There’s a popular perspective that it takes a village to raise a child. Given the nature of our business and the current economy, I think it just may take a village to make a sale…or at least a partnership. And that’s where you come in.
As a designer, you are the crafter of events. In addition to your aesthetic gifts, you’re the one to keep things moving along. And while you are at the center of things, you are not doing this alone. Your vendors and showroom salespeople support your efforts and results. No one is good at every aspect of the business, and they can help you with things you don’t like to do or are just plain bad at. For starters, here’s how you can participate in partnership with your showroom salespeople that will have you meet the promises you made to your clients:
- Create timelines for installation (and if you don’t have them, your client surely does) and stay in communication with the showroom salespeople. When they call you to tell you that if you don’t place the order by 5:00 on Thursday you will not make the installation date you promised your clients, call them back. This dance of partnership will have everyone win.
- Don’t make them chase you for the deposit check that is needed to process the order, and then ask them for a special timeline when you miss the one you established with them. This doesn’t forward the action. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on their part.
- The consequence of not taking action is that everything stops. If you follow the timeline plan, you will deliver happiness to your clients and be a joy to work with as a showroom customer. All good.
As a showroom salesperson, sharpen your own selling skills so that you have professional sales abilities to offer the designer in their time of need with their clients.
- Are you executing your sales process with mastery and asking the designer all the qualifying questions that they also need to be asking their client?
- Do you organize yourself by appointment to continue to move the sale forward?
- Do you establish end dates with the designer so that you both have something to move toward and push back from?
- Do you know how each of your designers (especially you VIP’s) operates their business so that you can work within their existing business model?
- Do you have ‘go to’ responses for the completely predictable objections that they will give you?
- How have you adjusted your business in response to the designers who are now hourly only and in no rush to process the product sale?
While the designer is the hub in the wheel, you are the outer edge that keeps it all together. And you are the only one in the partnership whose business card says salesperson, making you responsible for the sale – each and every one. How great is that?