Promotion and marketing can bring kitchen and bath customers in the door. It can make the phone ring. Spreading the word is important, and doing it on a daily basis without spending a ton of money 'is equally important. And, it all starts with your own mind set, and your employees' thought process regarding what you stock and what you sell.
How strongly do you feel about the lines you sell? Think about this for a minute: What do Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Amway salespeople and Mary Kay representatives who drive pink Cadillacs have in common? What about salespeople who sell Steinway pianos, Mercedes-Benz automobiles, or Rolex watches? Give up?'
The answer is, "an unshakable belief in what they sell." They talk about what they believe in all the time. They're sold on it. They'll get into a conversation about it with anybody, anytime. You just can't sway their thinking.'
And there's nothing wrong with that. Just question their beliefs
or their products, and they'll give you reasons, answers and
product information for as long as you'd like to listen. They
believe in their product, and they'd like you to believe in it, as
well. You're not going to convince these people that there's a
better product out there. It just won't happen, so you can save
your breath. We can learn something here.
Wouldn't this kind of belief in a product on the part of you and your staff make a definite difference in presenting your kitchen and bath lines to your customer? Dealers, do you truly believe that you sell the best-made products, or the best product for the money, or the most advanced products, or simply the absolute best kitchen and bath products out there? Salespeople, do you get excited when you're presenting these products? Do you get an adrenaline rush when you explain features and benefits?
A friend of mine works for a national insurance company. He does okay. He was explaining a policy to me that's earning him some decent commissions. He said, "I can beat anybody's plan on this. It's a great policy. I can run circles around the other insurance programs except for maybe ABC Company and XYZ, Inc." And that's what separates the big-hitters from the also-rans. They just don't have that fire built up inside of them to think that their insurance company is absolutely, without a doubt, the very best.
I decided to replace my garage door openers last week. I called
around looking for prices. I'd almost decided to go with one
company; its prices were a little higher, but I thought it had the
most to offer. Then I asked the salesperson on the phone why I
shouldn't just buy the doors from Sears and install them myself. (I
had no intention of doing this I don't even know which end of a
screwdriver to use, but I just wanted to see what he'd say.) He
said, "Well heck, you could do that and pay about half." I hung up
and called the next company in the Yellow Pages. If he can't think
of a reason for me to do business with him, how can I?
Another friend of mine sells digital keyboards. He loves what he does. He gets so excited demonstrating them that he can't wait to tell you about it. He loves to say, "This is so great, you're just not going to believe it. Watch! Listen! Let me show you!" His vocabulary is punctuated with superlatives and exclamation points and his own special emphasis. His sales increase every month. He does well year after year, and with an attitude like that, it's no wonder.
I recently took my car in for a simple oil and lube. I went looking around the showroom while it was being done. The salesperson who sold me the car a year ago came over; I told him that I might trade in one of my cars for the new SUV, since it has the expanded, updated OnStar feature that can't be retro-fitted into older models.'
I explained that we work with OnStar. He knows we work with the
car manufacturer, which is one of our biggest clients. He began
telling me that the new models aren't selling well, there's no
competitive lease deal right now, and "that OnStar thing is
expensive if you don't use it." Not exactly what I wanted to hear.
It almost forced me to keep what I have.
The idea here is that you and your salespeople want to be so excited by what you sell that nothing will come in the way of your thinking 'not the competitive manufacturers, not the customer, not other salespeople.
Try telling a Girl Scout you don't like her cookies, and she'll
probably cry. Everybody likes Girl Scout cookies. It's un-American
not to buy them. Girl Scouts believe it. They think you should,
too. When they come to your door, they know it's not a question of
whether you're going to buy them, it's a question of which ones and
how many? If your customer comes into your showroom looking at
kitchen or bathroom products, do you know they would be crazy not
to do business with you? Do you assume it's just a question of
style, design or color?
You need unshakable belief in what you're selling, faith in yourself, and enthusiasm for the business. Belief is the main ingredient. It will weather a bad stock market, a downturn in the economy and any type of business fluctuations. The easiest way to increase your sales is to sell what you really believe in. You become unstoppable. You'll talk about it to all of your customers, your friends, and at every cocktail party you ever go to. Enthusiasm, coupled with belief, may not move mountains, but it can move margins upward.
If you're not selling something you truly believe in, find
something else to sell. Selling something you can't stand behind
becomes a job. Selling products and services you believe in is like
riding a bicycle downhill no effort. And it's lots of fun,
Bob Popyk is publisher of Creative Selling', a monthly newsletter on sales and marketing strategies. He is the author of the book, How to Increase Your Kitchen & Bath Business by 25%Starting Next Week! available through the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and is a speaker at various industry events, including the National Kitchen & Bath Conference. For a free sample of his newsletter, call (800) 724-9700 or visit his Web site at http://www.creativeselling.com.