The sales process for a remodel is one that easily gets too complicated for the customer, and they back out before you even get a chance to show them a design. This is partly because there is a lack of communication between you and your potential customer, and that creates a gap in knowledge for you both.
Most people who come to your showroom already have a list of questions that they will throw at you, and that’s to be expected. But what should also be a part of your process is to ask them lots of questions, so you can understand their motivations and their project better.
Prospects expect to be asked the basic questions. What they won’t expect, and what you need to ask, are questions about their lifestyle and personal preferences. It’s important for you, as their designer/salesperson to find out enough information that tells you if they’re qualified and a bit about their expectations. These questions can be broken into two types – emotional and organizational – both categories having plenty of questions in each that can allow you to connect with your customer on a better level.
Now we’re not saying you should sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion with the prospect the first time they walk through your doors – that might actually scare them off. What we are suggesting is that you try to tune in to the emotional reasons for the remodeling process. Questions about their home and what their ideas and goals are for the remodel will help you connect with them on a personal level. This connection will help break down the barriers with your prospect and let them feel like you are on their side. Here’s a list of some emotions focused questions:
- “What brings you to our showroom?”
- “What have you seen that appeals to you?”
- “Can you tell me about your home, age of it, style and how long you’ve lived there?”
- “What are your highest priorities with your kitchen project?”
- “Can you share with me what you dislike about your present kitchen? Why?”
Once you’ve connected with your customer, getting to the business part of the project is sometimes one of the harder parts. It’s uncomfortable to start to ask questions about timelines, who else is involved and what type of budget they are working with, if you aren’t prepared with some basic questions. These business-focused questions don’t need to come across as cold and structured, but you do need to get some valuable information to complete your end of the project. Project organization-based questions look a little like this:
- “Where is the project?”
- “What’s the scope of your project?”
- “May I ask if you received other design proposals and/or quotes on your project?”
- “Could you share with me who will ultimately make the decision on this project?”
- “Can I ask, what is the size of the investment you are considering?”
As you can see, neither set of questions is too invasive to the customer for their first trip into the showroom, but they will allow you to gain valuable information that will help you move forward. So while you sit and talk with your customer, think about how many questions you have asked them and how you can get more information.