Do You Offer VIP Furniture Consultations for Customers?

Do You Offer VIP Furniture Consultations for Customers?

Think about the very important people in your life. You care about them and know a great deal about what is meaningful to them. They receive special treatment for a reason. They earned VIP status. Now, consider your customers. They are important people to your business. You care about keeping them happy. Odds are you know a great deal about them, so do they receive special treatment? Are you offering VIP furniture consultations?

 

Creating exceptional customer experiences can set your business apart from the competition. Ritz Carlton hotels are known for going above and beyond. Management authorizes each employee to spend up to $2,000 per guest per visit to make their stay memorable and personal. A Google search for “Ritz Carlton customer experience” produced over 39 million results. What they are doing works for their business.

 

In the home furnishings business, arming employees with $2,000 to create an exceptional customer experience isn’t sustainable. Don’t let that keep you from providing a VIP furniture consultation. Begin with defining the criteria for who qualifies as your most important customers and reviewing the sales data. Ensure that this group is indeed worth cultivating and what you offer them will be considered desirable for each customer included.

 

Create VIP Furniture Consultations With Your Digital Sales Process

 

Start with what you know about those VIP customers. If they’ve been interacting with your website, gather their useful and insightful information. What are they shopping for, what’s their design style, preferred color, size, brand or desired features? Even better, collect their preferences from the results of an interactive online quiz.

 

Nudge them to tell you even more and launch the in-store engagement by giving them a way to schedule their VIP appointment while on your website. Without a way to collect this data from your store website, you and your team miss out on gathering crucial customer information and the opportunity to set the business apart by adding value through an in-store design or product consultation.

 

Ideally, the customer can schedule via your website a VIP appointment from preselected times. Strategically schedule those appointment openings during your sales team’s downtime or the least-busy hours for your store to maximize productivity. If the customer doesn’t schedule online, you still have a meaningful opportunity to reach out to the customer and offer a VIP appointment if you collected their lead data online.

 

Services You Can Provide the Customer Add Value

 

Give your customers the feeling they are getting something special and make them excited to visit your store. What can you provide that customer above and beyond what they can do on their own? Without added value, it’s just another visit to a home furnishing store. Strive to help them save time and feel important.

 

Take the information you’ve gathered through your digital efforts and tailor the experience specific to their situation. Do your homework. Asking questions they have already answered via website interactions may diminish the experience. Remembering their preferences and customizing the appointment to their needs makes for an impactful and effective interaction.

 

If your customer is looking for a couch in a certain color and size, offer a customized showing of different options. Give them a sneak-peek into recently delivered pieces. Prepare the space ahead of time to resemble the size and shape of the room where their purchase will ultimately be enjoyed. Give your salespeople a head start to think about accessories, lighting and other upsell opportunities.

 

Prepare ahead and take care of the time-consuming aspects of the transaction. Prepare financing information or get approval from management to adjust the price if required to make the sale. Look at delivery dates and times, and have that information handy to amaze the customer by anticipating their needs.

 

It’s also important to make them feel special in small yet significant ways. Greet them by name and stun them with your attention to detail by personalizing the entire shopping experience. Offer a special design consultation, drink of choice, a special gift or a chance to win an incentive only open to your VIP consultation customers.

 

Perfect the Appointment, Then Introduce VIP Furniture Consultations

 

Make the VIP furniture consultation unique for you, your store, and especially your customers. Once you gain traction and figure out what works, consider taking the next step and create a VIP program. Incentivize your customers and build brand loyalty by offering exclusivity, special offers, discounts and special events. You can also keep customers engaged and motivated by offering a tiered loyalty program. Make whatever you do memorable to create an emotional connection.

 

According to the 2019 HelloWorld Brand Loyalty Report, the best ways to engage consumers are:

 

  • Surprise offers or gifts for being a customer (61%)
  • More convenient shopping process (50%)
  • Solving a problem or question (45%)
  • Recommending products based on needs (27%)
  • Keeping customers up to date on the latest news and products (23%)
  • Welcoming customers when they visit (20%)

 

Creating a VIP furniture consultation and potentially a VIP program takes customer data and some extra work, yet will result in highly engaged and satisfied customers. These customers will continue to give you a return on your investment by providing repeat sales, keeping your retention rate high and providing free marketing through word-of-mouth referrals.

 

This article originally appeared on Furniture World.

 

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Does Texting Furniture Shoppers Really Work?

Does Texting Furniture Shoppers Really Work?

A furniture shopper sends a text message to Neal’s Furniture after hours on a Sunday to inquire about a product featured on the retailer’s website. The customer receives a prompt auto reply from the store, stating the showroom has closed for the evening but they will return the message as soon as possible.

