Solutions that work
We have had consistently good results for both special events as well as store closings with Gutsell & Associates out of Chicago. Phil Gutsell is a veteran of the furniture industry, a tremendous sales trainer and promoter.
Bo Carey, Greers Furniture, Loudon, TN
No, we did not hit goal of 3 times the normal monthly volume! Normal was $1.3, x $3.9m goal. We wrote almost $4.5 and crushed it. Thank you for your guidance!
Mark Steinhafel, Steinhafels, WI
I felt inclined to write to you about the success of our recent one-day sales event. If you remember our sales manager requested your assistance in training our sales staff to do a better job of increasing their closing rate. We at Rausch Furniture Co. are doubly better off. We have a better-trained sales staff that will carry them for weeks, months and hopefully a sales career. Secondly, we are financially better off with our one-day sales results. Your material and presentation are as professional as any of the national big name sales trainers I've heard over the years. You have developed a unique way to weave the time tested sales principals and techniques into the furniture industry nuances. Congratulations on a job very well done. Thank you for your help.
Thomas Rausch, Rausch Furniture Co.
This letter is voluntarily written to express the appreciation to you and your associates of efforts you have made in carrying out your job for my clients Becker's Peoples Furniture Co. of Cedar Rapids, IA. The owner and active manager was killed in accident. The small staff was unable to assume the job of managing. We turned to your firm and it was the best possible business decision. We directed you to reduce and shape-up the inventory so we could make a sensible decision about the future. You accomplished this promptly and efficiently, and produced immediate cash for the owner. The owner decided to sell out her complete inventory and your company took charge of that task and carried it out in the best possible manner. We had offers from other firms to do similar jobs but your offer was the best one received and your results have far surpassed anything that the others had estimated. Your sales engineers were on the job all the time handling all advertising and promotions, arranging the furniture on the floor and doing direct sales work with the customers. I personally observed your sales engineers and commend them on their diplomatic, skillful handling of people. They also trained other sales personnel and supervised all facets of the business. The final results have far exceeded our expectations on this sale, and we wholeheartedly recommend your services to the public.
Maurice Nathanson, Nathanson Law Offices
You made me feel like a super bowl winner by tripling my volume and maintaining my margins!
Richard Houston, Houston Yuma Furniture Gallery, Yuma, AZ
I've got a success story using (the question), "Would you like it anyway?" Saturday, I had a couple come in looking for lighting that we didn't carry, so they started looking at leather recreational furniture. After talking and going over everything with them it came time for the close. I asked for the sale, only to hear their excuses, "We haven't looked anywhere else", "We don't need it until December", etc. (Hmmm, so were they looking for lighting or leather? Regardless Laurie kept focused.) They were getting ready to leave when I asked, "Would you like (to go ahead and get) it anyway?" Laurie noted; with a smile. They said, "Yes!" So I brought them to the office and wrote up their leather sofa and loveseat when the customer said, "I don't know what you did, but you did something right!" I laughed thinking, Phil strikes again! They also came back an hour later to add another loveseat to the order. Since then I've used, "Would you like it anyway." I've closed a couple more sales using it since then. Thanks Phil!
Laurie, Michigan Store
Hi Phil, just a note to let you know "Do you want to go ahead with it anyway" close worked. Fred had called me in to assist with customers purchasing leather. We both had gone over the benefits, etc. gave them the labor day weekend sale prices. I assisted with the color as the leather buyer. Fred had it all written up and they wanted to check one more place. I told them the story of how I own the same brand. Told them if they would not tell me where they wanted to look I could not go over the benefits of Omnia Leather. After one more true story of how I got to owning Omnia personally, I asked, "Do you just want to go with it anyway?" Thanks for good selling and closing techniques.
Gail, Wisconsin Store
Dear Phil, It was such a pleasure to meet you at the recent sales seminar with Brewbaker Furniture Company. I have to tell you, as I was going into the seminar, I was a little skeptical. After 40 years in the Industry and over 1.6 billion dollars in sales during my career; I thought, what in the world could this guy actually teach me about furniture sales? Well other than the refresher course on many of the things that we forget, I decided that since you gave up your time to come speak with us, at the very least I could follow some of your ideas. A lot of the concepts were things I had been doing all my life: the greeting, the pivot, etc... When you discussed floor plan sketching I thought that sounds a little corny, but I'll try it. The first customer I tried it with was a lady, who said she was looking for a queen headboard and footboard. I began sketching the bedroom and found out that it was huge space. I asked her what she was intending to do with this spacious room. Her reply was that she thought she might as well as go ahead, and re-do the entire room. During her visit she had purchased an entire bedroom with two night stands, new mattress, and then walked over to our carpet department to purchase two thousand dollars worth of carpet. By the time she left, she had spent $6,200. I realize most salesmen would have only gone for the bed sale and moved on. The floor plan sketching softened the customer and made her feel that we were doing more than just selling her a bed. We took a personal interest in her remodeling process. She later called me to thank me for taking so much time to help her with her new room. Moral of the story: Yes, you can teach old dog new tricks! I will never doubt you again, my friend. I have floor plan sketch pads in my sales kit and use them every chance I get to make more customers happy, and in turn make more sales.
