Why you should stop selling products and start selling TRANSFORMATIONS

by | Window Fashion VISION Magazine

January archive.  Posted by Kathy Pace:  This post is an excerpt from Window Fashion VISION Magazine.  The link to Kathy’s full article is below.

Image: Sell Transformations

Image: Sell Transformations

You have great products that can help a lot of people, so why does it feel like such a struggle to sell them?

Most of the time, it’s this: You’re spending too much time explaining what makes your products special instead of positioning them as the solution that solves problems and will change your client’s life.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sounds overly dramatic, right? I can assure you, though, it’s not. It’s Modern Sales, and it’s backed by science. Your business will take off when you figure out how to sell transformations rather than products. You’ll stop spending countless hours preparing quotes and design boards that never go anywhere and spend more time preparing purchase contracts that bring your window treatment design ideas to life. Clients will buy from you again and again. They will refer their friends. You will enjoy the satisfaction of helping more people live better. Not only will your client’s life be transformed, but your design sales business will also be transformed.

Image - “People don’t buy things. They buy the feeling that comes from owning the thing.” ~Simon Sinek

“People don’t buy things. They buy the feeling that comes from owning the thing.” ~Simon Sinek

Old-school thinking won’t get Modern Sales results.

Most businesses have been approaching window treatment sales for years from one of two directions: function or design.

A function-forward salesperson spends lots of time on product knowledge. They study features and benefits, attend product training with vendors, and know a lot about lift systems and light gaps. They explain in detail which product will solve what problem. The focus is on the product and what it does. Because there are so many choices and options, it’s very easy for the client to become overwhelmed and do the mental equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears while shaking their head. “TMI … TMI!” Too much information is the downside to this approach. Confused, overwhelmed people do not act. Focus too much on the product, and the client will say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.”

The second sales approach centers more on design. Conversation involves the product but from the perspective of what it looks like and how it fits into the other design elements in the room. Like the first approach, the window treatment will solve a functional problem, but more emphasis is placed on design items like the look and texture of the materials, the style of the treatment, the warmth or coolness of the color, how it blends into the room, and such. To all but the trained designer, this approach can be overwhelming, too. More importantly, it lacks a compelling sense of urgency to take action and buy. Clients say, “Oh, so many beautiful choices. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Let me talk it over with (family, friends, anyone who can help them make sense of it all) and I’ll get back to you.”

Both sales styles can be effective sometimes, and one is not better than the other, but neither is enough to motivate a high purchasing likelihood because their emphasis is on selling products.

Modern sales take a completely different approach. Product and design aren’t what make you stand out. Service isn’t what makes you stand out either. Beautiful, well-designed, quality products and good customer service are a given. It’s what the customer called you there to provide. Clients expect it of everyone they do business with. It is required to stay in business. The two approaches I’ve described, product and design, lack an ingredient —a secret sauce, so to speak, used in Modern Sales that drives the decision to purchase. It’s related to the limbic region of the brain.

Infographic image

This is your brain on sales. Or more to the point, your client’s brain on BUYING

The infographic shows that the thinking brain represents conscious thoughts, calculations, reasoning, and expression through language. As humans, we spend most of our time in the analytical or thinking part of the brain. In a selling situation, thinking correlates to WHAT we sell and HOW it works. It is the part of the brain engaged when we talk about products.

The feeling brain represents emotions, impulses, intuition, and instincts. The limbic or feeling region is the part of the brain that has no language associated with it.  It relates to how we feel about something or someone, warns us of danger, and signals trust.

Science has discovered it is the limbic brain that lights up when trust is established and that the feeling brain trumps the thinking brain when it comes to purchasing decisions.  For example, we’ve all encountered situations where we were gathering information on a project, and Person A’s solution sounded great and cost less than Person B’s proposal.  But there was just something about Person B.  If we pause to think about it, we might reason that they seem to really understand my situation… they “get me.” Yes, the price is higher, but our gut tells us we should buy from Person B because it just “feels right.”.  This gut feeling isn’t the gut at all.  It’s the Limbic brain at work; and science has shown it is the region of the brain where the decision to purchase takes place.

Solve more significant problems and the likelihood of purchase increases.

Successful sales professionals use this knowledge about the “feeling” brain to sell clients on WHY they should buy. They talk beyond functional problems because external challenges are not difficult to solve.  To create more value, real pros talk about how their solution solves internal issues related to feelings, not just to things like light control or privacy.

Yes, you must correct the functional need first and foremost, but imagine the client’s delight when they discover they are working with someone who “really gets them” and that their less obvious, much bigger problem – that they feel uncomfortable in their own home, even to the point of embarrassment – has caused them to avoid gatherings with friends or family they care about as a result of those feelings.  Now that is a real reason to buy!  One that inspires action.  You not only solve a functional problem, but you also solve an internal (feeling) problem, AND a philosophical one as well…Everyone wants a comfortable, inviting home.  Talk about value!

Why will your clients buy from you?

Because you “get them.” You empathize with their desire for a comfortable, inviting home they can be proud of.

So don’t just sell room darkening shades.  Sell the transformative benefit of getting enough sleep!  When baby Daisy can’t sleep, and mom and dad are losing zzzz’s because of it, they experience bigger problems than just sleep loss.  They feel cranky, lose patience more easily, take their frustrations out on co-workers, each other… maybe even on precious baby Daisy!  They don’t just need light control; they need a transformation!   

They also need to clearly be told how their lives will improve—be transformed—once this problem is solved. The sales professional who understands this and articulates it so that the customer feels seen and heard and buys the vision of how life will be different (better!) is the sales professional who will sell far more than their competitors.

Sell transformations, rather than products.  Window treatments do so much more than provide light control and privacy.  They do more than look good hanging in the window.   Window treatments transform a room.   It only takes attending a few installations to experience first-hand the contrast, before and after, in the way the room looks and feels.  To notice the way the client’s eyes light up and joy spills over at the change.  The difference is palpable.  The room went from an uncomfortable space to something that produces pride and spring-in-the-step joy upon entering it now… all because the client purchased your solution.

Successful sales pros sell Transformations.

The delicious difference that will make people buy from you and seek you out again and again is the way the homes you’ve worked in are transformed!   It’s not because your blind or shade was made in a beautiful material, or because it had a super slick lift system.  It’s because your client’s experience living in their homes is transformed when they work with you.  Sell the feeling that comes from owning the thing.  Your sales will grow, and your business will grow.  Right now is the time to stop selling window treatments, and start selling transformations.

Image: Magazine CoverRead the full article here: https://issuu.com/wfvision/docs/wfv_jf23_digital_issue/50

Read the full article here: https://issuu.com/wfvision/docs/wfv_jf23_digital_issue/50

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