In 2008, BreakFront (formerly CompanionCabinet Software) was commission by top dealers and manufacturers to begin a multi-year study of the highest closing kitchen designers in the nation. Over 100 of the highest closing kitchen designers were interviewed. They are called “Naturals” because they are able to close $2M or more in sales in a retail environment, and maintained this sales volume for a period of 3 consecutive years.
The goal of the study was to uncover how the Naturals were closing so much business and how we might formalize their techniques into a process all kitchen designers could adopt. As a result of the study, BreakFront created the 4M Sales Process® to teach kitchen and bath salespeople how to:
- Quickly establish rapport and credibility with new prospects
- Share stories that position themselves as an expert that needs to be respected
- Ignite desire for their designs
- Sell at higher margins
- Close more sales
- Gain more referrals
This unique step by step process consistently helps designers close more sales. Kitchen designers learn how to organize seemingly random conversations into a repeatable, predictable sales process.
Making a kitchen remodeling sale is broken into four phases. The phases are:
The Meet phase is separated into four stages: Qualify, Capture, Educate, and Commit. Prospects move through each of these stages before they become an actual opportunity worth more time and energy from your sales team. In the Meet phase, it is essential for the salesperson to listen carefully and resist pushing a prospect too rapidly towards a sale.
- Qualifying involves the salesperson qualifying the prospective buyer as a valuable sale, but also qualifying the dealership as a key partner in that process.
- Capturing involves the salesperson gaining information about the project, including specifications and budget constraints.
- Educating the prospect helps to build their knowledge about potential pitfalls they might encounter and about the products themselves, while at the same time building up the salesperson and the dealership as a valuable and trusted source of information.
- Committing the prospect is not actually closing a sale. Rather, it is conveying to the prospect what will be coming next in the sales process, and in doing so, ensuring that they are truly ready to take the next step towards a purchase.
The Measure phase is separated into five stages: Ask, Observe, Recommend, Measure, and again, Commit. In this phase, the prospect becomes an actual opportunity with a rough budget. The fit between their needs and your dealerships products and capabilities are solidified.
- The Ask stage requires active listening and participation on the part of the salesperson. The salesperson needs to ask leading questions (rather than ones with yes or no answers) to allow the prospect to open up about their desires, dislikes, and concerns. In this stage, it’s often necessary for the salesperson to “read between the lines” of a prospect’s answers, to determine the reasons behind potential likes and dislikes, and ensure that those potential problems are solved by any cabinet solution eventually offered.
- In the Observe stage, the salesperson begins thinking about potential upsells in a prospect’s package. They should note what areas draw the most attention or emotion from the prospect, and, as in the Ask stage, try to determine the causes behind this attraction. This will help build a more complete sales package for the prospect, as well as bring in a potentially larger profit for the dealership.
- The Recommend stage is where many salespeople actually start, and come across as ‘pushing product’ on a prospect. However, by following the 4M Sales Process, salespeople will ensure that they make informed recommendations after they have a relationship with their prospect, and based on the prospect’s expressed needs, wants, and reactions. While making these recommendations, salespeople should remain aware of the prospect’s reactions to their suggestions and try to determine the reasoning behind anything negative.
- The Commit stage goes hand-in-hand with recommendations. Salespeople summarize their understanding on what the prospect has chosen based on the given recommendations and summarize what both parties hope to achieve during the rest of the sales process. This helps set expectations correctly and ensures the prospect is ready to proceed with the sale.
The Match phase is separated into four stages: Summarize, Present, Compete, and Commit. In this phase, the sales person develops comparison solutions and presents them to the prospect for consideration. Quotes, designs, and estimates are produced.
- Summarizing returns briefly to the Ask stage where salespeople summarize everything they have learned from the prospect thus far, including details about price, desires, and pain points. Identifying the key issues your solution needs to solve for the prospect reassures them that you have been listening to their problems and are providing an informed solution.
- Next, the saleseperson Presents the package in the largest overall concept first, and then works their way down to the smaller details.
- The Compete stage is all about comparison shopping, which is a natural tendency for all prospect. To maximize the potential for a sale, the salesperson presents three potential packages to the prospect – all three of them from your product lines. If negative feedback arises from any of the three alternatives, return to the Ask stage to determine the source of the reactions. Additionally, potential external competition should be addressed in this stage.
- Commit is where salespeople should ask for the prospect’s feedback about their experience with the company. They should also inquire as to a timeframe before a decision may be reached.
“The 4M Sales Process is great for owners
to do as well. I took the concepts back to our
employees and went through the lessons with
them to use on their own.”
–Scott Dyke, Owner, Cavalier Kitchens
4. Make the Deal
The Make a Deal phase includes four stages: Prepare, Review, Commit, and Close. Now the prospect has come back and they are ready to make a decision. It’s time to close the deal.
- Prepare is a review of the information gained and the choices made in the previous three phases. Salespeople review all information with the prospect and then inquire as to the timeframe of decision-making following the conversation, if appropriate.
- The Review stage once again involves active listening. Salespeople should ask prospects if they have any last minute questions or concerns. By asking about concerns and solving problems thoughtfully, your dealership will help to reduce instances of “buyer’s remorse.”
- Once the salesperson and prospect are satisified that needs are met, the Commit stage involves signing of paperwork and the presentation of any discounts the dealership may be offering (payment plans, etc.).
- Finally, in the Closing stage, the salesperson should verify the customer’s satisfaction with the purchase they have just made. Salespeople should consider a successful sale a win-win situation if all issues have been addressed and the customer has made an informed purchase.
Get our 4M Power Pack to learn more about the industry specific 4M sales process below.