Furniture Selling Techniques and Tips

By: Kristy Esch

Known for her many years of writing long and short form articles for the multifamily industry. Her amazing writing continues to shine in other industries.

Knowledge is power and with information more readily available via technology, your customer requires a different retail experience. Leveraging different furniture selling techniques is now more important than ever because consumers do ample research before visiting a furniture store. Good salespeople understand each customer walks into the showroom with a different amount of knowledge, and therefore a different purpose for their visit.


Today, more than ever, the salesperson and customer interaction requires relationship building, trust and the art of listening. Higher ticket items are an emotional purchase and 84% of shoppers still prefer to visit showrooms to physically see products prior to making a decision. 


With information so accessible to consumers, brands and salespeople need to understand where the customer is in the decision-making process and need to better adjust their furniture selling techniques. “I think the consumer is going to expect more and more from the shopping experience,” says Jon Greenbaum, Advertising Manager at Greenbaum Home Furnishings. “Regardless of if they are shopping from home or in the store.”


The salesperson’s relationship with the customer begins well before they meet face to face. Technology provides consumers the ability to learn more about products and options, while also giving a sales team data-driven insight into the customer’s wants and needs.


Collect valuable online data and generate consumer insights with the right software and CRM. Furniture sales techniques begin by providing digital sales training so the team understands how to utilize the technology. The salesperson can use a specific shopper’s data to personalize the follow-up and nurture the lead, creating more engagement and potentially brand loyalty.


Furniture Sales Tips Include Listening and Building Trust


For Greenbaum, the relationship with customers ranks most important. Their salespeople build trust, listen and truly understand the decision-making behind the purchase. Greenbaum’s team strives to learn about the customer without interrogating. 


Offering interactive website technology helps shoppers narrow their choices and also allows salespeople a deeper understanding of those consumers. Not only do sales associates learn more about customers through their actions and information entered as they engage with the technology, but it also creates a better experience online to stand out from the competition.


“I think qualifying is critical, because furniture itself is a varied category. There are so many variables within just furniture sales in general, it’s important you really ask good questions,” says Jacob Sizemore, Marketing Director at Big Sandy Superstore. “You have to understand the customer’s needs, their expectations, in order to get them the right item that’s going to meet their lifestyle and be within the budget they expect to spend.”


In addition to qualifying leads, Sizemore offers another key furniture selling technique — listening. “Treat the customer the right way,” he says. “You listen, and you take your knowledge and apply it, and that’s how you sell products well.”


Best Furniture Sales Techniques Include Following Process 


In addition to the selling techniques of listening and building trust, Sizemore stresses salespeople must remain patient and focused as customers navigate the buying process.


“You’ve got to remove the fact that I’m doing this for a paycheck. That’s difficult to do in sales. It’s probably the most difficult piece, but you have to remove that fact and focus on following the process,” says Sizemore. “When you focus on the process, the result comes. So, you just figure out the right thing to do for the customer, and when you do that, it leads to better results.”


Sizemore, who began in sales at Big Sandy Superstore, emphasizes that if technology or the sales team correctly qualifies a lead, a salesperson should offer three to five pieces to the customer — at the most — suggesting a good, better, best version of the desired item.


In the selling process, explain the thinking behind the product selections. “It’s important that you tell them why you’ve selected the good, better, best options,” says Sizemore. “You’re referencing back what you learned from the customer, so they know you heard them and you’re justifying these options. It’s not a nonsensical approach. You’re giving them the reasons, and I think that really makes you a great customer service agent who happens to also sell the product.”


Understand Emotions Influencing a Furniture Purchase


“Furniture is often an emotional purchase, usually triggered by a major life event like a first-time home purchase, the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, etc. It can be exciting and overwhelming,” says David Weiss, Marketing Manager at Sherman’s. “We try to learn as much as we can about their lives and unique situations, so we can become trusted advisors. The better we do that, the greater chance we have at not only capturing the sale but developing real, life-long relationships with our guests.”


Understand not only the customers’ emotions, but the emotions the salesperson’s emitting, too. “If the customer feels comfortable and confident with what you’ve done so far, they’re far more likely to listen and buy accent pieces and additional items,” Sizemore says. “If you’re pressuring them into pieces that are not good for the customer or you’re not hearing their need, then you’re just trying to push products.”


Sizemore believes this approach to furniture sales causes customers to shut down. “In a sense, it’s better for the customer when you remove the pressure,” says Sizemore. “It’s also, long-term, better for your paycheck.

Additional Home Furnishings Resources