When selling a finished wood product, you were probably taught that whenever someone raised an objection, you should recover the sale quickly by countering their objection with an ‘own’ sales pitch. For example, the customer might compare your product to a particle board IKEA cabinet. The ‘Old School’ sales method would be to recover quickly with a statement like, "Yes, but the IKEA is all particleboard, while ours is plywood."
Countering the customer with a sales strength may seem like winning, but in truth, all it does is stop the conversation and set up your customer as an adversary. You may win the argument, but still lose the sale. Instead of trying to recover from objections, try discovering the truth.
Turn More Wood Shop Bids Into Live Jobs
Join Rick Hill, the popular Custom Woodworking Business columnist, as he shares from experience about getting customers to close the sale for you, and how to use the right questions to bring them to that decision.
When my wife, Lynn wanted to add bookcases to our basement family room, she went online to look at styles and designs. Much to my horror, the site she liked best was the IKEA store and its ability to change components to her taste. As an uneducated consumer of furniture, Lynn equated design potential and ease of purchase with quality. Fortunately, I was able to pull her back from the abyss by sitting down with our local woodworker and for a similar price, create a more customized, better built system for our family room.
The sales lesson is that a quick objection about particleboard vs plywood would not have convinced Lynn to change her purchase. Instead our woodworker had to ask about the real reason she was considering the IKEA brand. For Lynn the real reasons were the designs on the website. Once our local shop was able to show her that they could create a similar design with better quality, she was sold. He had to discover why she was considering them, before he could win the sale.
Discovery questions focus on asking why choices are made. Why does the IKEA brand appeal to her? What is she trying to accomplish in the room? How would she like the product to function?
So instead of recovering from an objection, discover the why. The discovery questions will lead you to the truth and from there you can win.