Furniture Selling Techniques and Tips

Furniture Selling Techniques and Tips

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]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, longterm, better for your paycheck.”[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

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Why Multifamily Properties Should Use Multi-touch Lead Attribution

Why Multifamily Properties Should Use Multi-touch Lead Attribution

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Multifamily property companies historically focused on first-touch lead attribution. Before the internet, the renter’s journey was fairly limited and linear so that model made sense. Multi-touch lead attribution better reflects a renter’s behavior nowadays, delivering a detailed look at the many ways a consumer discovers and communicates with your properties; as well as which touchpoints compel them to lease.

 

By analyzing this more accurate data, companies can optimize marketing budgets and learn how to convert more leads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Multi-Touch Lead Attribution Gives Properties Big Picture

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]“Multi-touch lead attribution helps you to understand the holistic view of how all of your advertising and exposure contributed to that journey, because it’s not always super-linear,” says Todd Katler, CEO of Anyone Home, which develops scheduling and CRM (customer relationship management) software alongside customizable analytics and workflow platforms to serve the multifamily property industry.

 

It’s important to understand the path to conversion follows a nuanced and multi-faceted trail. It’s very rare that renters only search one apartment or condo website. They do hours of online research through multiple channels before contacting a leasing office.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/297746053″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Quantify Cost of Lead Acquisition with Multi-Touch Lead Attribution

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]“Multiple touchpoints are key to converting at a rate that provides enough leads for sustainable occupancy,” says Katrina Greene, senior property manager at Sheehan Properties based in Indianapolis.

 

In a perfect world, Greene says she wishes her lead management software allowed her to specifically designate leads as an “information” source and an “influencer” source. Right now, the CRM they use identifies a primary lead source and a secondary source, without giving any weight to how each played a role in converting the lead to a lease.

 

“I wouldn’t consider that multi-touch lead attribution,” Greene says. “I think the consumer’s experience and process typically require them to have both [information and influencer] sources in order to get a conversion.”

 

She gives examples of a prospect who finds information on an ILS but uses social media as an influencer, or finds information on the property’s website but it’s the interactive experiences on the site that convince the person to sign a lease.

 

“Marketing options and consumer behaviors continue to evolve, but marketing budgets are staying relatively close to the same,” Greene says. “It’s helpful to have a way to quantify the importance of both sources during the buying process. Information plus influence equals strong leads.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How Virtual Reality Showrooms Benefit Both Shoppers and Businesses

How Virtual Reality Showrooms Benefit Both Shoppers and Businesses

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Furniture shopping can be both fun and stressful for customers, and it can be a challenge for home furnishings dealers. Customers stare at a piece of furniture, and put different fabric swatches on it, trying to imagine how a couch will look with this color or that pattern. They’re often not quite sure, and they worry about it until they finally get it home and see how it looks.

 

If they love it, great! But if they don’t, you have to deal with the hassle of the return and they’re back to square one, starting the entire process all over again. This means retailers need to deal with the exchange and figure out what can they do with a special order item or a custom-made piece.

 

Customers are also interested in looking at furniture at all times of day and night, even when the showrooms aren’t open. And since most online experiences are the same, there’s nothing that stands out or makes the experience feel personalized to them.

 

This is where a virtual reality showroom can make a real difference to furniture stores.

  • They let customers shop from anywhere at any time.
  • They reduce showroom costs while increasing overall traffic.
  • They can easily plug into any website.
  • They increase the size of your orders.
  • They increase the time people spend browsing online.

 

A virtual reality showroom can help your customers get an idea of what your different products are going to look like in their own homes while shopping your showroom in the comfort of their own homes.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”29445″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]”Our system allows customers to shop a showroom from any location, 24/7,” says Rich Kehoe, National Business Developer for DOVR Media, which integrates with PERQ’s website conversion software. “Regular showrooms cost retailers a ton of money to keep them open during the day, and so many people work that they don’t have time for a good walkthrough of a showroom.”

 

The VR application can be something like in-showroom headsets used by brands like IKEA, Office Depot, and Ashley Furniture, where users can look at different furnishings and find their favorite combinations among all the choices. It gives consumers a realistic idea of what different furnishings and combinations will look like in their home, rather than just relying on imagination and memory.

 

A virtual system on your home furnishing website will also allow people to look at your entire showroom from the comfort of their own home. An online VR showroom can plug into virtually any website and connect all of your furniture items into your ecommerce solution for easy online sales. It’s ideal for customers who want to special order a product, or want to have their items shipped to them across the country, but don’t want to spend the time to actually visit your showroom.

