Retail education: Measuring and diagrams

Home Columns Retail education: Measuring and diagrams

by Kelly Kramer

In part one, we discussed the importance of working with a new customer and getting out to her home as soon as possible to finalize the sale, partially because your client has set aside time to shop at a few places. By using that time to follow her home and finalize the deal, you take her off the market immediately.

This also gets rid of the problem presented by sending her home with your samples. We all understand by now that letting samples go home alone means those samples will be sent down the street for your competition to pick apart and— even worse—for in-laws and neighbors to tell her what a bad choice she had made. When you have spent your valuable time on the floor finding just the right product for her given situation, the last thing you want is to lose that control.

So, bring the samples out with you when you follow her home, or within 24 hours. To do this, you first have to learn how to get your buyer comfort- able and educated enough to be ready for this quick measure. The main part of getting her comfortable is to give her a close “guesstimate” in the store.

As I mentioned in Part I, always make sure that your in-store estimate is on the high side. If she is comfortable with that price and invites you to her house with a higher price, then the lower actual number at the home is a pleasant surprise and natural close.

Let me explain how I handle it.

Presentation and interview

Once I have found out which areas are being covered and have done some customer interviewing and education on products, I ask, “Have you had a measure done on the areas yet?” Her answer gives me a wealth of information: First is if she has any clue as to the size; second is if she measured it herself, and if so which method she used. Did she catch closets, halls, steps, landings and under staircases? Also, did she use any kind of waste factor? At this point I explain waste factors and come up with a yardage/square footage to work with.

I also tell her I’m going to give her a higher “worst case scenario, so hopefully the price will be lower at the final measure.” Every person I’ve ever talked to about a worst case scenario is pleased because most are tired of up-front low-ball estimates that are always higher than the final actual number. It makes me look more honest and it makes her more comfortable.

Her third answer is usually, “Yes, we had another company give us a number.” This is my favorite because, for one, I know that she has been shopping without directly having to ask that question. But more importantly, I know that this yardage figure is high. Each one of my competition’s numbers are high. So I can use that figure to give my in store guesstimate and I know 95% of the time my final number is going to be lower. Again, it is an easy, natural step to a finalized sale in the home.

In all three cases I explain early on that we do a no charge—not free—in the home; exact on-the-spot total cost and I can do it that day if she likes.

As you might guess, my training manuals give many more details on how to achieve this. Column length and book sales limit what I can tell you here. To do this in-home measure and close at the home, you have to know how to measure and estimate. But that is for Part III next time.

Thanks for reading.

Kelly Kramer, based in Loveland, Colo., is an author, inventor and owner of Kelly’s Carpet Wagon. To book him for public speaking engagements, call 970.622.0077 or e-mail

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