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

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. 

 

Learn more about PERQ and schedule a demo.

Move Past Customer Personas to Focus on Personalization

Businesses create personas to place the consumer at the center of decision-making. Customer personas work when designing products and services, yet do they still serve a purpose in marketing and sales? 

 

Marketing, the process of identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customers’ needs and wants, essentially matches what you’re selling to the people looking to buy. On a fundamental level, we all share the same basic needs and wants. Moving beyond the basics of buyer personas opens up a world of possibilities. 

 

With everyone as a potential customer, creating personas may help marketing feel more manageable. Putting a face, age, and fictional name to your customers’ traits, personality characteristics, and pain points kicks off your digital strategy, but then what? Where do you go from there? Customer personas, in theory, work to attract leads, yet treating each customer in a generalized manner may actually move your brand further away from connecting with prospects.  

 

Technology now provides valuable information beyond the type of customer interested in your brand (married with two kids and a mortgage); it delivers details on their online behavior (searching for distressed dining room tables to seat 10). 

 

With the right software and CRM, collecting valuable online data generates insight into the customers’ specific needs and wants. Real information, captured in real-time, directly from the people interested in your products. From there, you can use the data to personalize the follow-up and lead-nurture process for more prospect engagement and brand loyalty.

 

More than Just a Customer Persona

Technology allows for a deeper understanding of consumers. Not only do you learn more about your customers through their actions, but you can also create a better experience online to stand out from the competition. Give website visitors the opportunity to interact with your brand, while also providing the information they need.

 

Understand what customers want while shopping. Offer interactive engagement opportunities like quizzes and assessments, live chat or online financing pre-qualification. Even better, with AI-driven software you can ensure your website remembers the customer’s previous visit, suggesting options and incentives based on prior behavior. These personalized, guided interactions will shape how the customer views your brand and build a feeling of welcome and value. 

 

Buyer personas may attract shoppers to your website, but leverage personalization to move them along the customer journey toward a purchase. 

 

Customer Data Helps You to Focus on Personalization

Not only does personalization benefit your customer, but it also translates into customizing your company’s operations. Your customers’ behavior and data should drive your business decisions. 

 

If your target consumers continually search for specific products or services you don’t currently offer or do offer but don’t prominently market, demand exists and justifies expanding your offerings or adjusting your ad and website copy to meet the need. If prospects routinely drop off the website after reviewing pricing on your website, it may be time to run some competitive intelligence. 

 

Analyze and use data from your CRM to help your sales team nurture leads and convert them into sales. Generate automated and personalized emails with AI-driven technology to get shoppers back to your website or in the door. Track the average number of touches necessary to result in a purchase, and adjust your approach based on the analytics.

 

It may feel counterintuitive to rely on technology to build personal relationships and really get to know your customers, yet with more than 80% of shoppers beginning their shopping journey online, the power of personalization makes it possible — and imperative.

 

Learn more about PERQ and schedule a demo.

How to Create a VIP Customer Experience while Selling Remotely

In today’s reality, social distancing has become a part of normal business. Brick and mortar stores have closed storefronts or have limited business hours, forcing customers to shop online. How do you make the consumer feel important when you can only interact through a screen? 

 

Providing a personalized, top-class shopping experience should not only happen when the consumer enters through your front door. Building any kind of relationship takes time and effort. Start building that relationship online the moment the consumer visits your website. Utilizing an AI-focused website and personalized lead follow-up approach gives the online consumer an experience similar to what they would receive during an in-store visit. Here’s how your business can create a VIP customer experience

 

Personalize your lead follow-up while selling remotely 

 

Utilize data when it comes to personalized lead follow-up. Retailers should be relying on tools on their website, such as assessments and quizzes to collect as much information as possible from their customers. You can learn what style of furniture they like, what room they are looking to furnish, or how soon they are going to buy. You are also able to collect basic information such as name, phone number and email address. 

 

With that information, your sales team is equipped to personalize the outreach. If your customers are looking for a new bedroom set, leverage targeted content through email with a catalog of this year’s hottest bedroom trends. If you’ve already been in contact with them, send a picture through text message of the new set you just got in. This is also an easy way to send incentives or discounts of products to encourage them to buy.

 

Personalizing the marketing experience for your shoppers is an easy way to make them feel valued and continue to shop your products. 