 

“VR is a great idea for walking customers through the showroom as if they’re right there,” says Kevin Watson, an independent marketing specialist representing Ashley Furniture Industries, “It’s an amazing way to show your home furnishings store.”

 

Another benefit of the VR experience is that it can help increase the size of your orders as customers get more ideas about the possibilities in their home.

 

“We’ve collaborated with PERQ, and together we have helped influence revenue over $1.5 million in one sales quarter,” Kehoe says. “Virtual tour customers were on the website an average of 622% longer than all others.”

 

In other words, when customers see their chosen couch next to that end table, they may decide to buy the end table, too. It’s a good way to show off some extra pieces they might not have thought of, and give them new ideas.

 

Virtual reality showrooms can also help cut down on returns because customers will have a better idea of whether the item will work in their home or not. You can avoid the “it clashed with the paint” or “it didn’t fit in the space” return problems.

 

Finally, home furnishing retailers can use the analytics from the VR apps to find out which patterns and pieces are the most popular and least liked. Rather than just relying on sales data, which only tells you what has sold, you can use the VR data to examine color combinations and even style preferences. If you find that more people are rejecting a pattern quickly or repeatedly, that can give you a better idea about people’s reactions to it and whether you should continue selling it.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

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How to Solve Your Digital Advertising Problems

How to Solve Your Digital Advertising Problems

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]You can’t prove what you can’t measure. Many retailers lack an integrated system to track, analyze and engage online shoppers on a meaningful level — let alone attach real revenue dollars to digital advertising.

 

“One of the challenges the furniture industry faces is tracking online marketing to in-store sales,” says Barb Davids, Digital Marketing Manager at Walker Furniture in Las Vegas and owner of a digital marketing agency.

 

You can’t make solid marketing decisions without enough data to fully analyze your online traffic, lead conversions, and digital advertising performance. You can’t collect enough data and gain that transparency without a way to engage with online shoppers and collect their information across multiple channels.

 

“Right now, business owners try to make digital advertising decisions and get frustrated,” says Scott Hill, PERQ Executive Chairman and Co-Founder. “They spend tens of thousands of dollars in digital advertising a month, and they can’t tell from the store if anything’s different, or who came in as a result of the digital advertising or how it’s performing.”

 

Top 5 Digital Advertising Problems

 

Solve these 5 common digital advertising problems and you’ll gain actionable insights into where your digital advertising dollars make the most impact.

 

1. Low Website Conversion

 

Digital advertising efforts may increase website traffic, but that doesn’t mean your store suddenly converts more online visitors. If your home furnishings website acts simply as a static brochure with nothing noteworthy to offer consumers, you’re likely missing out on a chance to engage with customers and encourage an in-store visit.

 

Personalize their online experience, give helpful guidance, and entice them with relevant incentives. Walker Furniture’s website guides online shoppers with integrated software that turns anonymous website traffic into detailed consumer profiles, delivering Walker Furniture with valuable information like why a consumer is in the market for a mattress, how they plan to use their new sofa or what they like to do in their spare time.

 

“We can see a customer is engaged with us when they take a style quiz, ask about a product or schedule a design consultation,” says Davids. “It gives us a way to drive in-store sales, but even better than that, a way to track our online efforts to in-store sales.”

 

Converting website leads to in-store sales requires an integrated approach. By linking every digital advertising account to the store website, a retailer can run a cohesive advertising campaign across platforms to give online shoppers a streamlined experience. At the same time, the store gets a comprehensive view of what’s driving the most traffic and sales.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”29445″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” qode_css_animation=””][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

2. Lack of Data Transparency

 

Home furnishing stores must look at every aspect when examining how individual digital advertising campaigns perform, including the cost of administering and managing those campaigns. Demand transparency when evaluating your digital advertising spending and consumer data.

 

To calculate true ROI for different digital advertising avenues, invest in AI technology that takes into account all of the various touchpoints along a consumer’s journey and factors in any hidden costs or maintenance fees. It’s far too complicated for a human to evaluate and report results with such detail, or at least in a timely manner, and that makes all of the difference. Digital advertising requires you to be quick and nimble, and without sufficient transparency you can’t confidently make decisions based on data.

 

3. Poor Reporting on Digital Advertising Performance

 

Website traffic totals don’t directly correlate to sales performance. You don’t care how many potential customers your salesperson talked to in a month. You care about how much merchandise they sold and total profit they produced. Why should your home furnishings store website be any different?

