What are some of the major differences between retail sales and…?

Here is another post from Yahoo questions…. Interesting!

The sales of “intangibles”? I sold insurance for ten years, took a break for the last seven years, and now am getting back into sales. Possibly, retail sales of furniture to start and go from there. What are some of the major adjustments I will be facing in sales style, approaches, and prospecting?

As said above, tangible sales are generally easier, likewise, sales where people come to you are easier than going to them.

Since you mentioned Furniture, and it happens to be my expertise, I’ll use that as an example. Every furniture stores have their own sales techniques they employ, and to a certain extent, you are limited by what each store’s philosophy is.

Furniture sales is about the customer not the product. Each sale is made or lost based on you ability to read and adapt to each individual customer. Your job is to identify what it is the customer is looking for and help them make it happen. I don’t mean, find out they want a couch, that’s easy, I mean find out what a customer wants from furniture. Comfort, Style, Durability? Then you can present how your product best helps them meet their goals. Furniture sales is easy because its a low pressure approach. If you can make a customer forget you’re a salesperson, and you product can meet their needs, you win.

Good Luck!

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5 comments
Don says October 13, 2008

If you were at all successful in sales, you will find selling tangibles much, much easier. People are looking at the product, they can imagine it in their home, they will think their life will be better with it. This is hard to do with insurance, unless they have ever needed it they usually feel like it is money down the drain.
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cory314159 says October 13, 2008

As said above, tangible sales are generally easier, likewise, sales where people come to you are easier than going to them.

Since you mentioned Furniture, and it happens to be my expertise, I'll use that as an example. Every furniture stores have thier own sales techniques they employ, and to a certain extent, you are limited by what each store's philosphy is.

Furniture sales is about the customer not the product. Each sale is made or lost based on you ability to read and adapt to each individual customer. Your job is to identify what it is the customer is looking for and help them make it happen. I dont mean, find out they want a couh, thats easy, I mean find out what a customer wants from furniture. Comfort, Style, Durability? Then you can present how your product best helps them meet thier goals. Furniture sales is easy because its a low pressure approach. If you can make a customer forget your a salesperson, and you product can meet thier needs, you win.

Good Luck!
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Furniture Sales Manager

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Coastcowboy says October 13, 2008

Well, for starters I doubt you will have ten people a week call you back screaming that you didn't tell them that they have a deductible or no rental insurance or that no one told them that insurance coverage will lapse if they don't pay the premium if you are selling coffee tables.
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turtle girl says October 13, 2008

well, with retail you know they already want to buy so that should be easier. intangible selling is trickier, because you have to sell them the idea that it's an "investment" in themslves and some people just don;t think they are worth it. A lazee boy, they think I can sit my worthless butt in that and feel gooood. ka-ching!
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Clem - Unique Business Opportunity says October 15, 2008

I have the pleasure of selling both, and something in between. Marketing my products, I sell a tangible item. In marketing my franchise opportunity, I offer an intangible. And in selling website design services, I offer something in between, as a website can be tangible but is abstract as well. I’m not sure that any of them are easy, though they all have there simple facets and complicated ones. In the end, though, I think sales is basically a matter of getting out there and spreading your message in a powerful way, don’t you think?

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