 

A Neal’s Furniture sales associate receives notification of the online lead on his cell phone and decides to respond by text within five minutes. The shopper visits the showroom and completes the sale the very next morning.

 

In a separate sale made the same day, a first-time customer sends a text message to Neal’s Furniture requesting information on the home furnishing retailer’s No Credit Check program after visiting the store’s website. The customer makes a purchase 30 minutes after the text exchange.

 

These two text message conversations really happened and converted into a quick furniture sale for the local retailer.

 

“Oftentimes, a customer would be hesitant or perhaps embarrassed to ask for this information in person,” says John Neal Jr., vice president of Neal’s Furniture in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, a small town about 40 miles from Tulsa. “Getting past these initial apprehensions and making the customer feel comfortable could be the difference between making a sale and never having the chance.

 

“Furniture is an emotional decision, and oftentimes requires careful consideration and planning from the buyer,” Neal continues. “The more comfortable we can make the customer, the more likely we are to earn their business. Hopefully, they have our number saved in their phone alongside their family and friends!”

 

Texting Furniture Shoppers OK by Most

 

It’s suddenly common to receive appointment reminders from your doctor and hairstylist by text and shipping updates or coupons from businesses you’ve bought from before. How did it catch on so fast? Turns out, the majority of consumers really like the approach.

 

“I love, love, love when companies communicate by text,” says Sara Westrich, a travel agency owner who recently purchased a couch for her family’s new home. While that furniture retailer didn’t use text messaging, she says she wishes they had utilized that level of personal communication while she waited for three months to get the furniture delivered after an internal ordering mishap (wrong L shape). Instead, she spent her time repeatedly calling the store to get updates. In her business, she frequently uses text to communicate with clients and leads.

 

Recent business college graduate Nichole Marchand says she also likes it when retailers send her coupons and incentives by text. She regularly gets messages from a wide variety of businesses, like fast food coupons and reminders for an upcoming salon appointment. Westrich says Honda and Safelite were the last two companies that sent her texts.

 

“As a whole, text message conversations for follow ups and initial conversions have been received by our customers and sales staff as a benefit, if not a preferred method,” Neal says. “We definitely get the ‘Never text me again!’ customer but that is few and far between. We don’t do cold texts, meaning the customer either initiated the conversation or gave their contact information to a sales associate at some point.”

 

Shannon Anderson, owner of a food truck business and a busy mom to little ones, may be a millennial but she’s one of those few who hates receiving texts from a business. “I might be weird, but I hate it when companies text me,” Anderson says. “I find it lazy and unprofessional. Shipping updates and coupons I’m OK with, but if you need to say something for business, you should pick up the phone and call that person.”

 

Texting has Become Normal Communication Method for Shoppers

 

No one can deny that the way our society communicates and gathers information has changed exponentially over the past several years. Businesses must try new digital marketing tactics to keep up with consumers’ evolving communication practices.

 

“You have to communicate on their terms and be willing to talk to them how they prefer,” says Justin Bowen, web content manager at The Great American Home Store. The furniture retailer is currently working on implementing a new texting system to go along with their automated email lead nurture and marketing cloud solutions.

 

“A lot of people think they should be doing what was in vogue a few years ago, but the rules of the game are changing,” Bowen says. “Social doesn’t matter like it did. Facebook ads are harder to do right.

 

He adds that SMS is where email was about 20 years ago — just starting to catch on as a marketing platform — and no one knows for sure what it’s fully capable of doing to the retail marketplace. With so many companies already texting shoppers, the marketing method will eventually become as saturated as email and lose some of its effectiveness.

 

“The time is to start now, not later,” Bowen says, when referring to texting furniture shoppers. “People already prefer it, but most of the competition isn’t doing it, which presents a prime opportunity.”

 

This article originally appeared on Casual Living.

 

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How to Prove You’re the Better Furniture Store

How to Prove You’re the Better Furniture Store

If someone asked why you think you’re the better furniture store compared to the competition, you’d probably talk about your well-trained, friendly sales staff and fully stocked showroom. But what about the store website?

 

With 90% of home furnishing shoppers looking online before making a purchase, your website must give consumers all the feels, just like you aim to do inside the physical showroom. Your team immediately greets shoppers walking in the door, offers assistance and directs them to the section best suited for what they say they need, while also learning as much as they can about those consumers.

 

AI-powered technology can give your store the edge by delivering personalized, helpful guidance to shoppers on the website, and gathering valuable consumer data your store can use to nurture those shoppers with customized incentives and experiences.