Jack D. La Fay, Charlevoix , MI
The meeting today was very refreshing, inspiring and informative. I immediately had an opportunity to greet a customer with the phrase, "Would you like to look around?" She said yes. I then asked her if she was interested in furniture or appliances. She said furniture for the babies room. She also advised me the room was very small and I suggested she rearrange the furniture in the room and convinced her to purchase a larger chest. After she picked out the perfect chest, I asked her if she needed anything for herself, which she replied yes. She needed a night stand to match the bed she had bought recently. I invited them to the bedding area and I suggested she try the Latex Mattress while I typed up her order. Before I was done, she was convinced she needed a new mattress. I demonstrated the Latex and Visco mattresses. She loved the product but needed her husbands approval. I asked her, "If your husband likes it as well as you do, will you buy it?" She responded yes. So I suggested I write up the order pending her husbands approval. She agreed and I proceeded to write up the order. I took her to our credit office and she asked when it could be delivered. I replied, "Tomorrow." She signed the order and I congratulated her on her wise purchase and assured her she was indeed buying our best selection. Here is a summary of the techniques you teach that I used: 1. Greeting: "Would you like to look around?" 2. Two Choices:: "Would you be interested in furniture or appliances?" 3. If Word: "If your husband likes it as well as you do, will you buy it?" 4. Closing: "Congratulations." Thanks again, Phil.
Ofilia Lopez, Sale Representative, Corpus Christi, TX
Thanks for sending our GutSELLing CD's. I must tell you that your price is WAY TOO LOW!!! Rethink that! You should triple the price or make it even higher!! Why don't you talk to me before you start pricing things!!! Geese!!! Can't wait to start working our staff with this excellent info!
George Moore, Wilcox Furniture in Corpus Christi, TX
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for what you r sales training has done for me and for my career. Back in the early 90's, I participated in all day training class that you were holding at the Holiday Inn near the Moline, IL. I was brand new to sales at the time, and anxious to learn everything I could. I sat there like a sponge that day soaking up all the knowledge that I could from you. Key sales techniques I learned that day, greeting customers, body language, mirroring, having your sales kit at all times, assuming the customer is going to buy, etc… have allowed me to become the top salesman in my family's business, besting another salesman who had 20 years of experience and the clientele to go with it. One of the techniques I used was hand writing thank you notes to every customer that purchased from me. I was regularly scoffed at as I sat down every morning to write a personal message inside every card, but I knew it would pay off. One customer came in to purchase an inexpensive microwave, and I sold it to her. As I did with every customer, I wrote her a personal note of thanks for her business. Several weeks later the same customer came back into the store and asked if I remembered her. I said that I did, and recalled that I had sold her the microwave. She told me that she had spent thousands of dollars in our store on furniture, electronics and appliances for more than one home, and nobody had ever written her a thank you card, let alone for a cheap microwave. I explained that I write all my customers a thank you regardless of the size of purchase, because I appreciated their business. She spent another $4000 on stainless steel kitchen appliances with me that day, and I was no longer laughed at. Since that time, I have been employed as a national sales trainer for Brand Source for our Expert Protection service policies program and have had the pleasure of imparting these techniques upon our members to help grow their business. The results have been the program tripling in volume in 3 years. Due in part to that success, I was promoted to Director of Services and now have the responsibility for sales training programs of Expert Protection as well as spear heading our new Brand Source Service initiative on the service side of the business. Phil, the positive mental attitude and the essential sales fundamentals you taught me have led me in a career path course with continued and repeated success, and I thank you for that. I know that if your training participants will also embrace your techniques, even if its outside their comfort zone, they will also enjoy the success that I have.
J.R. Zirkelback, Director of Brand Source Services
The morning after I attended the motivational meeting you conducted I approached my first customer and I found myself remembering the techniques that you talked about. I started by thanking the customer for shopping with us. Then throughout the time I mirrored the customer and in the closing of the sale I did not thank the customer during the transaction of the money. The customer was happy with her purchases and she stressed that she did not come in with the intention to buy that day. Initially this customer was not a promising prospect and I would not have spent much time with her if it had been before your meeting. The customer ended up buying almost $2000 in appliances and we parted ways with smiles. Thank you.
In your discussions about "salesman tools", you mentioned that it always seems that the well dressed sales consultants make more and bigger sales. So I got a blue suit and several sports jackets with new shirts. The first day I dressed up I immediately nailed an $8000 sale and have been going strong ever since. Thanks for the tip!
Bill Brown, Fashion Furniture, Fresno, CA
After being taught every person coming through the door are potential buyers, I decided to think positive about my "ups". After letting them browse, I noticed them admiring a casual dining set for their new home. After answering a few questions and checking stock, which gave them an opportunity to discuss it alone, I asked if they wanted us to deliver it or if they wanted to pick it up. They chose delivery, they gave me their credit card to pay in full; a done deal! And, they need more furniture for their new house!
Connie Cahill, Fashion Furniture, Fresno, CA
Speaker at Seminars
I recently attended a class by Philip Gutsell. Phil is highly motivated, has great ideas and is very enthusiastic. I highly recommended him for that Kitchen/Bath show. I can assure you Phil would be a wonderful addition.
Lee Anna O'Daniel, San Luis Kitchen Co.
I enjoyed Philip Gutsell's information. I always come away from a seminar like this with new ideas and motivation to change something that's not working.
Mike Landfair, Landfair Retail Focus
Thanks for your great presentation yesterday. You never disappoint us, you always tell us what we need to hear in order for us to be more successful. You can be sure we will look for more ways to make you available to our members.
Gutsell & Associates helps companies increase sales and maximize profits by providing customized consulting, training and coaching services for the home furnishings, appliance, and electronics retailers.
To find out more about our programs, see our Training Programs links.
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