A New Series: Companion Selling
Why do interior designers seem to get whatever they want? Why do your clients double-check your proposals for “sanity?”
It’s not their fault. It’s yours.
Why? Because you’re thinking about products and services like a retailer and not like a consultant. Because your business is geared to making a sale and not developing an ongoing relationship. And finally, because you aren’t attacking your clients with the right level of exuberance, enthusiasm and awe.
In this column, over the next year, I will lay out a new approach to running your business. It’s an approach I call Companion Selling. Complete in scope, Companion Selling includes recommendations for acquiring clients, making a sale, and maintaining long-term relationships, as well as guidelines for project design, invoicing and strategic financial considerations.
Companion Selling is a complete way of doing business. It’s not for the meek or the inquisitive. It is structured for managers who want better control of their clients, their expenses and, ultimately, their profits.
There are aspects of Companion Selling you currently employ in your business. You’ll say, “I do that,” as you read through the columns. But doing some, or even most, of the Companion Selling recommendations is not the same as operating like a Companion Selling company. You share 99 percent of your DNA with a chimp, yet I’m sure you are 100 percent different from Bonzo. Companion Selling works best when all of the strategic issues are fully incorporated in your business.
A warning before you delve further…
If any of the strategic issues laid out in Companion Selling don’t ring true, or if any of the recommendations seem preposterous, simply flip the page and continue on your way.
Companion Selling is a strategic plan, pure and simple. It’s not the only strategic plan you can use, and it may not even be the most lucrative strategic plan for your business, in your market, with your personnel.