 

Communicate with the consumer through text messaging 

 

Allowing the consumer an option to ask a question via a chat tool online, which gives your sales team the opportunity to follow-up with that customer immediately by text. From there, they are able to send pictures and videos of products in the showroom that the shopper isn’t able to see. This is an effective tool because unlike a chat box, the message is delivered directly to the customers phone as opposed to a chat bot online. 

 

Text messaging helps build the relationship with the customer before they enter the store. By being intentional and personalizing the message, shoppers will be more inclined to respond and be engaged later when they are ready to buy. 

 

Prioritize video calls over phone calls for the VIP customer experience

 

When shoppers were able to go in the store, video follow-up and video appointments were nice to have. Now, video appointments are essential and will likely be a preference for shoppers to save time in the future.

 

Instead of just a simple phone call, video calls bring an extra level of personalization to the conversation. Shoppers are able to see the face of the person they are speaking to much like they would in an in-store visit. Through video calls, you are also able to give tours of the showroom and let the consumer see the product for themselves as you are speaking about it. Tools like Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime and Zoom are all platforms you can use to host video appointments. Follow these tips to ensure you host a successful video appointment.

 

Using these tips to treat the shopper like a VIP will ensure they choose you over another brand. Making someone feel important goes a long way in building consumer trust. Good luck!

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

 

Transforming your Home Furnishings Team with Digital Sales Training — Podcast

How do you leverage your website to enhance the customer experience and convert more online leads into sales? In this episode of The Bridge Podcast, Andy Medley and co-host Muhammad Yasin discuss digital sales training for home furnishings teams with Bryan Scott, President of Big Sandy Superstore, a one-stop-shop for home furnishings with 21 locations and counting.

 

As president of one of the nation’s fastest-growing retailers, Scott has a unique perspective on growing a business within a shrinking industry. “The website is more important than ever, it starts that consumer’s journey,” he says. “It is our job to collect that customer information to be able to engage with that consumer online.” 

 

Listen in as Bryan shares the secret to Big Sandy’s success and how they leverage cultural incentives and digital sales training on this episode of The Bridge. 

 

The Bridge Season 2 is available wherever you get your podcasts including, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify. You can see all of the episodes, on your podcast app of choice, by visiting this link

 

Resources and Links Discussed

 

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

 

Best Practices to Focus on Personal Growth 

It is easy (and normal) to mindlessly scroll through social media, get lost in a Netflix series and to let your phone and email inbox go unanswered. Don’t let a global pandemic stop you from reaching your personal goals. Try these 5 practices to stay on track. 

 

 

Stick to a Routine

Having a daily routine (at least Monday-Friday) will help keep yourself in order. This looks different for everyone. It could be as simple as waking up in the morning by 7 a.m., working out and having a coffee before your work day, or extensive as an hour-by-hour daily plan. Whatever works for you, do it and own your routine.

 

 

For Personal Growth, Take up a New Hobby

Nothing says personal growth like starting something new. With potentially more time on your hands at home, this is a perfect time to pick up a new activity. Have you always wanted to learn how to play a guitar? Awesome! Order one! Do you want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Learning something new will challenge you and help you get out of your daily comforts and rut.

 

 

Exercise your Body and your Mind

It might sound odd, but exercise directly correlates to your level of rest and relaxation. It doesn’t always have to be physical exercise either. According to Harvard Medical Center there are many ways to control your stress and anxieties. Performing aerobic exercise is as key for your head as it is for your body. It provides stimulation to help counter depression and anxiety. 

 

Exercise your mind, too. Don’t let yourself get caught scrolling on your phone or lost in TV. Journal, listen to educational podcasts, read a book, do a puzzle, or take on that new hobby I mentioned above. These are all ways to exercise your mind and help reduce anxiety.

 

 

Give Back to Others

Give back to others if you have the means to. Giving back is a powerful path to self growth and happiness. Give your time, provide your skills or expertise, or give monetarily. Having a purpose and helping to give back will help you align and continue your personal growth journey.

 

 

Avoid Negativity

The news is constantly breaking on devastating stories. Friends and family might be sending you articles and pictures they find online about the pandemic. Negativity can lead to depressing thoughts and lack of motivation to accomplish your goals. However, reframe your thinking and nip negative thoughts in the bud before they start creeping in. Follow these other tips to help transform your negative thoughts

 

Learn more about PERQ and schedule a demo.