How a 20 year old home was reborn!

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God” is what she kept repeating as she looked at her 20 year old home once we transformed it! One of the things I absolutely LOVE about the Certified PRES home staging and redesign training programs is that students go into real client’s homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom.

Every home owner has things that they really love but they don’t necessarily know how to utilize the space to showcase what they do have. We love to transform rooms into inviting, comfortable, sophisticated spaces and that’s exactly what we did here! Our home owner is a busy entrepreneur, mother and wife who spends the majority of her time ‘taking care of everyone else’ in the home. This isn’t a new story to us at the PRES Staging Resource Centre – we hear this all the time. What is so wonderful about coming into this home is that the client has absolutely gorgeous furniture, accessories and art that we can play with. And play we did!

From “Not Sure What Really Works in this Living Room and Dining Room if anything ….”

DeAnn Living Room Before

DeAnn Living & Dining Room Before

To ” I absolutely LOVE THIS SPACE!”

DeAnn Living Room After

DeAnn Living Room After2

Colleen McClure the new PRES Staging Instructor did a fabulous job of working with the new April students to show them how easy it is to redesign a home for living, or staging it to sell.

Colleen McClure with students

Announcing new PRES Staging Trainer – Colleen McClure!

Super excited to introduce Colleen McClure of Colleen McClure Designs who is the new PRES Staging & Redesign Trainer! Colleen is a successful interior decorator and a Certified PRES Staging & Redesign Professional. She is super excited with traveling across Canada with the PRES Staging & Redesign training programs.

Read more about Colleen…Colleen McClure

Currently Colleen McClure is known as the Blind Lady for Budget Blinds in Campbell River, Courtenay and Comox. Over the years she has honed her skills in learning as much as she can about window coverings and took a specialized course in California to learn the latest trends. She is experienced in all window fashion treatments and blinds bringing everything to your home for a seamless decision making process.

Colleen is a Certified Professional Real Estate Stager (PRES®) and is known in the industry as the ‘Making it Easy for You’ gal. Colleen started her interior decorating career in 1997 and she has continued to dazzle and amaze her clients at how easy she makes the entire decision process whether it’s for one room or an entire home. She is absolutely passionate about the colour choices that she helps her clients make. Colleen believes that colour can make or break an entire look of a room and she is a professionally trained colour expert with Maria Killam as a ‘True Certified Color Expert’.

Clients praise Colleen for her ability to mix styles, textures and finishes which keep her designs personal, thoughtful and fresh. She has an appreciation for all styles and the need to reflect each client’s personal space, lifestyle, and character. Clients appreciate her open, easy and accommodating nature plus her expertise in pulling various design elements together to create a unique and inviting space for living or selling.

Colleen will be part of the April Certified PRES Staging & Redesign training program and is super excited to be doing something that she absolutely loves. She is in the process up updating all her social media sites and getting the word out there about adding home staging training to her business model!

Tired of working 7 days a week and doing it all? Join City Stagers…

This month Meetup City Stagers is excited to have Isabelle Guay of Flow Home Staging share her success stories. She’ll discuss how to establish goals, create systems, determine when is a good time to expand and delegate, and finally how to best use your time to generate revenue. Building a strong team will give you confidence to take your business to the next level!

This event is happening on March 18th at 7pm at Home Ingredients Home Ingredients at 65 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver BC.

Isabelle Guay Flow Home Staging resized

Isabelle Guay is both a PRES Certified Professional Stager & Redesigner (PRES) and a Certified ReDesign & Staging Specialist™ (CRSS™). She has been a PRES Featured Stager showing her expertise in creating a great looking space for a very happy seller.

She is the owner of Flow Home Staging & Design, one of the leading home staging and interior design companies in Vancouver. With over 500 homes successfully staged or designed over the past 6 years Isabelle has built a strong business that keeps on growing. Known for her creativity, professionalism, and personal style, Isabelle is always on top of real estate and home décor trends.

Position Yourself As a Home Staging Expert

Believe it or not, anyone can call themselves an ‘expert’ in any area of business. You don’t really have to ask anyone’s permission to call yourself an expert – do you? You can claim that you are the ‘Number 1 Home Staging Company’ and no one is really going to ask you how you came up with that – are they?

