Thriving And Surviving In Tough Economic Times
I thought my consulting business and requests for training and doing talks would slow down like everything else with our current economy. It hasn’t. The phone keeps ringing and I keep jumping on airplanes winging my way to all the regions in our great USA. And yes, I’m finding business slow and tough almost everywhere I go.
Here’s what I’m seeing:
We need more happy talk! A character named Bloody Mary sang a song in the Broadway musical South Pacific called “Happy Talk.” If you don’t know the words, then Google it. Start talking optimistic and positive - it’s contagious, I promise!
There is a lot of good news out there. We just have to concentrate on the positives and try harder to eliminate the negatives. First, it’s projected that kitchens and baths will continue to be the most important rooms in the home for the next 25+ years. Second, all predictions point to the fact that luxury kitchen and bath products will not only continue to grow, but will be in high demand not only by the very high-end buyer, but by middle class clients as well. Will you be ready for this demand?
Following is a list of things you need to do to become better business managers:
Everyone wants to grow their sales. Well, there’s only three ways to do this:
- 1. Sell more of your
existing products to existing customers.
2. Sell existing products to more customers.
3. Sell more new products and services to existing and/or new customers.
Likewise, there are only three ways to grow your showroom bottom line:
- 1. More sales at the same
2. The same sales at higher margins.
3. Reduce expenses.
Doing some of all three of these is the best of all worlds.
I mentioned that too many of you are allowing margins to slip. And everyone blames it on the competition. Bunk! I don’t buy it. If you’re letting your margins slip, STOP RIGHT NOW! Start selling your value package. Here is what I mean:
All sales consultants have to learn to sell their own individual value points. They need to learn to “brag” about themselves. Certainly this needs to be done in an appropriate way with the appropriate timing. But every prospect should be told how lucky they were to get you as their salesperson.
Next, sales consultants have to “brag” about their company. They need to recite the many value points about the business - why you’re better, more unique and different from all your competitors.
Finally, salespeople have to “brag” about their vendor partners and their products. This has to include pointing out the many features and benefits that their products have.
The point of all this value talk is that when you sell value and benefits you make price become less important.
I cover this in much more detail in the workbook I wrote for the American Supply Association titled “Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales - Mastering the Art of the Consultative Sale.” ASA also has me doing an 8-hour workshop on the subject. Call them at 312-464-0090 or visit www.asa.net - get the workbook and sign up for a workshop. Remember, yours is a selling business. Nothing - I mean nothing - happens until you sell something. So wouldn’t it be in the best interests of both you and your company to try and become the very best salesperson possible?
Following is a list of things you can (must) do to tighten your showroom business belt:
A friend of mine recently said he’s advising his clients to “get lighter, get tighter and get brighter!” Good advice! Please feel free to e-mail or call me if I can be of service in any way.