Early predictions for retail sales in the coming year will be slower, and customers will be more deliberate in their purchases.
But there is good news.
A majority of buyers who purchase furniture will be in-store. The first and most obvious reason is that customers want to feel and try out the piece they buy. But the second reason is surprising: they want to talk to someone with experience, someone they can trust, someone who knows the products and manufacturers.
With this backdrop, we offer five simple sales strategies to drive repeat business.
- Buying furniture is a personal experience.
Remember to consider the social need of customers. They want an expert who will take the time to get to know them. To be sure many customers may just be out and about because they are bored or looking for an upcoming sale; don’t discount them. These “be backs” can be a gold mine if you get to know them. Keep track of everybody you meet. Learn essential details beyond their contact information.
- Focus on the customer’s needs, not your need to close a deal.
Making small talk and tacky jokes is not how you create trust; it’s how you sell used cars. Asking sincere questions about the customer’s needs and then listening creates trust. Most customers have a vague idea of what they want when they come in. Letting them express it verbally to you will often clarify their thinking. And you’ll make them feel comfortable and not pressured. This conversation seems obvious but happens rarely.
- Only show up to three choices.
Social scientists tell us that we get overwhelmed with more than three choices. That’s when decision paralysis sets in. Good sales associates will present two pieces, making it even more accessible. Then the choice isn’t whether or not to buy but rather which item to buy.
- Keep in touch.
Most customers aren’t “shopping around” or “just looking.” They are looking for someone they can trust to give them recommendations. Most customers are not interior designers. So help with colors, arrangements, combinations, and accessories goes a long way in building the relationship. And once you have their contact info, you can regularly send product suggestions. In short, be their friend in the furniture business.
- Scale your personal touch by using automation.
It sounds counterintuitive, but if you send out personal suggestions and sales notifications to everybody you meet daily, you will need help. The average furniture Sales Associate can have anywhere from 1000 to 2000 clients, so creating personalization at scale requires some automation.
Clientbook has the leading mobile Clienteling app and platform to help furniture retailers to sell more strategically and drive more repeat business. The average Sales Associate using Clientbook increases their sales by 31%.
It has yet to be determined what 2023 holds, but furniture stores that emphasize getting their existing customers to return will separate themselves significantly from their competitors.