Post-Meltdown Marching Orders: Create “Now!” as Well as “Wow!”
Thursday’s stock market meltdown should serve as a wakeup call for interior design professionals.
It’s should remind you that your biggest challenge in this challenging economy isn’t just to get customers to buy.
It’s to get them to buy now.
You simply can’t afford to let prospects stand by, to think about it, to hold off for now, to shop around a bit. It’s dangerous to let them play the waiting game.
You can’t afford to let them use “This Economy” as an excuse not to buy now.
You can’t sell when they sit. When they snooze, you lose.
Their procrastination is your poison.
Maybe your competitors are willing to fall for the stall, settle for “someday,” and let prospects walk out of their showroom — and out of their lives.
You can’t. Not if you want to thrive, rather than just survive in 2011.
“Why you?” used to be the question foremost on a prospect’s mind.
Now there’s a second one: “Why now?”
Here’s where you have to create immediacy.
Here’s where you must convince them that this isn’t just a good time to invest in your design services and products, it’s the BEST time.
Procrastination is a kind of price objection — and the feel-felt-found strategy is one good way to overcome it.
Say: “I understand how you feel: the idea of buying a new kitchen now IS scary, because it’s expensive.”
“Other clients felt that, too. But they found that buying now helped them immediately reduce energy costs, lock in lower prices on materials and labor, and enhance the value — and eventual resale value — of their homes.”
Your best strategy now is to use the economic downturn to your advantage.
How? By explaining why it’s exactly why a prospect should buy from you now.
Say, someone tells you that this economy is why they can’t afford your design services now.
“This economy is precisely why you should invest in our services now.”
“Financial gurus say your home is your most important asset, your ‘safest haven’ in times like these. Well, we can help you increase your home’s value and prepare it for resale.”
Other ways to use this turnabout technique:
This is exactly the time to invest in our design services because we can help you…
… install more energy-efficient window treatments in your lobbies.
… make more efficient use of space in your corporate offices, now that you’re downsizing.
… update your models, so that you can move the condos more quickly.
… modify your kitchen and bathrooms so that you can save on water bills.
… finish the basement, and add a bedroom that you can rent out.
…save money now, rather than pay higher prices in the future on things like furniture and fabrics.
Those design professionals most adept at addressing “this economy” will be the most successful this year.
Fred Berns is a business coach for interior design professionals and interior design industry partners nationwide.