Don’t sell to clients, nuture them advises owner of MBK Design Studio Stewart Woodruff if independents don’t want to follow the route of big firms who failed
With the news of major brand names collapsing in the bathroom industry, we have to ask ourselves why are large firms failing to provide a sustainable business?
They have the bargaining power that we, as independent retailers, can’t match.
They have a marketing budget they we can only dream about, the backing of financial institutions and multiple outlets.
Yet they still crash and burn.
How can these large companies so spectacularly fail?
Surely, the lesson to learn from this if you want to try to compete on price with internet companies with a bricks and mortar existence you are doomed to fail, and fail they do.
You have greater overheads and so any downturn on the quantity of sales has a greater impact, as your fixed costs are still there and much higher that the internet companies.
So how are we, as independents going to benefit for the failures of large companies?
We need to learn from their mistakes and surely the most important is customer service.
Selling goods at large discounted prices just to keep the cash flowing is unsustainable.
Having a team of sales personnel and not consultants is not the way forward.
Many clients of mine have come from superstores where they have been sold at by sales personnel who are only interested in selling product with no thought to what the client actually wants.
Very often it has resulted in them not getting the sale and pushing the customer away.
So all that slick marketing has got the customer in the door, but the sales process has driven them away.
So we must learn to nurture clients. They are the most important people to you.
You need to understand their needs, listen to their concerns and offer solutions before you try to sell them anything.
Sales techniques are now mostly obsolete in today’s market. Customers do not want to be sold product, they want to buy.
And they want to make these purchases based on their own decisions, which have been bolstered by your experience and helpful ideas.
Let’s pick up those customers who are still going to the superstores by making sure we are as transparent as we can about our services and our experience.
Give them reasons why they should buy for you.
Start by asking questions, query what a client thinks they want and establish the reasons behind their choices.
If you can help them make the right decisions, you will find that their order values increase and so do your sales.