Be Sure Your Customers Like You, Too

Want to sell more projects, retain more clients, generate more referrals and establish your design firm as THE place to go when homeowners are looking for a remodeled kitchen or bath?

Of course you do.

Interestingly, however, success on those levels may be a product of far more than what conventional wisdom suggests are generally the key determining factors.

In other words, kitchen and bath retail success may be a product of far more than simply a well-appointed showroom, design and product expertise, well-honed sales and marketing skills, and excellent customer service.

It may be a product of even more, in fact, than such staples as a stellar reputation, consummate professionalism, or your ability to offer personal attention and a custom, turnkey solution to your clients' needs.

In reality, it may be a product of simply how well you are liked.

That's the message of an interesting new book called The Likeability Factor. In it, well-known author and speaker Tim Sanders describes life, in effect, as a series of popularity contests – with business success determined largely by the choices people make about you. And those choices, Sanders asserts, are often based simply on how much people like you.

Sanders suggests that the "likeability factor" of kitchen and bath professionals - like that of any other businessperson – must be considered as a crucial part of the day-to-day interaction with customers. He suggests, furthermore, that an individual's likeability factor can be increased by consciously focusing on four critical elements of personality:

  • Friendliness: Your ability to communicate warm feelings and openness to others.
  • Relevance: Your capacity to connect with others' interests, wants and needs.
  • Empathy: Your ability to recognize, acknowledge and experience other people's feelings.
  • Realness: The integrity that stands behind your likeability, and guarantees its authenticity.

Sanders' message, of course, carries considerable weight when it comes to the selling efforts of kitchen and bath dealers and designers.

His message, nevertheless, is often overlooked.

It shouldn't be.

It's been clear for quite some time now that today's consumers select their remodeling professionals almost exclusively on the basis of intangibles – like personality, communications skills, rapport – that go far beyond anything that can be measured, marketed, designed or displayed in a showroom.

It's been equally clear that what those consumers seek, more than anything, is a credible, amiable, professional sales approach that builds trust, engenders confidence and establishes a relationship.

All of which comes back to being liked.

Kitchen and bath sales professionals on all levels should remember the importance of that when meeting, and interacting with, customers and prospects.

They should remember, too, that all of the other trappings of their business – as elaborate and well-conceived as they might be – may be meaningless if people don't like who you are and what you're capable of offering as a person.