Today, people grab their smart phone and ask it (not her or him), to fulfill their next need, demand or desire. An answer appears in seconds, no discussion or debate, just a list. We do not take the time to ask our partner or best friend, we ask our very own pocket computer. And you are not skeptical of AI? More on that later.
Let’s understand- our customer’s instinct is to look at you as if you were an iPhone. When they ask, you are to reply with all the information they want to hear, NOW.
Our customers need an attitude adjustment. Not a mafia-style baseball-bat beating but an insight into the world that will help them craft their dreams.
As you are getting to know the customer and understand the scope of their job, take a moment and explain this is not a sprint but a long distance run and you are their coach. Let them know the generic timeline for their job. If it is a master bathroom remodel, 8 weeks is normal, a custom home 18 months. Try to avoid the 6 to 8 weeks phrases. The customer will always hear the 6.
Then, make sure they know that you are their source for all plumbing and hardware information. You have studied and worked for years and know your stuff. This is not the time to be reserved. State the obvious and it will make this job go a bit smoother and maybe ensure they will go to you with their questions versus their best digital friend.
This is important on two fronts. First, once they understand that they are not in a black and white situation, they will slow down and allow us to present beautiful products that they never would have considered. Secondly, they will be less likely to lose it when they receive bad news. This adjustment will allow us more time to create the best solution and the customer will be the winner.
A version of this article was in the September 18, 2019 issue of the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware’s newsletter, Connections.