Boosting Interior Design Sales – Who is the Decider?

Are you having trouble “closing the sale” with certain clients?

Have you become frustrated with the “objections” (excuses) you hear?

Has your “sales pitch” become stale?

OK, sure, we know you're an interior designer and not a professional sales person but, if you’re making your own sales presentations, you need to be as effective as you possibly can be. In today’s competitive marketplace, that means you must learn to sell your services – and yourself – as well as being a great designer.Shaking HandsWhile the phrase “sales pitch” has gained some negative connotations over the years, evoking thoughts of an overly aggressive used car salesman, it remains true that your presentation is a way to promote, or pitch, your services. With that in mind, it’s also true that any effective sales pitch is a two-way street; a conversation where you listen to the buyer, ask real questions, and offer them a solution to a challenge they’re experiencing.

First things first – Who is the “decider”?

There are so many things to consider when you make a sales presentation that the most important of these is often overlooked. Whether you're offering your design services to a homeowner or business, you must make sure to focus on the “decider”, the individual who not only understands what you have to offer, but who will actually make the decision to buy.Committees rarely make decisions, just as couples seldom do. In most cases, a single person will ultimately decide the fate of your presentation. In your role as a salesperson, it’s your job to determine who this person is and to focus your presentation at that individual.Generally, the questions you ask and the answers you receive will help you figure out who controls the purse strings, and who will make the final decisions on the alternatives you offer. While your intuition can be invaluable in this process, your listening skills will be even more critical, as the decider will normally reveal their role to you in some way – if you pay attention to the dynamics of the group or couple!Experience is often the most valuable tool you have for identifying the decider, yet you also have other tools at your disposal. If your presentation is a result of a referral for example, the referring party will usually be able to offer insight into where you should focus your attention to get the response you’re looking for. When all else fails, when your experience, intuition, and research let you down, you can always ask, respectfully, who will be making the decision. After all, your prospective clients do not want to waste their time, just as you don’t want to waste yours.Do you have other tips for determining who the decider is during a sales presentation? What has worked for you in the past? How do you figure out who makes the decision when you're presenting to a couple?