For interior designers
Between mid-February and mid-March is when Wall Street and financial types get their yearly bonus. It’s a good time for you to sharpen up your marketing activities – send an eblast, write a ‘miss you’ letter to past clients, craft and send a brief newsletter with thoughts and prompts for spring projects and summer installations. Go to your database and select those past and present clients who might have cut a project short when the funds dried up or clients who want to start a new project when the funds appear. Better yet, just call them and see how they are doing, how they fared the winter, and what their plans are for spring. Have your calendar ready to make an appointment.
And while you have your calendar open, put these activities in for same time next year…and press the ‘recurring activity’ button.
Now, go sell something.
In “Making Appointments” I outlined how to use Outlook to schedule appointments for yourself and your client that make it easy for both of you to take the next step. In this post, I want to look at when to make appointments so that they forward the sale.
In an effort to serve and satisfy clients and customers, we will often respond to their request for information with a photo/tear sheet or quote. It’s an appropriate action in line with what appeals to the customer. My questions are:
-Did we give this information because they found something they liked and wanted, or because they stopped saying “I’m just looking” and we were relieved when they asked for something we could get them?
-How much did we qualify them before offering this solution?
Imagine if we equate a quote with a level of interest that supports another contact. Imagine that the client is interested enough to ask for a physical representation of the product and interested enough to keep the conversation going until they get what they want. Imagine the quote as an indication of commitment – they wouldn’t ask if they weren’t interested and it’s our job as a seller to determine just how interested they are. And that takes connection and conversation. So imagine the level of engagement that would allow us to learn more about where they are in their process such that we are able to connect again to keep the process moving to the sale. As a seller, it’s our responsibility to have and manage the sales process and to keep that process in gear via contacts to its desired end result. The only pushing is to push ourselves to do it. When we use quotes to forward that process and help the client with their decision making, we need to see the quote as an invitation to the next contact, and then take the steps necessary to make an appointment. The quote is a step in the process, it’s not the end of it or an end in itself.
“It’s not about writing it down, it’s about writing it UP!”
– Rose Farrell Picchietti