Notwithstanding the years of experience that we may enjoy in the world’s oldest profession; (Which is actually selling – even though some may confuse it with another activity); I do find it helpful to occasionally revisit the fundamentals of professional sales to make sure I’m still on my game.
A selling career in home furnishings at times can be frustrating, challenging and on occasion a thankless task. However, when it all comes together, particularly after working hard on a difficult situation, there can be no sweeter feeling of success.
The gift of selling comes from sharpening basic skills that can enable us to get better at our craft. I find these 7 tips a great reminder in the pursuit of success:
- Be an Expert – Thoroughly understanding the products or services we represent is key to gaining confidence in our solutions and helps us manage our efforts with prospective and existing customers;
- Have a Customer-Brain – Getting inside the head of our customer or prospect is essential to seeing and understanding things from their perspective and to determine how our offerings can best meet their needs;
- Be a Problem Solver – By looking for ways to add value from understanding our customers’ challenges puts us in a consultative role and avoids the risk of being seen a high-pressure order-taker;
- Nurture Relationships – A basic human principle that resonates with the old adage – people like to buy from people they trust and like;
- Know the Competition – Understand the competitors and their offerings and always take the high road. Never disparage a competitor – it will only come back to haunt us;
- Build a Reputation – When a commitment is made, deliver on it. Follow up and thank the customer for their business;
- Be Patient and Persistent – Never give up. Sometimes timing isn’t right and a sale doesn’t take place. However, staying close to a situation can ensure that may have a shot should circumstances or needs change. We’ve all had situations that can literally take years to come our way – but when it does, and provided we follow the previous 6 tips, these relationships can be the most beneficial and sometimes lucrative.
Selling is one of the noblest of professions. When we are given the opportunity to solve the challenges faced by our prospects or customers, we can make a difference. A relationship built on trust that delivers mutual benefits can be extremely rewarding.
By Brad Geddes
Brad Geddes, President & CEO of ZucoraHome regularly shares insights about the Canadian home furnishings industry, changing consumer needs, and the transformation of ZucoraHome into a smarter living enterprise that leverages technology and professional home services to help families enjoy a better quality of life.