Best ways to ‘right sell’ customers

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By Pami Bhullar

(Third of four parts)

Pami Bhullar, director of retail development at Invista/StainmasterIn the previous installments of this series, I talked about the importance of understanding (and differentiating between) the customer’s wants and needs—a critical step in building trust and rapport with the shopper. In this installment, I will outline the third building block in the right-selling process—making a commitment to the customer and asking the customer for a commitment.

Every relationship is built on trust and commitment. However, commitment is a two-way street. If one party is not committed, relationships or transactions can break down. In the previous segments you learned how to build trust and relationships and understand needs, wants and values.

Now is the time to show products. But if you show products without commitment, the transaction might not happen. If commitment is only one-sided, the transaction might not happen. If you seek to control your customers, they might be hesitant to buy from you. And if you lose control, you might not be able to make the sale.

Following are a few action points to help close the sale:

  1. Make a commitment. “Mrs. Jones, buying flooring at (Best Flooring) is very simple, easy and fun.”
  2. Transfer the perception of control. “There are three sim- ple steps to buy flooring from us today. First, we will find the right style for you, then we will find the right color for you, then we will find the right cushion to set up a measure.” (This creates an obligation or a condition.)
  3. Ask for a commitment. Ask questions such as, “What do you think? How do you feel?” Normally the answers will be something like: a. “That sounds good.” b. “Well, let’s do it then.” c. “That’s it? I thought it would be more complicated.”
  4. Generally speaking, color is more important than the style. But I advise always to start with the style. If customers settle on a style, they are more likely to settle on a color within the selected style.
  5. Remember, the new good/better/best is the “best/better/good.” Always show the best you have to offer in each category. Show the most trusted and known brands. It is easy to go down in price and quality rather than go up once you have quoted a lower price.
  6. Present the carpet styles and make sure the customer sees and feels each style. “Mrs. Jones, there are three basic styles in residential carpeting. Either carpets come as textures or loops, and when we combine texture with loops, they become patterns like this. (Encourage the customer to feel the sample.) We have hundreds of patterns from which to choose. Which one of these three styles do you like the best?”
  7. Your customer will pick one of the three and make your job 67% easier by discarding the other two. Presentation saves time for both of you and focuses on selection.
  8. Proceed to the final step in the process. Test the selected carpet with an appropriate cushion and set up a measure or write up an order. Isn’t that fun, simple and easy?
  9. Write these steps down where you can always see it. Practice these steps for 30 days and adjust your presentation as you feel comfortable until it is perfect.

In the next and final installment of this series, I will talk about the last building block in right-selling the customer—follow up and follow through.

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August 10, 2020