Consultative Selling: Ensuring The Right Solution For YOU

I was ‘consulting’ with a potential customer the other day and he said “you almost got me here, you know you almost got me…”. It’s nice to know you’re about to put another retractable canopy into the sold column. It’s validation that your efforts were successful and that the bridge of trust between yourself and a voice on the end of the phone has been built. My answer to the comment was certainly tongue in cheek, (though many a truth is said in jest) and I said, “I don’t want to get you, but as soon as we iron out these last dimensions, we can get your pergola a retractable canopy”.

We chuckled about how he did all his research, looked at fabric tension systems and shade sails and concluded a retractable topside canopy system was the one for him and his pergola and at the end of the day. Once again, an educated consumer is our best customer. In all seriousness I added that the last thing we want to do is take an order for a problem, so we arranged for the pergola’s CAD drawings to come my way for those final details.

This is a point of our philosophy that I want to share with you. Our staff is taught to sell ‘consultatively’ and to accept credit cards for retractable canopy systems that create solutions … not problems. What that means for you is that only when we have all the details regarding your project, and we are 100% sure the information provided is complete and free of any last minute surprises that could frustrate upon installation, will we accept your order. Without that info, we don’t want to ‘close the order’. This is how we keep Murphy’s Law at bay.

Most people have heard the term “consultative selling”. It means we listen first to your wants and needs, then with that information propose products and solutions to fill the need you have described. It is a pressure free, knowledge building process that results in our customers choosing to buy from us instead of us simply selling them something. This is easy to do when you have a unique product like our retractable canopy that fits the need and solves the problem. It is much harder to do when a product is a commodity with hundreds of competitive alternatives to choose from. In those cases the ABC’s of selling apply: Always Be Closing.

For those of you with a sense of humor, and comfortable going to movies with potentially (actually very) offensive language and themes, you can learn about the ABC’s of selling by watching a film called Glengarry Glen Ross. This of course is a direct contrast to ShadeFX consultative selling, but I highly recommend it for those appreciative of character studies. Based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Mamet it was released to critical acclaim in 1992 but never achieved commercial success. If you choose to expose yourself to the seedy underbelly of the real estate business (according to Hollywood) you will enjoy some of the finest acting seen by the likes of Kevin Spacey, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and yes… Alec Baldwin. It’s the role that made him.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to consultatively sell our retractable canopies, and cut our meat with our own set of steak knives. You’ll understand if you watch the movie.