You do however need to ‘be an expert’ and ‘feel like an expert’ as most realtors and sellers would prefer to deal with a ‘home staging expert’ versus someone who doesn’t see themselves the same way.

Definition of an Expert:

Someone recognized as a reliable source… An expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study… A person can become an expert by virtue of training, education, professional, publication or experience believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person…

So why do you need to be a ‘home staging & redesign expert’?

Expert SealOnce you consider yourself a home staging expert you can charge higher rates than others who are not yet experts in their field. Your growing reputation in the field attracts home owners and realtors who want to work with you. Other industry professionals may start to ask for advice about something they are having a challenge with or want to explore.

In my experience over the years because I positioned myself as a home staging expert I was often contact by libraries and private organizations to speak at their functions. Real estate companies look for speakers at their conferences. The media likes to profile experts and you may be contacted for television and radio shows. My magazine articles attract other publications and I get requests to write for other publications.

And, if I can do this so can you!

These are my suggestions on some of the things you can do to become an expert in home staging:

  1. Gain Experience - if you have already started your home staging and redesign business then by the very nature of you getting out and gaining experience you are on your way to becoming an expert. If someone asks you to help them with a job – just do it!
  2. Write Articles and eArticles - determine where you will get great exposure to start promoting yourself as an expert; contact local editors and if you get rejected just move on to the next contact; write an article once a week and send it out to as many places as you can think of; repeat…
  3. Write a Book or eBook – you may not think you have much to write about but I believe you can write an ebook about home staging and even a book if you are a good writer. You can always hire a copy writer if this is not one of your skills.
  4. Get Social Media Exposure – Create blog posts that provide TIPS to your target market. If you don’t have ideas of your own look at other peoples’ blogs and make an expert comment about the post. People will start to notice you.
  5. ‘Free’ Talks - find out where you can do some free talks about home staging. Libraries or community centers need to provide interesting talks to their patrons. Consider doing a talk with a realtor, mortgage broker and an inspector. With the stats on baby boomers and zoomers – downsizing is pretty topical right now.
  6. Network - get out an mingle with your target market and other like-minded professionals; join a BNI, a Meetup group, so many new networking groups keep popping up so check out new ones rather than staying with the same ones; keep your same story for all the networking groups you go to – don’t be one thing one week, and other thing the next week; stay focused on presenting yourself as the home staging expert in your area.
  7. Brand Recognition – create a strong brand with a strong message that you are the home staging expert your sellers and realtors need to connect with. Keep your brand consistent in all your marketing materials.
  8. Seek Knowledge - if you have not taken a professional course in home staging then consider getting certified. Continue to take courses or workshops that increase your knowledge base about running your business.

Regardless of what your training is or what your background it is important to decide what you want your future in the home staging industry to look like. Spend some time thinking about it so that you are truly passionate about delivering the services that you provide to your clients. Focusing on what you love to do attracts more clients!

For more great Marketing Ideas check out my ‘Free Savvy Marketing Tips for Stagers‘.

Getting Your Customers ‘Over The Moon’ About You!

If your sales haven’t been exactly what you were expecting last year, is it possible that your customer service practices may have something to do with sales? You might think you are providing an acceptable level of customer service but what if you went above your standard level – could that be a game changer for you?

Under promise and over deliver…

Satisfy CustomersThis is a great philosophy to live by when you are providing home staging services whether it’s a consultation, client consultation, recommendations or the actual hands-on home staging work, you want to give your clients MORE than they paid for! By giving them MORE you are going to attract MORE clients like them and you are going to get some fantastic testimonials and they are MORE likely to refer you!

Understand I am not suggesting not to charge what the project/job is worth, I am saying throw in ‘a little something extra’ that would make them feel ‘Over the Moon’ about you.

Assessing Your Customer Service Level

Take an assessment of some of the ideas here and see how you would rate yourself. How many can you say “YES I DO THAT” to.

