Featured Designers: Susan Victor and Sue Shannon Nandina Home I really don’t remember how I met Susan Victor….all I remember is that I liked her immediately. I do remember that one of our first conversations was about a … Continue reading
Gratitude, Compassion, Interest
For sales teams everywhere
All showroom salespeople struggle with the initial contact – how to make it smooth and inviting, how to gauge when and how to approach, and how to manage the resistance of ‘just browsing’ or some other dismissive responses that often provoke a reactive response in us. And while that point in time is indeed challenging, how we are ‘being’ when we greet the incoming ‘guest’ speaks as loudly as anything that we say to them. So, in the effort to create a ‘sparks from your fingertips happy to see them’ engagement, here are some places to start from that will impact your first encounter.
This is an opportunity that someone else has given you. Either the company marketing and advertising has created it, or a happy customer has referred them and created it, or your location to some other interesting venue has spilled over and created it….or something else that is external to you. Unless this is a be-back to you, it’s a gift to you. And however they are and however they are not, that’s what you get to work with. Be Grateful.
You have no idea of what they are experiencing in their life. It’s a mystery to you and might be a struggle for them. How they initially interact with you might have nothing to do with you and everything to do with what’s going on in their world. When they are greeted with gratitude for just being there and acceptance for just being who they are, the resistance is reduced and the connection can begin. Generate Compassion.
Be interested in them. If you are interested in them you will be inquisitive and ask questions to learn more about them. You will listen to hear what they are saying and the message behind the words instead of waiting to speak. If you are interested in them you will be patient as they try to articulate what is not working that they want to fix, what is missing that they want to fill, what is a concern that they want to avoid or rectify. Slow down the pace and dial up the interest.
These don’t guarantee success but they serve as a foundation for it. They are especially effective when we’re having a tough day and don’t feel like being this generous…generate them anyway.
Now, go sell something.
Love, love, love,
OBSERVATIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS
For designers and trade showrooms everywhere
I love talking to Dennis Miller of Dennis Miller Associates. Our talks usually focus on something that he is noticing on the showroom floor that just doesn’t sit well with him and this was one of those talks.
Dennis told of a designer who was getting some push back from their client about crating and delivery charges. As a multi-line showroom, different lines have different policies – some blanket wrap, others crate – and there is a cost to both. Knowing who does which takes partnership with the showroom salesperson and needs to be part of the discussion well before the quote or order is written.
But the rub was when the designer passed the client concerns back to the showroom…for THEM to manage with the client… which doesn’t work on so many levels.
First, dealing with the client is the responsibility of the designer, not the showroom. To pass the buck of a concern back to the showroom breaks that connection, and in doing so, makes the designer less relevant. This isn’t intentional, but a natural occurrence when the responsible party steps aside. By passing the buck, the client will look to bypass the designer at the next difficult junction, again, diminishing their relevance.
Second, this is what the designer is being paid to do –to manage all aspects of the project and not just the fun or easy ones. The showroom can help with the information but it’s not their role to do the job that the designer has contracted to do.
And finally, having challenging conversations is an area of practice and development. It takes having them to get better at having them. Avoiding them or passing them along to someone else robs the designer of the opportunity to hone an important skill that will serve them the next time a challenging conversation or delicate discussion arises. I have coached countless professionals on developing the confidence and vocabulary necessary to successfully navigate all aspects of client interactions resulting in stronger, more profitable relationships with their clients. If you think you could benefit by improving or polishing your skills, reach out. I am just a phone call or an email away! You will be so glad you did.
And now, go sell something,
Cheers and love,