ORRA Article

ORRA, Inc. Newsletter Article
Selling Techniques by Phil Auserehl

This article is published in the ORRA, Inc. (Oriental Rug Retailers Association) newsletter, Volume 39, Issue 1

SELLING TECHNIQUES
by Phil Auserehl

The following article by ORRA member Phil Auserehl of Castle Cleaning and Rug Company in Berthoud, Colorado has some great tips for those of you who offer or are thinking about offering Oriental rug cleaning services to your business repertoire.

Establishing a good first impression is the singular most important part of a sales presentation.  Basically, being in the cleaning business dictates its own statement; you must appear clean.  All vehicles must be neat and clean, the ttechnicians and equipment, likewise, should be a statement of cleanliness.  A businesslike approach with a friendly attitude is needed to make a customer feel at ease during a sales presentation. .ACY sales brochures are a must.  A method of displaying services and products for your customers to review helps to organize a sales proposal.  During the time you spend measuring and inspecting, a sales brochure is working like a second salesman with your client.  I have often gone back and measured twice for my literature to do its work.  Further into a sales presentation, pictures can be great assets as visual aids.  The technical equipment which we are so familiar with is often foreign to most customers.

Even after a sales that old “buyer’s remorse” can be put aside with a brochure that reaffirms the values gained for the dollar proposal.  Many times a sales presentation is only done for half of a decision making team.  When the husband or wife needs to review a job quote, without the salesperson present, a sales brochure will help reiterate the fact behind the figures.

There are many techniques that can be used to gain a sales in the cleaning business.  There are probably as many methods as there are different types of personalities.  Keep in mind the main objective in a sale is that all parties concerned need to experience that winning feeling.  I have learned that it’s easier to have a person buy a product or service from me, than it is to sell it to them.  Simply advocate the positive features of your service.  Let them tally up the benefits they can acquire by dealing with you.  Your objective should be as a helpful technical advisor.  Now your customer can make an educated decision for themselves.  Allowing the consumer to be their own judge makes them comfortable with their decision.

A well thought out program of the proper questions can methodically build a sale best suited to your customer’s particular situation.  By seeking out the basic wants and needs of a customer, you can tailor a package of services best suited for them.  Explanations of the pros and cons of various products and/or services will help the consumer make a smart decision, for both of you. It is our responsibility to know the products and materials we work with thoroughly.  This means their capabilities and limitations.  Conveying this knowledge to others will help establish their confidence in your abilities. The fact that we must sell a cleaning package of services without showing what the end result might look like is by itself an intriguing concept.  So you see, you must first sell yourself then back up your promises.

Communication skills must be developed constantly.  There are always different people with different problems for you to solve.  A subtle approach of questions and answers allows the consumer to participate. Planting seeds for thought is the way I like to describe it.  All of those “add-ons” should be discussed up front. This will allow the customer to consider them or, at least, have questions about them ready for later.  I begin my preparation to close with the initial phone contact.  At the ed of a sale, more times than not, the dollar amount is hard to rise again and again.  If the need and benefits of a product warrant it’s purchase, all you have to do is offer it.  Let the customer decide what they are comfortable spending.  Remember you don’t have to sell!  Just demonstrate the benefits and offer your products and services with confidence.

Once you and your company have been received in the home of your customer, don’t stop selling yourself.  Maintain a friendly rapport all year round.  Send thank you and reminders to keep them thinking of you.  Be sure that they are aware of any other services you have to offer.  Basically sell, sell and sell!

This article comes from the ORRA (Oriental Rug Retail Association) Newsletter.  If you are interested in becoming a member and receiving the quarterly newsletter, click here.

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