  1. If a prospect/client has left you a message on your phone do you get back to them within 24 hours? I mean pick up the phone and phone them? If a prospect/client has sent you an email do you get back to them within 24 hours?
  2. If you do not return phone calls or emails on the weekend do you let your prospects/clients know that by putting this in your message? (Staging isn’t often just a Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm business so you might need to revisit this)
  3. If you are not going to be able to return emails or phone calls while you are on vacation or sick, do you have someone in place who can do that for you? Is everyone on your team someone you are proud of that can deal competently with your clients when you are not available?
  4. If you say/promise that you are going to do something for your client, do you do it on time and on budget? If things are off-budget do you take the time to consult with your client rather than surprising them at the end with an extra charge or do you absorb the extra charges?
  5. Do you always arrive just a few minutes early to your appointments and look professional? If you are going to be late do you let your clients know? Is your portfolio up to date with great ‘before and after’ photos that you will impress your client?
  6. When you do your hands-on home staging work do you do a little extra for your client and let them know what you did? Perhaps you staged a small area for them that you hadn’t agreed you would do? Brought in a small accessory that you knew would work well at no charge for them?
  7. Do you have a Follow Up system in place that allows you to keep in touch with your clients? Are you sending out a fabulous monthly newsletter that gives them great tips on what they need to do to get their property ready for selling? Do you let them know about your awesome Special Promotions you have coming up? If you know when their birthdays are and you have a close relationship with them – send them a card!
  8. Are your clients really aware of how much you enjoyed working with them and how much you appreciate having the opportunity to stage their property? Perhaps you give them a small branded gift that you leave behind after the job. Send Out Cards (or something similar) are great for saying ‘Thank You’ and you can enclose a small gift with your card.
  9. Do you take the time to phone your client to check in with how the sale of their home is progressing? If you staged a vacant home you will know when it has sold but it’s a great idea to touch base with your clients and if need be, do a little coaching to keep them positive and hopeful that a sale is just around the corner.
  10. Even if you did not get the home staging job you bid on, did you follow up with the realtor and/or client to find out what you could have done differently, better, etc.? Did you send them a ‘Thank You’ card and not an email?

Having said all of the above will improve your Customer Service it is a given that your home staging designs and talents are exceptional already! You may have been able to get a 100% on these Customer Service questions – that’s just great. If not, you can make the choice to change some of the ways you are doing business. Only you can determine your level of customer service but to really excel in today’s home staging marketplace, I think you need to pick up the phone more, meet more people in person and deliver on all your promises

Action Assignment

Take a close look at what systems you have in place as part of your Customer Service program. Is it time to revisit this and/or add some new services? What are 3 new things you could do to show your clients/prospects that you actually ‘personally’ care about them? Get inside your client’s head and think what would put a smile on their face!

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Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

Setting Your Intentions for 2014 — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

This law of intention works hand-in-hand with the Law of Attraction. One of the first things you need to do as a home staging entrepreneur is to decide WHAT YOU WANT your business to look like.

What might some of your intentions be this year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

  1. Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.
  2. Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.
  3. Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.
  4. Complete a 90 day marketing plan (click this link for my ‘Free’ Savvy Marketing Webinar) that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).
  5. Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.
  6. Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.
  7. Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.
  8. Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally. (My new ‘Free Law of Attraction’ teleseminar is great!)
  9. Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.
  10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis
and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

Action Assignment

Go through the list above ‘Setting Your Intentions for 2014 – the PRES Top 10′ and see which ones resonate with you AND add/delete/change whichever intentions do not work for you. It’s your thoughts that lead to actions, that ultimately lead to results so the best place to start is by becoming aware of what you are thinking.

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Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

How to Make Your Client Testimonials or Case Studies Work for YOU!

Testimonials or case studies are called ‘social proof’ that promote you in your business. They are a great marketing tool to use in your website, in any marketing materials such as business card, post cards, flyers, You Tube videos and even your enewsletter.

When I was recently coaching a home stager I was surprised when she said she had never thought to ask the home seller for a testimonial. She did express some frustration with Realtors® who didn’t get back to her with their promised testimonial. A testimonial can be a few words or a few sentences that express how the client (home seller or realtor) felt about your work. They are writing it from their perception.