 

“Modern tools have made it easy to not only develop an online presence, but also to showcase merchandise, handle fulfillment, and meet consumers where they are to draw them into the store,” says Steve Davidson, VP of Fortegra’s Warranty Product Group, in his article The future of furniture retail recently featured on Retail Customer Experience.

 

“Traditional retailers are struggling in the face of challenges — specifically from their online competitors … Those furniture retailers who have faced the challenge head on are finding that today’s technology provides a low barrier to entry for the uninitiated.”

 

Here are 5 ways you can use technology on your furniture store website to prove you are indeed the better furniture store:

 

1. Make Website Visitors Feel Welcomed

 

Acknowledge online visitors the moment they land on your furniture store’s website, and personalize their entire interaction based on their behavior as they move along. Welcome them with a personalized message in a pop-up window, banner or chat bubble, and check-in as they browse to see if they have any questions or point out some helpful tools you offer on the site to get them started.

 

Offer to show them around the website or offer them a virtual consultation, ask them qualifying questions to learn more about their lifestyle, and serve up pages, products or assessments that make the most sense based on what they’re searching.

 

Make them feel like they’ve found a place that’s helpful, easy to navigate and a pleasure to do business with — just like you do in person.

 

2. Give Consumers Information They Seek

 

Consumers prefer to gather as much information as possible before they ever enter a store showroom. Make it easy to find all of the details about the items they’re most interested in buying, and help them narrow down their selection by providing helpful assessments and tools.

 

Just by being helpful, your website can build trust with consumers and they’ll think of you when they’re ready to buy. That makes converting online leads into sales a much more feasible task for your in-store team when they follow up or meet them in person.

 

Educated consumers will appreciate the access to information at their fingertips so they can confidently make a decision. While you may think withholding details like pricing will make them call or come into the store, it’s actually more likely to send them searching on competitors’ websites for the answer. Effectively move leads down the sales funnel and closer to a purchase by giving them all of the information they seek online.

 

3. The Better Furniture Store Guides Online Leads

 

While shoppers prefer to self-service when it comes to gathering information online, they do appreciate it when a website guides them along in the process. Use AI website conversion software to intuitively lead consumers along in their journey and serve up the next best step in the process to help them.

 

Direct online furniture shoppers to the products that best suit their taste, and set up your store website so it shows them information related to the data you’ve already collected on them as they click around. Do they seem torn on the best type of mattress, jumping around between all of the options? Offer them a mattress assessment that explains in the results why a particular kind of mattress may work better for their specific sleep needs.

 

4. Automate Lead Nurture to Keep Consumers Coming Back

 

Lead management is the key to nurturing online consumers. Send each new lead that lands in your CRM an automated email or text after they visit the website to acknowledge the shopper and give her more information about whatever she looked at online. It shows you care, value the shopper’s visit and are paying attention to what they really want.

 

Use an automated lead nurture campaign as a way to keep your home furnishings brand top of mind while they decide on a purchase, and drive them back to the website to engage further with your interactive tools and quizzes. Include customized incentives to inspire the shoppers to take action or visit the store, such as a personalized coupon for that recliner they’ve been eyeing online.

 

5. Be a Better Furniture Store By Personalizing Your Approach

 

At the end of the day (or in the middle of the night when shopping online), consumers connect with stores that make online furniture shopping a rewarding experience. You want them to feel special, so they’ll return to your website or visit your store when it comes time to spend money on a new appliance or piece of furniture.

 

Give them the VIP treatment online by personalizing each touchpoint and offering helpful tools to make their decision less difficult and time-consuming.

 

According to The future of furniture retail article, 86% of furniture shoppers who start their search online still prefer to finalize a purchase in the showroom. “While brick-and-mortar may currently enjoy an advantage that suits traditional methods, changing trends should not be ignored,” says Steve Davidson, the article’s author. “Now is the time for furniture retailers to act on digital — because the future of furniture is online.”

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Furniture Selling Techniques and Tips

Furniture Selling Techniques and Tips

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

 

What we’ve Learned from Working at Home the Past Month

What we’ve Learned from Working at Home the Past Month

Before the pandemic, working from home for most people only happened when there were extenuating circumstances: the kids got sick, you were getting repairs done on the home, or there was a mid-day appointment and your home was closer than your work location. 

 

Over the past month, we’ve certainly learned a lot. Some days, or even weeks, have been busier than others. We have created schedules only to have them broken, and we have participated in more video meetings than we can count. The transition may not be everyone’s favorite, but we’ve included some learnings that may help you during your at home work days to make them better! 

