My friend works at a car dealership; they have been partially open during the pandemic. There are some interesting restrictions that will make your sales process easier if you can adapt for your business. When they discuss the restrictions over the phone with the customer, they explain that everything is done to keep them safe. In addition, they tell them time is limited, and everything is constantly being disinfected. They must also wear a mask.
We are all concerned about safety and cleanliness. Customer restrictions should focus on these issues to assure the customer that you are going out of your way for them. I have spoken with several business owners who have told me that having customers in their showroom is very stressful. They have to tell customers to wear their masks and not get to close to others. It’s important to organize your selling system around these principles to lessen your own stress.
Here are the restrictions: you must make an appointment, and you can’t go into the showroom or test-drive a car! You can stand in the parking lot and have your conversations. Under normal conditions, prospective buyers wear themselves out test driving cars and then spend the rest of the day with the ‘tough stuff.’ The tough stuff is discussing credit scores, loans, title, registration, insurance and monthly payments. The best part of the day is spent driving cars; in fact, many customers leave after that never completing the process. If the customer calls off one of their ads, the salesperson takes a video of the car and describes the car to the potential customer.
Now the salesperson discusses the ‘tough’ parts before the customer comes into the dealership. This separates the ‘tire kickers from the serious buyers. The car of course is warranted, and the customer can bring it back.
I don’t know your industry, but if you’re in the flooring business doesn’t this remind you of your customers? Calling for samples, having you deliver them and then getting more samples? Then one day when you’re not in the showroom, they leave them outside the door!
No matter what your business, this gives you the opportunity to create some rules for the customer. These are rules designed to limit their exposure to other people and time spent in your showroom. If you are requiring they make an appointment, I would get an idea of what they want, and would send a video of the products and describe them in the video. (Apparently this is what the car dealers are doing.)
I would discuss their budgets upfront, how they intend to pay for their purchase (offering them your credit card) and explaining you are doing these things to keep them safe. I would also say they have limited time to be in the showroom and and limit the number of samples they take home. I would explain that we disinfect them daily and need to make sure they are clean. I would also tell them the decision maker must be at the job site when the measure person comes to the house, and the job must be paid for as soon as you have the numbers. You can also tell them that children under a certain age are not allowed in the showroom.
Think this is harsh? Remember, your customers will be watching your every move. They will be looking at your showroom and it’s cleanliness and what your bathroom is like. I suggest you get yourself certified though OSHA and their outline for keeping your showroom clean. 360 OSHA has a free course with a certificate of completion. I would hang certificates all over my showroom.
Your responsibility is to keep your employees and your customers safe so you do not spread the virus. This is stressful to your employees and your customers so its important you pay attention to the will have to pay particular attention to guidance developed by OSHA. When you first open it’s likely everyone will feel stressed because they’re trying to get it right. As long as you’re paying attention there’s nothing to worry about. Take your time and pay attention to everyone in your showroom.
By the way, I’m excited I just received my Life Coaching certification through Transformation Academy. Despite my psychology degrees, I felt it was time to brush up on my skills. Through these stressful times I feel it’s important to have all the skills I can get to help you make good decisions for your business and your life. I am available for consultation, just give me a shout so we can make an appointment. Soon I will be offering a life quest workshop. Reach me at [email protected]
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