As a frame shop owner, you’re faced with competition coming at you from many directions—do it yourselfers, retail chains, other frame shops. So when a person enters your store, you want to give yourself an advantage from the very start to convert that customer into a satisfied client.
The first step in any sales process is to establish rapport and build trust so the customer views you as an expert and is willing to pay you for your product and service. How do you do that, especially in today’s world of short attention spans? Stay customer-focused.
Understand How Your Customer Communicates
Each of us has a certain way we like to communicate with others. Some are boisterous and straightforward while others are demure and passive. When a customer enters your frame shop, you need to quickly assess how he or she communicates and adapt your behavior to their style… not the other way around. For example, a quiet customer who is unfamiliar with art may be reluctant to admit they know little about framing and matboard options. In this case, it would be in your best interest to take an educational yet conversational approach when speaking with them. If you are dealing with a seasoned art aficionado, on the other hand, you will not need to explain the benefits of museum matboard versus conservation matboard and you can skip to showing them the colors, textures and patterns you have available.
Listen To Your Customer’s Vision
Ask questions. But more importantly, listen to their answers. It may be difficult for someone to convey exactly how they want their framed piece of artwork to look. They may say they want it to be stunning. Or eye-catching. Dig deeper and give them the time to describe their vision in detail. Then ask more questions. The more you understand their personality and style, the better you will be able to make suggestions for framing options along with matboard colors and styles. Don’t push your opinions on them too soon. Talk over your ideas together and let them come to their own decisions. If they trust you as an expert, they will usually agree to your suggestions.
Sometimes, your customer may request a frame or matboard that you feel is totally inappropriate for their treasured piece of art. It’s OK to express your disagreement in a constructive way. Explain why you feel another option such as a different matboard color or texture or alternative frame design might be better suited for the style of their artwork. Call upon your years of frame shop experience and the multitude of pieces you have delivered. And go ahead and throw in a few “testimonials” that illustrate happy clients who took your advice. Ultimately, most customers will appreciate your honesty and value your expertise…as long as the message is delivered in an appropriate way.
Some people need more time to make a decision than others. Be sure to stay engaged in the conversation while your customer is in your frame shop. Maintain eye contact and make the person feel they are important to you. Because they are. If you have successfully built a bond and trust with your customer, they will not only use your framing services now… they are more likely to choose your frame shop the next time, as well.
Bonding and rapport is just the first step in converting a potential customer into a satisfied client. Once you have established a relationship you are both comfortable with, you can move on to the next step… setting an up-front contract. From there, you’ll want to uncover pain points, decide upon a budget, have the customer make a final decision, fulfill the order, and follow up after the sale to ensure satisfaction. Click here to learn more about the seven steps to succeeding at sales.
Count On Crescent
As an industry leader for more than 100 years, Crescent is committed to the success of frame shops nationwide. As such, we offer a vast selection of museum quality, conservation and decorative matboards along with a variety of framing products and art supplies. We maintain a robust corner, swatch and chip specifier program so you can easily pull samples for your clients. We also have a groundbreaking loyalty program and app to help frame shops grow their business by earning points simply by using Crescent matboards.