STAINMASTER® LiveWell™ carpet with AllerShield™ technology can contribute to a cleaner, more comfortable home. But as with any new product, it may require a bit of detective work on the part of a retail sales associate to find prospective customers.
Customers may not be aware of LiveWell™ or that it is designed to reduce dust and allergen particle buildup without adding steps to their cleaning routine. A few qualifying questions can help you learn whether LiveWell™ carpet is a good choice for your customers.
But before you ask questions, keep two important points in mind.
First, remember to qualify your customers based on their needs and not on their budget. Pami Bhullar, director of retail development, says in his video series Pami Talks, “If you ask them on budget, they’re going to tell you way less than they want to spend because there’s a fear that you’re going to raise the price or take it to the next level.”
Second, well-planned questions may take time at the beginning, but they’re worth it at the close. The best qualifying questions help you thoroughly understand the customer’s needs. With this information you’re prepared for the close early in the sales process. Bhullar refers to this as “closing the sale before the close.”
“Do all the work on the front end systematically, and once you get to the closing, the sale closes itself,” Bhullar says. “You don’t have to work that hard.”
With these two points in mind, you’re ready to begin qualifying new customers who put a priority on comfort and well-being, have concerns about allergens, or both.
According to STAINMASTER® brand research, more than 70 percent of homeowners identified comfort and minimizing exposure to chemicals and germs as very important to supporting overall health, and 65 percent identified cleanliness. Customers may not realize what role their flooring selection can play in their home environment’s health and comfort. Chances are, these issues will rate high. Then when you ask them to elaborate on what health and comfort mean to them, it’s easy to broach the topic of indoor allergen particles.
“This is a pretty pointed question, but you will most likely get a ‘yes’ answer out of the majority of your customers,” says Billy Mahone, operations manager with Atlas Floors Carpet One, in San Antonio, Texas. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, up to 30 percent of adults in the U.S. have allergies. STAINMASTER® LiveWell™ carpet won’t eliminate allergy problems by itself. But it can be part of an improved home environment and reduce the buildup of allergen particles in carpet without adding steps to the customer’s cleaning routine.
Customers may mention installing air filters, using special detergents when they wash clothes, and using HEPA filters during vacuuming. But they may not be aware that installing STAINMASTER® LiveWell™ carpet can take them one step closer to a cleaner, more comfortable home.
The previous question can give you a sense of how hard your customer works to ensure a clean home. At this point, you can share the good news that a cleaner home is within their reach without adding steps to their cleaning routine. STAINMASTER® LiveWell™ carpet is up to two times more effective* at releasing allergy-aggravating particles.
“People like to learn about new technology and feel like they are on the cutting edge with their buying decisions,” Mahone says. “You may even be able to convert some customers who were planning on switching from carpet to a hard-surface floor.”
Offer to show the customer the demonstration video or photos for LiveWell™ carpet. The black-light demonstration makes obvious what is usually hidden from the eye and what makes LiveWell™ carpet so appealing.
Not only is LiveWell™ new, it’s the first carpet system designed with technology that helps customers fight dust and allergens. With STAINMASTER® LiveWell™ carpet, customers can filter allergen particles through their vacuum, not their family.
Each of these questions can provide clues about how important indoor air quality and reducing allergen particles are to your customers, Mahone says. With this information, the close comes clearly into view.
“Once you have unearthed their desire to have a carpet that minimizes allergen particle buildup, restated their concern, and then shown them a product that fulfills their need, the close should be easy,” Mahone says.
*Measured with home vacuuming compared to STAINMASTER® carpet without AllerShield™ technology.