Less Talk, More Sales
One of the many questions lighting professionals regularly ask how to close more sales. Time and again, I give the same answer. Create lighting designs that reflect the personality of the client. Use light levels create the mood, and select specific landscape elements that suit their specific needs.
So how do we go about uncovering this information? Simple. Just ask the client! Too often, sales calls involve a lot of talk about things like experience and background, or technical proficiency. While these things have their place during a sales call, the most important thing is to get your clients to talk, not listen. By doing so, you accomplish two things: first, you begin to learn about their personality and uncover some of their expectations of their lighting system. Second, you make them feel comfortable with you, the sales person.
But what sort of questions should be asked of them to make them feel comfortable, while at the same time gather useful information? One question that I used at the start of almost every sales call was “What made you think about lighting now?” This question is open-ended, and its answer will lead to more questions, and before you know it, you’ll be having a comfortable conversation. Avoid “yes/no” questions. It’s more difficult to engage the prospect and start a dialog. Save those questions for more specific information-gathering after you’ve developed a rapport.
Once you’ve spent some time getting to know your prospect, it’s time to shift the conversation to more specific lighting topics. We need to find out what it is they’re looking to get out of their lighting system. In fact, that’s a great question to use to start this next phase. They should be feeling pretty comfortable and start elaborating about how they want the lighting system to make them feel. Do they want to feel safe? Secure? Do they want their lighting to be functional? Aesthetic? Both? If so, what areas? Do they want to “show off” their home at night? Or do they want their lighting confined to their more private spaces in the back of the house?
By asking good questions and being a good listener, you’ll impress your prospect because you’ve made it clear that your intentions are in their best interest. As a result, you’ll win more projects and sell more fixtures.