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Love Furniture Profits Tip: People like to deal with people.

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By David Love Love Furniture Profits

I think it was Tip O’Neill who said, “All politics is personal.” What he meant by that was that his constituents were more interested in getting the pot hole on their street filled than they were with the state of things in Washington.

I’m in my 42nd year in the furniture business. For 22 or those years I was a factory rep. My first job on the road was with Sealy Mattress. I more than doubled my territory in about three years.

Some of the best advice I got when I was new on the road was from a very wise sales manager. He told me to never forget two things: one - frequency of calls and two - make it personal.

Frequency of calls made sense. The more often I was in the stores, the more likely I was to get an order. The second thing, make it personal, was not so clear to me. He said I should try to establish personal relationships with buyers, owners, salespeople, even delivery people.

By personal, he didn’t mean I needed to know what went on in their bedroom, but I did need to know were they married or not. Did they have children, how many and their ages. What were his/her hobbies. Where did he like to vacation. What was her favorite restaurant. All that sort of thing. When I called on a store, I spent more time on the floor and in the warehouse than I did in the buyer’s office. I even learned how to talk about golf. I’ve never played in my life but most furniture people do. Hint: if you know nothing about golf but want to have a conversation about it, just say, “How’s your golf game?” He will talk for hours and all you have to do is listen. That’s what I did.

So . . . what does all this mean to you? Just this. Your customer is not just a number. She is a person with likes and dislikes, family, hobbies, etc., just like you.

Obviously, you won’t know as much about her as I did about buyers, etc. But you can spend time on the floor, talking with customers. You and your salespeople can send personal thank you cards. And don’t send pre-printed cards that your people just sign. Make it a nice card with a short note referring specifically to what she purchased. Sure it costs a little more but what does it cost you to get a new customer? You can send her a letter asking for her opinion of your store and how she was treated.
  
You can send her emails, letters, post cards and the like inviting her to special sales just for her. Assuming your salespeople make note of her next possible need, you can let her know when it goes on sale, or when you have new merchandise in.

Include your photo in your ads. With a quote of some kind. Have videos on your web site showing you walking through your store; showing the various departments. Explaining why your store is the place to shop. And so on.

I'm sure you can think of many more ways to make business personal. I guarantee it will pay off.
These little weekly articles can only scratch the surface of what you can do to more effectively market your goods and services. To find out more, get your free copy ($97, but free to any furniture or mattress store) of my breakthrough Special Report, “5 Long Lost Secrets of Scientific Furniture and Mattress Advertising that work like magic in today’s economy for any furniture or mattress store to get you more customers, more sales, more profits.” Go right now to www.lovefurnitureprofits.com. David can be reached at david@lovefurnitureprofits.com. Phone: 803.764.3977.

Do you have an marketing frustration you’d like me to address? Shoot me an email and I’ll talk about it in a future article.

About David Love and Love Furniture Profits. Love Furniture Profits is an advertising consulting and coaching firm that works with small to medium size furniture and mattress stores that want better results from their advertising.

David is a 42 year furniture/mattress, in the trenches, industry veteran. His background includes retail furniture sales. Manager of a retail furniture store. 22 years on the road making money for companies like Sealy Mattress and Best Chairs. His territory and his retailers achieved sometimes remarkable sales increases due to the expert advertising and sales advice he gave. He has also owned and sold his own profitable store and was a highly regarded sales manager of a top 100 furniture store.

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
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