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Re-published Article From General Finishes

Understand that customers are not bad people, they just don’t know what we know

Be prepared (and rehearsed) to educate fast. Customers come in with global ideas and overlook simple, costly details. An example would be a client who inquired about having a matching pair of bedside chests constructed with three drawers in each. When shocked at material costs, the client needed to be educated about costs – that there were approximately $200 in drawer pulls alone, each one costing over $15. Their response, “That’s an outrage… There’s only six drawers total so it should only be $100,” further shows the need to remind the customer that there are two pulls per drawer. N Dean Mosey Jr

Qualify before you go out on the job on the first phone call.

Try to sort out real buyers from lookers. Ask open-ended questions to determine the customer’s objectives, motivation and where they stand in the timeline of their buying decision.

  • How did you hear about me and what have you heard?
  • When do you need an estimate completed?
  • What prompted you to want to do this project?
  • What other vendors/stores have you contacted or researched?
  • When do you need it completed?
  • What is more important to you: the price or the quality of the job?
  • When would you like to get this installed?
  • Can the installation be done during normal working hours
  • If we need to do finish samples or other submittals for approval, do you want me to price that separately?
  • Are there any other projects you’ve been considering?

If you feel they are just shopping, charge for the estimate. Require a paid, upfront design/bid deposit of $50 per hour, with a 2-hour minimum that will be applied to the finished project if commissioned. N Dean Mosey Jr.

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