Selling the Job
My first advice about trying to sell a job to an upholstery client is,
"Stop That!" Stop trying to sell the client anything. "Trying to sell" is actually "trying to manipulate a client" to do what you want. It's all about you and your wants. That attitude will not bring clients to you, no will it make them want to buy your product.
Instead, Look at it from the client's perspective. Think about how you can make the client's time with you a pleasant time, which at the same time, gently teaching them about whatever they ask or that they might need to know.
Why did they come to you? What do they need? How can you serve them?
Ask the client questions to find out what they are trying to accomplish
Is the price low enough to get the job?
Focusing on Quality, not on having a cheap price
With time I began to focus more and more upon doing quality work. With that decision came the putting aside of trying to be cheaper than new furniture.
Acknowledging My Failings
My Upholstery Website
I have my website for my upholstery business set up with dozens of pages to answer almost an question that the client can think of. And any time a client asks me a question that isn't on the website often write out a detailed reply to the customer. Then, in many cases, I take that reply, rewrite it a little, and use the information to put up another page on my website.
Treating Them As Friends
What is Best for the Client
Although we as upholsterers are trying to support ourselves and our families, we are also in business to fulfill a need of our clients. Our main focus should be to help them clarify what their needs are and to help them find a solution.
Connecting with Another Human Being
When a client contacts us it can be easy to look upon them as a pocketbook to pay our bills. We should never lose sight of the idea that our clients are human beings. They have needs and desires the same as we do. We should look beyond our own needs and wants and seek to treat them as beings of great value. Who are they as people? When they come to us, what are they looking for?
Lighting Their Passion
The Client has a reason to call an upholsterer. Part of our privilege is to listen to the client and help them to birth their passion into a flame. I don't have to try to sell them anything. All I have to do is to help them connect with their reason for being here. I spend most of the time they are here connecting with them as people who just want to be heard. During their time here they get a sense of who I am and my role has helping them achieve their dream.
Sometimes they like the idea of just renewing Great Aunt Jane's favorite rocker. They may want to have me restore as close to what it was when it was new. Sometimes I present the idea connecting their memories of their special relative with their own current lives, making the rocker into a show piece that is in keeping with their own lives and furniture. In other words, making the rocker truly theirs as a fully functioning part of their lives nowadays
Showing them what I do
Give them an estimate
Most of my estimates I give by email. They send me pictures and I send them an estimate back. Even when they come into the shop to look at fabrics, most of them don't want to hang around waiting for me to make out an estimate. If I have time while their are here, I make out the estimate and give them a copy before they leave. But most of the time I offer to email the estimate to them. I take them to an example of my estimate that I have posted on the wall and explain how it work. In the estimate I give them price options, which you can read about here: /index.php