3d small people - complicated questionAre you a designer or a salesperson?  This was a question that I asked in every design class that I led across the country. The answer was predictable; most people in the business of selling kitchens considered themselves designers first and foremost.

Now to be fair, timing may have had something to do with those responses. Most of the classes that I led in cities such as Minneapolis, Boston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, and others, were conducted prior to 2008. It seems the world has changed slightly since then.

Pre-2008 kitchen sales

Before the year 2008, design might have been enough to get the average shop by. You sold value; your value, the value of the company you worked for, and finally, the value of the products you sold.

Selling seemingly was not as important because, after all, if you gave prospects a great design, they would (usually) buy.  That mindset and practice was a mistake made then that bred the bad habits kitchen designers make today.

Do you know how to sell now?

Many designers do not have the proper skill sets or training to close a deal.  A simple test of the theory is in presentation of the quote. (Notice I say quote and not design, because if the quote isn’t the emphasis, it doesn’t matter how pretty the design appears.)

  • Do you ask that both parties be present (spouse, partner, etc.)?
  • Do you present your quote in a similar format every time?
  • Do you have a script?
  • Do you ask if anything is missing or if you overlooked any details that were important to the couple?
  • Do you ask how long it will take to make a decision based on the work you did for them?
  • Do you arrange a follow-up time for their decision?
  • And finally, do you ask for the sale?

If you answered “no” to any of the above, then you are not selling. You are merely propagating an expectation of a free service; that free service is called design as a commodity.

Selling involves a pre-calculated, repeatable, systematic approach which leads to a predictable percentage of closing rates for you and your business. To learn more about the 4M Sales process tailored to the kitchen business, click here.

For a free download of the Top 15 Kictchen Selling Mistakes, access your eBook below.