 

Don’t settle for generic overviews that fail to break down exactly where your marketing money was spent and the performance of each individual digital advertising campaign. Exactly which digital ads converted leads to sales, and what path did those consumers take before purchasing? Know how many website visitors actually converted into customers and which online experiences influenced that in-store sale.

 

This is where popular analytics tools typically fall short. They can’t accurately track a consumer who uses several different electronic devices to view the website or digital advertising and returns multiple times to do research. They count a single customer as multiple visitors, failing to see the shopper’s entire journey or get accurate reporting.

 

4. One-Size-Fits-All Products

 

It takes sophisticated software to collect all of this consumer profile and sales data, then process it and automatically respond to the real-time insights it delivers. Until recently, no such product existed for the home furnishings industry. Advances in AI-based cloud technology have made it a feasible solution for independent stores seeking a more transparent way to centralize and utilize their data.

 

A marketing cloud developed specifically for furniture, appliance and mattress retailers makes all of the difference when trying to track digital advertising dollars and learn how to grow the business in an effective, efficient way. Powered by AI, a marketing cloud also gives stores a way to automatically adjust digital advertising spends based on data and performance.

 

5. Insufficient Digital Marketing Data

 

Centralized marketing cloud data resolves a small local store’s conundrum of insufficient data. The AI technology not only collects and analyzes a retailer’s own sales and lead data, it then compares that information to millions of other consumer data points collected across the industry. With those big-data insights, the cloud formulates an ideal customer profile the store can use to target new customers through digital advertising as well as re-target existing leads.

 

“That gives us the ability to improve and decide which consumer profiles are most likely to convert,” Hill says. “You can then target them specifically with digital marketing, know which channels are most likely to get you in front of those type of shoppers, as well as which offers, products and services are helping to convert the best.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

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Best Value, Good Sleep Matter Most to Mattress Buyers

Best Value, Good Sleep Matter Most to Mattress Buyers

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” background_image_as_lanattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Like most mattress buyers, getting a good night’s sleep is important to 53-year-old Dede Davis. When she feels sleep-deprived, Davis says she tends to overeat, lacks energy and stumbles through the day in a brain fog.

 

When she bought her queen-size mattress, Davis says she knew the type of mattress she wanted and shopped around for the best price. “I wanted a memory foam, because my sister had one and I had used her bed at one time. I just loved it,” Davis says. “I wanted something at least mid-level, if not a little bit higher, because I think good mattresses are worth the investment.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]An analysis of more than 500 shoppers who recently engaged with PERQ’s mattress assessments across their client websites found 76% of shoppers preferred getting a good price with the best value, versus only about 18% who wanted the cheapest option. The analysis also found nearly 60% of online mattress consumers aren’t ready to buy now, but are merely gathering research to find the best value.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

How Much a Mattress Costs Matters, But How Does It Feel?

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]While getting a good price with the best value was most important to Davis, she also needed to know the mattress felt good while sleeping so she visited a few home furnishings stores to test them out.

 

“I guess we’re all tactile people, but I just can’t imagine buying a mattress online without knowing how it would feel underneath me,” Davis says. “You’re stuck with it for 10 years or more.”[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Unlike Davis, 50-year-old Andrew Hamaker didn’t test out any mattresses and conducted most of his research online. “I didn’t go and lay on the mattress, and say this is the one I want. I had narrowed it down to a specific brand, a specific model,” says Hamaker, who bought a Sealy Posturepedic California king bed from Kittles.

 

“I am happy with it,” he adds. As a certified public accountant who runs his own business, Hamaker is always interested in getting the best value but he’s also willing to pay more for a better mattress. “Most people get on it and think it’s too hard. It’s not a soft, cushy bed, but it’s better for my back.” Before buying his next mattress, Hamaker expects today’s home furnishings websites with advanced AI technology will save him time by narrowing down his preferred style.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]A recently purchased new mattress felt great to 32-year-old Ashley Paris, but not so much for her husband. After agreeing to a 14-day home trial of a king-size Restonic Biltmore mattress, Paris had to exchange it. “We tried it and after two days, my husband couldn’t move his head. I loved it. It was too soft for him, but perfect for me,” Paris says.

 

While it took several trips to the mattress store to find the best fit for the newlywed couple, Paris says it was worth the hassle to find the right mattress even though the replacement cost less and the store owner gifted them a mattress protector to make up the difference in price.

 

Every shopper ultimately takes their own journey to buy the perfect mattress, but most start by conducting research online. Use your website to help them simplify the process by matching their preferences with the best options, and soon they’ll trust you to schedule an in-store consultation.  [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Additional Home Furnishings Resources

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