Furnishing Ideas

David Stewart

3 reasons to never give your customer what they want

February 18, 2015

If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
— Henry Ford

Want happier customers? Focus on what they mean not just what they say. Many salespeople think their best opportunity to sell something will be by asking their customer what they’re looking for.

That is the best way ... to create more returns.

1. It doesn't exist anymore.

The mattress that they purchased (5 or 10 years ago) doesn’t exist anymore. That drawer construction in their dresser probably isn’t the same. The construction of their sofa is likely also different. Some changes have been for the good and some for the bad. Either way, if they are looking to replace their piece, you can’t sell it to them and neither can your competition because it probably doesn’t exist.

We must look beyond what our customers say and focus on what they mean. They may say they want a firm mattress when they mean they want a supportive mattress.

Knowing the difference could create an evangelist or a hater of your brand.

2. Their needs change.

This happens all the time with product protection. A young couple purchases a living room suite and says they don’t need the protection plan because they don’t have kids or pets. Within two years, they have a kid and two dogs and wish they had a protection plan.

It is our responsibility to help customers look ahead and make the best purchase possible.

3. They don’t have all the information.

They may have their online research. But, like the quote says,

“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” — Abraham Lincoln

If a customer purchases a mattress because their friend loved it, they will likely not have the same level of satisfaction. It would be like you buying the same exact pair of shoes (same size and all) because I loved them. They may be perfect for me, but unless we wear the same size, you’re going to regret your purchase.

Let’s have a conversation. Tweet your thoughts to @Doug_Stewart_ #FTcustomerNeeds