An “A” Doesn’t Come Easy!

Evaluating B-A-D-A-S Questions to determine outcome – A=Ability to Buy
For home furnishings showroom sales professionals and sales leaders everywhere


This is a tough question to ask as a qualifying question. It’s not the same as ‘check or wire transfer?’ that you would ask as a closing question.   

Budget is about expectation of what it will cost.  Ability to buy is about what they are able to spend, as in cash or creditwhat-you-can-afford worthiness.  Both questions are about the money, but this one is about what they have to spend to get what they want.

So, how do you find this out as a qualifying question? I find it’s helpful to glove it with other services: “What we do here at X Gallery is……” and then itemize your services: design services, delivery and installation services, CAD services…and include financing services or terms of payment. Then ask if they would like to learn more about any of those.

At this time of year (March/April), retail customers are anticipating tax returns which may serve to fund the majority of the purchase…so they may not be able to buy until they receive their returns.  For designer end-users, this may be the same. Or it may be about access to funds or wire transfer fees. For trade showroom salespeople, it may be to understand how the designer purchases and puts deposits down (checks from clients that need to clear the account before they can purchase or if they have an ‘escrow’ account with the client from which to write deposits). In any case, it’s up to the seller to determine how they are going to finance the purchase, as it’s one of the BADAS questions that determine whether or not a sale can happen TODAY.

Or it may be a good idea to link the Budget and the Ability to Buy questions together to talk about all aspects of the money – expectation, available assets, financing, deposit amounts and timeframes, COD amounts, shipping and installation, product protection costs….all of it.

Because they believe that the sofa is worth $7500 doesn’t mean that they HAVE that to spend on the sofa.

I would love to hear how you address this. Or how you avoid it. Or how you manage it when it comes up if you haven’t brought it up. Or anything else you would like to share about this (or any of the other BADAS questions) that have helped you to determine if the buyer can buy NOW.


Now, go sell something!

Love, love, love,






From an ‘A’ to a ‘D’….Making Progress

Evaluating B-A-D-A-S Questions to determine outcome – D=Decision Maker

For home furnishings showroom sales professionals and sales leaders everywhere

This is a hotbed question! I find that salespeople and designers have a strong reaction to this question. Maybe it’s because in the past there was a gender bias attached to it…even though, in home furnishings and interiors  decision-making-mindset 80% of the decisions are made by the woman.  And that’s STILL not a good enough reason to not ask.  Maybe it’s because if it’s not asked with sensitivity, the buyer may feel disrespected (as if they don’t matter to this interaction).

We want to look at what the question is meant to determine – simply, is everyone here who needs to be here for us to make a decision NOW?

It’s not about who’s the boss, or whose opinion matters more. It’s about the seller determining if a sale can occur today, because it can only occur if all of the decision makers who need to be present are present. decision makers present

If you are a retail designer or salesperson, you would be asking this question directly to the buyer…and determining if all parties are present. You might ask if there is anyone else who needs to participate in the selection process and the clients says no. Double check by asking. “So, if we find what you are looking for today, can we go ahead with it?” and see what they say.  A spouse or best friend might miraculously appear!

If you are a trade showroom salesperson, you might ask a couple of questions: How do the clients make decisions on products and design? How do they take direction from the designer? The second question is a touchy one…as a designer you need to be real about what the client values in your opinion or direction.  How much does your client listen to you? When you tell them what they need to do, do they do it? If you are showing options to a design and have a personal preference, do they follow your direction? Just some things to consider in the decision making process. If you are a showroom salesperson, you need to understand when working with designers on projects, that different designers manage their clients differently.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if everyone is here – unless it matters  – like in a purchasing presentation, signing of contracts, legal decision making, as they are all actions that align with getting the business now.  It matters that YOU know who needs to be here and if they are here…or if you need to make an appointment to meet again in order to close the deal.

This is challenging but surely not impossible. And if you need help, you know I am always close by.

Now, go sell something!

Love, love, love….



A = Availability

Evaluating B-A-D-A-S Questions to determine outcome:

Another BADAS Question – A = Availability.

For home furnishings showroom sales professionals and sales leaders everywhere


When we are looking to learn when the buyer can buy, one of the areas that the buyer needs to be mindful of is when they need it.  Is time a motivating factor for them?  And if it isn’t motivating, what is there relationship to the time it takes to have atime date custom product fabricated and installed in their space?

Often, the first pass at availability is sloughed off… “I asked them if they needed it quickly and they said no.”  And then no further discussion was had. Consider framing the time from a production perspective:  “As it takes 16-20 weeks for production, if we placed the order by next Friday, we would be looking at (give a date range – actual dates!) for delivery and installation. How is that for you?”    THAT is a different question!

Ask specific questions about their Availability!

– If you are a showroom working with designers, they may not have asked their client this question. So your question to the designer is  either “When do you think your client would like to have this in their home?” or  “What is the installation date for this project?”

– If you are a showroom working directly with retail customers, ask: “Is there an event or an empty space that will impact when you have this project completed by?”

– If you are a designer working with a client, ask: “When are we intending to have this project completed?” You need a date for EVERYONE to line up their schedules, their teams, their production…it all starts with YOU so please establish a delivery/installation date early and share it with those who work with you.

The more that your client is clear about the timing, the more of a green light it is for you. And if they are not clear, or ‘time is no object’ then CREATE a timeframe for them so that you have some structure to work within.

And of course, there is Lead Time Lite app to help you with showing them the realities of time.  Look back through my

archived blogs for that one…It’s spot on.Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.01.00 AM

Have questions? Want to talk through a specific challenge you are having? Contact me for your FREE consultation today!

More to come with D=Decision Maker!

Now, go sell something!

Love, love, love….