A case study contains more factual and sometimes statistical information such as how long the property was on the market, the obstacles to the sale, how much more the property sold for over asking and other pertinent data. You can write this up yourself based on what you know about the property, the sale, etc.

Here are a few tips that will help you get the testimonials you want.

TIPS on how to RECEIVE and USE great testimonials in your marketing materials to position you as an EXPERT:

  • As a home stager you want to ask for testimonials from both your home seller and your realtor
  • Once you have completed the work, send out an email request for a testimonial and you can even ‘suggest’ topics that you want them to write about – ask them to talk about their emotions (nervous, excited, etc) and how they felt when they saw the reveal (what impressed them the most)
  • Vary your testimonials so that your potential clients can read about all of the services/differences that you make in staging, redesign and/or decorating or whatever services you offer
  • Put their text in italics to distinguish it from other text and use “quotation marks”
  • You can always shorten a testimonial as long as you leave in the integrity of the comments by using three dots like this … and continuing on
  • Never wait longer than one week for a testimonial because it is most likely you will not get it – a gentle email reminder OR write it for them and ask them to approve it or edit if they want to
  • Typically in our business because of privacy issues we don’t put last names attached to any home photos – so I recommend just using a first name and the city they live in
  • Always thank them for their testimonial either by email or better still send them a card – ‘Send Out Cards’ are great for this or any appropriate card – we all get too many emails and they can keep your card
  • Ask for referrals once you receive their testimonials and remember to keep in touch with them on a regular basis

NB: If you don’t have a TESTIMONIAL REQUEST FORM just email me and I’ll send you one that we use at PRES.

These are some of the HOME STAGING COACHING TESTIMONIALS that I have received. You can see that each one says something different and is very authentic to that coaching client.

“I had been in the home staging and redesign business for about three years and hadn’t seen the growth I had anticipated. I decided to work with a business coach and I really wanted someone who understood my industry and had experience in the areas I lacked. I had read several of Dana’s comments on Linked-In and she always seemed very generous with her advice and resources. After our initial “Get To Know You” phone call I knew this was who I wanted to help me take my business to the next level. During our bi-monthly chats we set goals and she held me accountable for my own successes. Dana has guided me through our time together with inspiration, humour, friendship and compassion.”

Angela – Toronto ON

“I took the PRES Training 5 years ago and also kept my “day job” because I felt so unsure about whether or not I would be successful. My passion for redesign and staging has not wavered, and recently I decided to take the plunge and make a full time commitment to my redesign business and hired Dana as my coach. Dana’s coaching has really helped move forward in my business and break through some emotional blocks. Using her ‘Law of Attraction for Women’ technique I have gained clarity and direction for my business, as well as inspiration and confidence as an entrepreneur. I feel empowered and encouraged by the progress I am beginning to see. Dana coaching and guidance has been magic!”

Mary Ann – North Vancouver BC

“After 2 years in business without success I decided that I was ready to make a change and give my business my all. I said to myself I’m going to give it a year and if things don’t improve I’m calling it quits. I purchased Dana’s 10 Best Marketing Tips, hoping I would find new ways to market my business. I chose Dana has a coach because she is a home stager and thought she would be more helpful to me because of that. I am so glad I did! Dana has helped me so much! My confidence has greatly improved and having the ‘Goals List’ after each call has kept me on task and focused. Her coaching has lead me to making contact with an investor and realtor who are interested in working with me, which I am so excited about. I would definitely recommend Dana as a coach if you are a home stager who feels lost and doesn’t know what to do next, like I was.”

Debbie – Richmond VA

“I took the PRES Staging and Redesign course at the beginning of this year, excited and nervous about starting my own business. It was such a fun and informative course and got me so excited about getting started. I feel I came away with knowledge about the business, contact information and names of people in the industry who could help me put the pieces together and start my business off on the right foot. Dana was always supportive and gave me opportunities to help her and continue my learning even after the course was completed.

I decided to hire her as a business coach recently and by the end of our 6 phone meetings I had a better and more professional website, redesign jobs on the calendar, articles in newspapers and was comfortable participating in and understanding networking groups. I now have a business I LOVE to do every day and continue to feel inspired and supported by Dana.