 

Have a start and end to your day

 

Having a clear start and end to your day can help with balance. Start your day with a 15-30 minute video call with your team. During this call, talk about what you accomplished the day before, what you are working on today, and if you need anyone’s help with tasks. This meeting should be one of the first conversations you have during your day. It is an easy way to see your co-workers each day and help everyone stay on the same page. 

 

The end of the day can be a bit trickier since you’re not at an office and need to physically leave to go home. One way to signal the end of the work day is to send a picture, gif, or video in your team’s communication channel. It could be a funny gif about going home, theme songs to well known TV shows, or funny end of movie credits or bloopers. 

 

Create the Right Work Space

 

With your workspace being steps away from the bedroom or living room, it can be hard to stay focused. Creating the right workspace for you will help combat that and let you focus during the day. If possible, dedicate a single room or area in your living space as your “office.” That could be a spare bedroom, empty corner, dining room table or a basement. If you have a job where you will be on the phone or meetings frequently, try to pick a space that has a door that you can close. 

 

In addition to picking the right space, do your best to choose the right furniture! Nothing is worse than sitting in an uncomfortable chair. With more than 40 hours per week dedicated to work, choosing the right furniture is beneficial both physically and mentally. 

 

Lastly, your work space should also be free of clutter and mess. Treat this area as if you had coworkers. Don’t leave dirty dishes at the end of the day, and make sure you tidy up before closing down the computer. Here are some other tips on creating the ideal home office.

 

Keep the Company Culture Alive

 

Staying connected to co-workers outside your departments can be difficult while everyone is working remote. Here are some ideas that you can do to help stay connected to coworkers until you can be back in the office together. 

 

Have a company bingo or trivia night. These are easy to organize and host. Send out an invitation after work hours or do it over a lunch break. Make sure everyone has the materials and enjoy! This is a fun, non-work activity to do to bring co-workers and families together. 

 

Have a way to signify “wins.” At our company, every time we do something good — make a sale, save a client, have a personal win — we use our team chat and send a celebratory GIF to the team’s chat feed and let everyone know what you “won.” It is fun to see everyone’s success until you can get back in the office and hear the drum in person. 

 

Other ways to keep culture alive is to have a group fitness challenge. A fitness challenge is a great way to motivate your co-workers to exercise and come together at the same time. It doesn’t need to be fancy, simply do a walk, bike or run challenge and have people log their miles. At the end of the challenge, have everyone submit their miles and the winners will receive prizes. To spice it up, you can have people submit pictures or videos to your team chat.  

 

Not Everything Needs to be a Video Call

 

One of our partners said it best the other day “not everything has to be a video call.” While chatting over video is great and it allows us the opportunity to see each other and share screens, it also confines us to a single spot. 

 

If your meetings are able to be taken via phone and not video, jump on that opportunity every once in a while. Throw in some headphones and take a walking meeting outside. The benefits are great. It will help you get up and move around, and walking is proven to help you think!  

 

Schedule your day

 

When working from home, it can be very easy to get distracted. While breaks are beneficial and welcome, distractions like social media, TV or house chores can easily consume your day. Making a schedule at the beginning of your day will help minimize the distractions, especially if you have kids. 

 

First, communication is key. If you have children or family members that need your attention during the day, communicate and set clear upfront expectations of when you will be available. This will help minimize disruption. 

 

Next, fill your calendar up! When you have pockets of time during the day, add tasks on your calendar to specify what you are doing. You can block 30 minutes for lunch; an hour window for working out; or if you have kids, time to help them with their school work. Share this schedule with yourself, your family and your team so everyone can see when you’re working and when you’re not. Circumstances are different now, and it’s ok if you don’t work your normal 9-5 hours.

 

Last, we all know that things happen that are beyond your control. But, if you communicate clearly and outline your day, you will be able to control your time as much as possible. 

 

Breaks are Ok and Welcome

 

Since working from home, many of us have found ourselves working more. With your laptop sitting only feet away, it is easy to pick it up and do some work while watching TV at night or after you put the kids to bed. They need to feel like you have to be working, or the thought of “I can spend 30 minutes on that and knock that out” have to stop. 

 

Breaks are ok and welcome. There will likely never be another time where all of your family is together in the same house as much as this stay-at-home order. Make sure you take full advantage of it. Instead of taking lunch at your desk, eat lunch with a family member. Is the weather nice in your area? Take a 30-minute walk or bike ride in the afternoon. Spend the night playing games or watching a movie. Taking breaks and stepping away from the screen will ultimately make you more productive. 

