A young couple spent a while ‘just looking’ in the furniture store before approaching a salesperson to ask about fabric choices on a particular sofa. She showed them the swatches and said nothing. The guy asked if they had anything like it—a large squashy four-seater in leather. They didn’t.
“What size exactly are you looking for?” she asked.
The couple didn’t know, but they started to describe the style of sofa they wanted.
Comfortable, not too formal.
“Come back to us once you have your measurements.” she smiled, as they walked out the door.
The salesperson didn’t ask, where they lived, in what type of house. She forgot to find out where the sofa would go, what they would mostly use it for and the number of people in their family. She lost the business because she prioritised the facts before the story. This doesn’t happen at IKEA.
Yes, the sofa has to fit in the room physically, but it has to fit with the customer’s wants, needs, hopes and dreams first. The best salespeople always start with the story.