Thank you for everything Dana! I’m sad to know that our calls have ended because I often think of things I want to chat with you about. I can hear you now saying “keep in touch I’m not going anywhere!” and I really appreciate that about you!”

Joanne – New Westminster BC

Here’s a few sweet, short words from Louise – Chilliwack BC

Thank you from the bottom of my HEART! Your PASSION and ENTHUSIASM to help home stagers & designers to SUCCEED is AMAZING!

Understanding What Your Client is Going Through is Critical to Your Success as Home Stager and Redesigner…

When I teach the 5 day PRES home staging and redesign course I take the students into real clients’ homes so they can apply the 10 Step Formula theory that they learn in the classroom. In this home we did a ‘redesign’ which is technically a one-day home makeover for living, using the client’s existing furnishings. It is all about capturing the client’s personal tastes and validating what they have in their home does work – it just doesn’t quite work the way they had things set up.

Our training home client’s roller coaster of emotions went from excitement, to hesitation, to despair, to jumping in with both feet, to excitement, to angst of ‘what if it looks like how they like it and not how we like it’ to – finally JOY at the final outcome!

Some TIPS on Conducting the Client Interview/Consultation:

  • As soon as you meet the client acknowledge something attractive about their personal home décor items
  • Ask to take a tour of their home so you can ask them about things – I like to use the expression ‘Tell me about this’ so that way I know whether or not they are emotionally tied to a particular item
  • Continue to reassure them that they have lots to work with and how much you are looking forward to creating a new look for them – this builds their need to know, like and trust you
  • Ease their ‘fear of change’ by letting them know you offer a ‘Redesigners Guarantee’ which is to live with the changes for 2 weeks and if you still don’t like them you will come back and change things (in over 10 years I have never been called back to change anything)
  • Gain their trust and confidence by letting them know that they can always bring something back in and rotate the things we didn’t use
  • Really listen in the consultation to what their answers are to your questions – probe more if you feel they are hesitating about something and acknowledge the pieces of furniture or art that they really get excited about
  • If they start to ‘tell you’ where things should be placed and what should be moved into a certain space or room, they may not be a good client for a redesign. Tell them the more ‘open’ they are with allowing you to make changes the better the end result will be
  • Never tell your client exactly what you will do but make generalizations such as ‘we can move some of the furniture so the room flows more, and rehang some of the art so it works better together, showcase your gorgeous collections, etc.
  • Throughout the entire interview/consultation you are being very positive with your comments regardless of what you are thinking in your head!
  • In redesign as in staging, you do not need to ‘love’ the look of your client’s home nor their personal belongings or style – your job is to give them the best that you can and know that it will be so much better than what they could ever do
  • Listen for this commonly heard statement when you do the reveal “How clever, I never would have thought of that” and celebrate your success!

How to Charge What You Are Worth and Get it!

You are not alone if you are struggling with charging what you think you are worth and/or raising your rates. Your ‘money story’ is directly related to your relationship to yourself. You are energy and your money is energy and all energy has a certain vibration to it. It is a scientific’ Law of Attraction’ fact that when you are ‘feeling’ worthy and valued you will attract more money. In this enewsletter I’m sharing with you my 7 Steps on How to Charge What You Are Worth & Get It! and I know that if you follow these 7 steps you will attract more money because you will see your true value.

