional level, remove risks, establish trust, establish urgency and ask for a commitment.