We are a very open and friendly store and try to establish early in our transaction with our customers that they can work with anyone in the store. In the Midwest we often encounter a more reserved type of personality, so we have developed an approach that doesn’t seem too aggressive. We don’t want to scare anyone away right off the bat. When customers realize we don’t work on commission, they relax and feel more comfortable. Sometimes we joke with customers to put them at ease or compliment their shoes, etc., to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and friendly. It is not unlike inviting them into your home.
We begin the interaction by trying to identify what they are looking for, what kind of setting they are trying to create and essentially how they live. This begins the process of talking about all the details of sofas and chairs and whatever else they are looking for and can begin to eliminate things from their list. Sometimes people are surprisingly decisive and sometimes they have no idea what they like. We have all become amateur psychologists and know how to listen for clues to what will be perfect.
Once the customer zeroes in on what they love, we begin the process of making sure what they have chosen will fit. We have probably already visited that subject, but now we can actually do some floor planning, which will help in the decision-making process. Along the way, I usually get a pretty good idea of their personal story, which helps deepen the connection for me.
This process can take a couple of hours or several months depending on how decisive they are. I often feel empty when their order is complete as a real connection has been established. Often we will receive photographs of their beautiful new rooms and have tremendous satisfaction in perusing the images.
Each of us is unique in our approach with customers and our age ranges from 25-66. There is bound to be someone our customers can relate to with such a diverse team.