7 STEPS ON HOW TO CHARGE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH & GET IT!

  1. CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE THINKING
    Every result that you achieve starts with a single thought in your head. Your thoughts are energy and negative thoughts carry a very low vibration — keep thinking those thoughts and you will continue to attract clients you don’t want and people around you who also have a negative mindset. Every time a negative thought enters your consciousness — STOP IT! and look for evidence in your life where you can turn that into a positive thought. Showing gratitude for what is working in your business carries one of the highest vibrations so practice that on a daily basis. Keep your thoughts positive and reread your client testimonials if you need a reminder about how much of a difference you made to someone!
  2. RESET YOUR PROSPERITY METER
    Have you determined how much money you want to make? We all have our unique definition of success and money is usually one of those measurements. With my coaching clients one of the key questions I ask them is how much money they want to make, and is this a part time or full time endeavor. Believe it or not, most people do not have a set goal of what they want to earn in the year. You need to set a monetary goal so that you can plan on how you can attain that goal. Your prosperity meter is entirely your choice – you decide is $10,000 or $100,000 your annual goal, or is it more. Set your monthly goal and your weekly goal. Take a look at how much time in the year you want to take off and factor that in. Be realistic and set your prosperity meter.
  3. FOCUS ON YOUR VALUE
    If you are new to home staging you may not yet realize what HUGE value you bring to the table. If you have been in the business a while you may not be acknowledging just how fantastic your services are. Look at the monetary and emotional gain your clients achieve by the work that you do. Every home you stage is getting your best designs and creativity. Every seller is having the stress removed by working with a competent professional like yourself. Every realtor is having his reputation enhanced because his properties are selling because of the work you have done. Every buyer is rewarded by seeing the potential in a home that otherwise may have been overlooked. Surely you can see the VALUE of what you are bringing to the table to the seller, realtor and buyer!
  4. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
    The most important thought for you to have is to know what you want and focus on this and quit grumbling about what you don’t want! This is Law of Attraction 101 – you attract into your life whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on whether wanted or unwanted. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Take some time and set some goals about the number of clients you want to have, the money you want to make, the number of hours you want to work in a week and the time off you want to have for your family or just for yourself. Be very specific and realistic and then ‘allow’ this to come into your life. Notice every single time you get the smallest evidence that you are getting what you want and you will get more of it.
  5. CREATE PACKAGE OFFERS
    It is good to start with an hourly rate but you can make more money by creating packages – usually 3 and start with your basic package and expand from here. It’s a good idea to make a list of your ‘Standard Services’ and then create a list for you ‘Value Added Services’. Give each package a memorable name and keep your client groups in mind. For example you may do a consultation and give some recommendations for the seller who wants to do most of the work themselves and call it ‘Do-It-Yourself Home Staging’ starting at $199 (or whatever works in your market). Each package will have more services added to it and go up in price because the ‘value’ has gone up too. It’s good to ‘throw in’ some extras from your ‘Value Added’ list. Value is all about perception so make sure you know what is ‘valued’ in your market by asking your clients.’
  6. OFFER A GUARANTEE
    As a home stager we cannot guarantee that a house will sell more quickly or sooner than a property that is not staged. However, we can claim that the newly staged property will look infinitely better than it did before you offered your professional services. You can guarantee that you will stay on budget and deliver on time (and ensure you do this!). There are many statistic available about the success of staging a property but the best statistics will be your own. When you are doing your sales call with the seller or realtor show them your portfolio and include the client testimonials with it. Prompt your client’s testimonial by asking them to comment on areas that show the ‘value’ of your work. Ask the client to include the emotional support you gave them as well as they end product results of your staging design work.
  7. RAISE YOUR RATES 
    Now that you have a better understanding of how your own thoughts were holding you back, take some time to set your new rates. Start with how much you want to make annually and work backwards from that to your monthly and weekly sales targets. For you to raise your rates you need to look at the evidence that you have about the value that you have been giving your clients. You also need to give your clients a reason that you are raising your rates so think about what ‘extra value’ you can give them. Is it that because you now have more experience you can get the job done quicker? your staging designs are the best? you blog on several social media sites about their listing? your reputation has increased in the market place and you are seen as the expert? your stagings are being featured in magazines now? Whatever the evidence is, let your clients know that you will be raising your rates to reflect this. You may decide to leave some of your ‘preferred’ client rates that you have with a realtor as they are. Let them know that and when they can expect their rates to increase.

Does the thought of picking up the phone or meeting with a realtor to ‘sell your services’ make you sick? It doesn’t have to if you put into practice a few of the simple Laws of Attraction …

The majority of home stagers and stylists are what are called ‘right brain thinkers’ meaning that they prefer to be in their creative, artistic mind rather than the ‘left brain’ of linear, logical thinking. I get that, but I also know the only way to grow your business consistently is by having both a marketing and sales system in place.

