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Building the ‘Salesperson-Client’ Relationship

Did you ever go into a showroom be it for kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, or furniture, and all you really want to do look is around and not be bothered by a salesperson? You walk in, decide not to make eye contact, mumble “just looking”, and then with a head full of questions you leave because you do not want to be pressured by a clingy, overzealous salesperson.

The problem with this approach is that you may be missing out on the salesperson who is a font of knowledge and may be just who you need to help define your design personality, prioritize your wish list or offer you
insight on a product.

Here are some suggestions for staying within your comfort zone while controlling the ‘Sales Pitch’…

Do make eye contact, introduce yourself, and extend a handshake. The salesperson will recognize you are in control of your visit and you are opening the window to conversation. Tell the salesperson the type of product you are looking to purchase. Let us say you are thinking about remodeling a kitchen. Your existing cabinets are 30 years old and original to when the house was built. One might think replacing cabinets would be relatively easy, that is until you discover the vast selection of styles, wood species, veneers, finishes, box construction, hinges, hardware, drawer mechanisms, trim options, price points — and this all before the measurements have been taken, design has begun, and the cabinet installation has entered the discussion.

A salesperson worth their salt will know their product, have an understanding of construction, share their knowledge, and be ready to provide options to fit your design aesthetic as well as your budget. Be honest about your intentions. If you are truly window shopping, say so when a salesperson approaches. Again, the salesperson who is worth their salt will make themselves accessible to your questions and be keen to share their expertise. This can be invaluable time well spent. Whether you are ready to buy today or are simply in research mode, ‘Big’ ticket purchases should be bought with thought and discretion. Shoes can be returned with relative ease, whereas a run of 25 cabinets cannot.

Note to consumer: The internet is a good tool for research however, nothing beats an up close and personal, hands on guided tour through a product.

Note to consumer: Be forthright in regard to your budget. Your wish list may not match your affordability factor, but don’t get discouraged because product variety often allows for design affordability.

Note to consumer: Make yourself accessible to the process by sharing pertinent information for example, an exchange of contact information, including email addresses, home, work, and cell phone numbers, and the
best time to call. Who doesn’t have a busy schedule? The use of email can cut down the amount of time information is exchanged such as design plans, price quotes, etc., as well as continuing the flow of conversation. Remember, accessibility to information goes both ways.

Note to consumer: Be prepared and expect a salesperson to follow up with you, the client. It is their job to do so and their obligation to provide timely, accurate information, keeping open the door to discussion to answer questions and concerns, as well as requesting client feedback. Essentially a salesperson has goals in mind. Sell the client a product and/or skill set, provide customer satisfaction, and roll that satisfaction into referral business. When a salesperson follows up on a consultation, job quote or seeking a decision from a customer, the courtesy of an answer from a client is much appreciated and will negate the salesperson from becoming a pest.

The ‘Salesperson-Client’ relationship is truly a bond of shared ideas. Time invested by each party, talent to create a vision and trust in the production process can result in a satisfactory ‘aha’ moment that will endure through years of contented use of the remodeled space thus forging a relationship that will continue to be nurtured through future projects.