How to Mine the Hidden Gold in your Business

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

“What advertising should I start with?”

This is a good question. Because there are hundreds of ways to market your flooring business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you have ad companies contacting you daily claiming you should use whatever they are selling.

So, the short answer is start by mining the hidden gold in your business. This means you’ve got opportunities right in front of you to get more sales that you’re almost certainly missing. Grab those first before you invest thousands of dollars in advertising campaigns.

Convert More Door Swings
Studies show that if 10 people walk into a store, on average, only three will buy. This means that if you increase your close sale ratio from three to four out of 10, you’ve just increased your gross revenue by 33 per cent without any additional ad spend. For flooring retailers that currently close five out of 10, increase to six and your gross revenue goes up by 20 per cent.

There are several ways to increase your close sale ratio. To begin, implement a step-by-step diagnostic selling system. Invite a walk-in to sit down for a consultation. Ask questions and write down or log the answers into a tablet or computer. Include questions about their project, as well as targeted ones. These allow you to zero in on the consumer’s biggest needs and concerns so you can close the sale. Examples of target questions are: What’s important about new flooring to you? What do you like/dislike about your current flooring? What did you like/dislike about the last installation? How can we exceed your expectations?

Next, create a zero-resistance selling environment in your store. Some strategies for this include customer testimonials posted in-store; showroom monitors that play testimonials and display photos of completed projects; handing walk-ins a beverage menu and asking what they’d like to drink; maintaining a neat, curated showroom; and popping popcorn or baking cookies in-store to make the showroom smell homey and to offer as snacks to walk-ins.

Then, during the measure appointment, take steps to ‘wow’ the prospect and position yourself as a trusted advisor. Text the customer 10 minutes before arriving. Wear shoe covers. Get permission to measure and inspect all areas of the home. Inspect the prospect’s vacuum, walk-off mats and types of floor cleaners used. Give written recommendations for maintaining floors. Have the tools to close in the home, including software for creating quotes and a way to collect a deposit.

Finally, implement a weekly meeting to train your sales team on the diagnostic selling system. Drill and role play different parts of the process, such as the script for greeting walk-ins, going through the questionnaire and closing the sale.

In the next instalment, I’ll provide more gold mining strategies, including how to dredge the nuggets out of your sample checkout list.

Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on the Table, visit FloorMillions.com. Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].

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