Having been a sales manager for a billion dollar service company, I was responsible for training branch managers and account reps. Some people are naturally good at sales and some are not – you may not have the personality for it. However, you still have to make sales to grow your business. So you have two choices that will grow your business:

  1. Learn how to attract more clients through applying the Law of Attraction
  2. Hire someone to make your initial sales call for you and then put into practice the Law of Attraction

Here are some facts about sales you may or may not know:

  • You will have some people that you only make one sale with and other clients may use your home staging services more often. In both cases you are ‘relationship building’, so treat each person with the goal in mind of referrals or future business.
  • Your future sales are based on your relationship with your client – keep in touch with them often so they continue to ‘know, like and trust’ you.
  • The more leads you have, the more opportunities you have for converting prospects into clients. You constantly and consistently need to market your business so you are not the best kept secret (networking is one of the best ways to do this).
  • There is a sales cycle that typically goes like this:
    • Identify a prospect and qualify to see if they are your ideal client.
    • Make an appointment with them.
    • Introduce the ‘features and benefits’ of your business using your amazing portfolio and raving fan testimonials.
    • Handle their objections.
    • Go through a series of ‘trial closes’ where they are getting closer to saying YES.
    • Convert them from a prospect to your ideal client.
  • When meeting with your prospect, do your homework and know something about them – find out what they ‘need’. Ask yourself why would they hire you, and be prepared to answer that question with authority and proof.
  • Many sales people start out by making calls to people they have met, i.e. warm calls, and they often have a script that they can follow if they need to. ‘Warm’ calls are easier to make than ‘cold’ calls and will take away that ‘sick’ feeling.
  • Very few personalities respond to ‘call center’ calls to get business, so make your calls personal even with your script – set your intention to get the appointment and then prepare for that initial meeting.
  • The more sales calls you make, the more sales you will have. Your confidence in being able to successfully make sales calls will come with each success – celebrate it!
  • You need to find ‘quality’ leads and be sure to ‘qualify’ them, before you spend your precious time meeting with them.
  • Understand that each buyer has his/her own buying style and you may need to adjust your selling style to connect with their buying style. There are many articles and books written on sales personality types, so take the time to find out what yours is, and how to sell to your type and to other types.
  • You need to have a ‘funnel system’ to get followers into your database and you need to have a ‘follow up’ system to stay in touch with prospects – even after you have converted them to the status of ‘client.’

And this is a short version of how you can change that ‘sick feeling’ of having to pick up the phone and make an appointment, to ‘I love making sales calls and I am in the process of attracting more clients every single day’ …

LAW OF ATTRACTION SALES PROCESS & EXERCISES:

  1. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU DESIRE - Be very clear on who you want to attract – that’s all about your ideal client. Create a ‘Contrast/Clarity’ List of about 50 characteristics or actions. On the CONTRAST side, have a list of WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT and then write on the opposite side, a list of WHAT YOU DO WANT. Then, cross out everything on the Contrast side, and you have your Clarity list. Focus only on your CLARITY list.
  2. GIVE THIS DESIRE ATTENTION - Spend time thinking about what your meeting will look like – in their office, in a coffee shop; visualize the scenario or create a vision board showing you connecting with all types of potential clients. Since networking is one of the key ways to grow your business, make sure you are attending enough networking events where you will meet your ideal client. Then follow up.
  3. ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN – the Law of Attraction requires that you know what you want and take action to make it happen. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, you MUST BELIEVE – really feel – that this is possible. Every day, you need to look at the evidence of you getting one step closer to making a sale. Every time someone says ‘no’, this opens up space for someone to say ‘YES’. The way to ‘allow sales to come to you’ is to think about how many people have already been successful in making home staging sales. Make a list of ways they have been successful and write that down in 3rd person. If you really do believe and feel you will make a sale by using this ‘allowing’, your energy will start to shift into a positive state.

P.S. - ‘Hoping’ that prospects call you is not really a good sales strategy …

P.P.S. - The Law of Attraction states that whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on, whether wanted or unwanted, is what you will attract!

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