Rick, We know our furniture is made better than the import stuff our customers are buying, but we have a hard time getting around the cheap price. How do we sell against the imports? John from Vermont
John, Think "AAPC" (Awareness Always Precedes Change.) The customer has to be made aware of the serious differences between your product and the "curb furniture" they are thinking of buying. If the only difference is price, then you will lose.
Educate your clients on all the pluses you have in comparison to the import product they are considering. By making them aware of the differences, you can show your true value. Highlight the construction, finish, style, longevity, and American wood. You could even talk about your shop's working conditions in comparison to overseas and the Green aspect of using a local source.
I have one customer that has his furniture cut in half next to a import piece cut in half. As the customers look at the two halves, they can see for themselves which product will last.
You may not win every job, but by educating instead of selling, you will build a future customer. When the import product breaks and gets put on the curb during their first move, they will remember what you showed them.
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