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A beautiful sales room, exquisite merchandise and affordable prices will help you sell furniture, but don't underestimate customer relations. Selling furniture is part of the retail industry, and it requires specific advertising, relationship-building and deal-making strategies. Furniture buyers want salespeople who can guide them through the buying process from start to finish. No sales technique is 100 percent guaranteed, but several tested sales practices can increase the likelihood of closing a deal.
The Right Amount of Help
Customers typically want furniture sales agents to educate them on the benefits of specific furniture items, brands and promotional sales, but they don't want to feel like they're being stalked. Salespeople might offer a pleasant greeting and be available to answer questions, but they shouldn't follow customers around the store. You might have specific days where sales associates aren't covering the floor and customers can shop and browse on their own, according to Furniture World Magazine. On those days, make sure descriptions of the items and prices are clearly marked.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Even though word-of-mouth and customer referrals are positive ways to increase business, strong advertising and promotional efforts are the key to increased revenue. According to Furniture World Magazine's article on the success of Kane's Furniture stores, which opened in 1948 and operates 18 stores throughout Florida, effective advertising increases public interest and reaches a broad spectrum of potential customers. Radio announcements, television and newspaper ads and direct mail solicitations play an important role in increasing customer awareness and eventual sales. Consider in-store promotions, such as games of chance or give away items, to draw customers to your store. Internet advertising and online sales are also a vital part of Kane's Furniture's successful marketing efforts.
Fair and Reasonable Delivery Charges
One-time, flat-rate delivery charges can increase your sales. According to Furniture World Magazine, the most common time for customers to buy furniture is within 90 days after they've already purchased furniture. They might not like the look of a new sofa with an old chair or an outdated coffee table, so they return to buy coordinating items. However, they don't want to pay high delivery charges each item they buy. Consider offering a flat $99 delivery fee for all items purchased within 90 days or for one year after an initial purchase. Specify that the one-time delivery promotion is for local deliveries only, so you don't wind up with excessive gas or labor costs. You might also offer free delivery with online purchases to encourage customers to buy furniture through your website.
Strong Customer Rapport
Try to engage customers in a way that makes them feel special and important. Avoid insincere one-liners, tacky jokes or small-talk about controversial topics and focus on the customer's needs. For example, you might talk about ways a customer with children can convert an infant or toddler bedroom into a more mature children's room. Or you might discuss room layout tips with a customer who's concerned that her living room is too cluttered. Genuine interest, sincere conversation and helpful advice will increase a patron's confidence in your judgment and furniture-selling expertise.
As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.