Ways to Make Your Digital Sales Team More Accountable

Ways to Make Your Digital Sales Team More Accountable

Good salespeople welcome customers who walk into the showroom looking for a great deal on furniture, appliances or mattresses. It’s go time. They skillfully interact with a prospect to identify the best way to help, working toward closing the sale. Ignoring the customer isn’t an option and not likely to happen. Can you say the same thing about the customers who start their shopping journey online in your digital showroom? Is your digital sales team held accountable for interacting with your online visitors?

 

Understandably, most salespeople enjoy face-to-face interaction and the challenge of understanding a customer. Body language, facial expressions, and a consumer’s reactions to different options all inform an astute salesperson, who then adjusts accordingly. Your sales team may show reluctance when tasked with cultivating prospects they can’t see or sometimes even hear.

 

Although 96% of Americans regularly shop online, engaging prospects and providing answers are still the main sales objectives, they may just happen a little differently now. Customers’ online behavior provides as much or more information than an in-person visit to the showroom or your office. Each prospect leaves behind valuable data when visiting your website that can give your team insight into how to approach future engagements and communications.

 

Boost your sales team’s confidence by providing digital training, innovative technology and detailed data analytics. Use those same tactics to hold your sales associates accountable and foster a team mentality. They need to know why online leads matter and how you measure digital success.

 

“A digital lead may not be treated like a priority based on a salesperson’s previous experiences. There’s a mindset that they might not be as valid as an in-store opportunity,” says Kelly Olsen, Digital Sales Success Manager with PERQ, a marketing cloud and software solutions company. “It comes down to a mindset shift. Having a good technology partner means you can eliminate the question of whether a digital lead is qualified or not.”

 

Changing your sales team’s mentality begins with emphasizing the importance of digital leads, Olsen says. They deserve the same care and attention as an in-store lead.

 

“All opportunities, digital or not, are meaningful,” she says. “It takes having a process, having the right teammates in the right roles, and setting up accountability and coaching to make sure all digital sales team members know how and why to follow-up with the digital audience.”

 

Digital Sales Team Accountability Starts with Training

 

While the right technology eases and informs the process for both customers and the sales team, it’s important to remember people are still at the center of the sale. The American Society of Training and Development reports that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. With an accountability partner to regularly check in on their progress, chances of success increase to 95 percent.

 

Hold your teams accountable for lead follow-up results, while also encouraging and coaching them through the digital sales process. That partnership mentality drives better engagement across the board.

 

“In our business, no one leaves the floor without speaking to the manager,” says David Kain, a digital marketing and sales training consultant. “Same holds true for other forms of communication, especially the phone. No one hangs up until the manager says goodbye.”

 

Kain works primarily in the automotive dealership industry, which has successfully utilized CRM platforms for several years. He says a manager or even a teammate asking simple questions can completely shift the dynamic.

 

He suggests training your sales force to ask potential customers if there’s anything they can do to get them to come in or change their mind. Customers often leave the conversation without voicing their main objection or hurdle.

 

Digital Sales Staff Follow-up Closes Deals

 

Adding someone else to the conversation may help take some pressure off the customer and the salesperson. “There’s nothing more demoralizing to a salesperson than a customer saying, ‘Thanks, I’ll consider it,’” says Kain.

 

Lesa Sloan, Sales Manager at Patrick Furniture and Mattress in Missouri, seizes those opportunities and encourages the sales team to close deals with some creativity and persistence.

 

“I questioned a retail sales associate about follow-up with a customer who inquired about our most popular bedroom groups. We knew the customer was comparison shopping with two of our competitors,” says Sloan. “The associate supplied a quote and the customer said, ‘Thanks, I’ll get back to you.’”

 

Sloan pushed the employee to follow up, which resulted in a $5,400 sale. “I coached him through the follow-up to the transaction,” she says. “We did a little creative financing, dropped our delivery fee, and increased her discount a bit to beat our competition.”

 

Kain suggests salespeople also get creative when building connections with customers who aren’t quite ready to buy. Tap into technology to reach out in a memorable and helpful way. “Send a video meeting link and share your screen,” says Kain. “Go through options and payment information. Customers won’t be offended by that.”

 

Kain adds that, to a large degree, most customers prefer self-service and are likely already deep into the buying process by the time they reach a salesperson. He encourages digital sales team members to email or text a customer and simply say, “Hey, let’s jump on a call and I can answer your questions.”

 

Marketing data varies as to how many actual touches it takes to close a deal. What every digital marketing expert can agree on is this: if your team fails to follow up with online leads and isn’t held accountable, sales will be few and far between.

 

As Olsen puts it, “If you aren’t already capturing and following up on digital leads, you are already behind.”

 

This article originally appeared on Furniture World.

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