Al’s Column

  • Al’s Column: Sharpening your selling skills

    February 27/March 6, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 19 By Lisbeth Calandrino   You can learn a lot about the art of negotiating by watching the TV show “Shark Tank.” If you’ve never watched the program, here’s a brief synopsis: Fledgling entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of self-made millionaires or “sharks” on a reality TV show. The entrepreneurs negotiate with the sharks to obtain money in exchange for

    Read More

    Al’s Column: Protecting your identity against theft

    February 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Number 18 By Roman Basi   (Second of two parts) In part I of this series, I talked about the various ways business owners can protect themselves from identity theft (FCNews, Jan. 30/Feb. 6). In this installment, I talk about the telltale signs that your identity and personal information may have been compromised and what to do to rectify the situation. How to determine if

    Read More

    Al’s Column: Guarding against identity theft

    January 30/February 6, 2017: Volume 31, Number 17 By Roman Basi (First of two parts) As consumers, we’ve all been warned about the perils of identity theft and the havoc that it can wreak on our personal lives in the event our identity is compromised. But as a business owner, the effects can be multiplied exponentially as the financial condition of the operator of a business is inextricably tied to

    Read More

    Al’s Column: Managing a family-run business

    January 16/23, 2017: Volume 31, Number 16 By Jacqueline Tabbah There are many issues facing floor covering retailers today, especially family-run businesses. For instance, how do you keep your business running smoothly and successfully when generations work side by side or begin the succession process? How do you keep family and work balance? What is the influence of your corporate/family culture on business structures and policies? I will be addressing

    Read More

    Al’s Column: The importance of proper substrate preparation

    January 2/9, 2017: Volume 31, Number 15 By Scott Perron Recently I wrote an article discussing the challenges with installing hardwood flooring or any other moisture-sensitive product on substrates that are ill prepared (FCNews Product Guide, Sept. 26/Oct. 3). I received several calls and emails, as well as a referral from a dealer in Montana to handle an installation that was challenged here in Florida. Most of the respondents wanted

    Read More

    Al’s Column: TISE offers certified training in tile

    December 19/26, 2016: Volume 31, Number 14 By Scott Carothers Do you have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis? In our definition, experience refers to having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grouting and sealant materials. If the answers to those questions are yes, then you should consider becoming

    Read More

    Al’s Column: Informational tours on tap for Surfaces 2017

    December 5/12, 2016: Volume 31, Number 13 By Lisbeth Calandrino Floor covering retailers are invited to participate in several special events that will be held in conjunction with The International Surface Event (TISE) educational program, which is slated to take place Jan. 17-20 in Las Vegas. One event involves a tour of the Zappos factory. (What woman wouldn’t love a place with an endless supply of shoes?) In my initial

    Read More

    Al’s Column: Five proven LinkedIn tools at your fingertips

    November 21/28, 2016: Volume 31, Number 12 By Rebecca Vertucci LinkedIn has turned into one of the world’s strongest networking tools. But in my years of working for LinkedIn, it seems many of the platform’s best features go unnoticed. Ultimately, I feel this is due to the overwhelming nature of LinkedIn. There is so much to do that it can be hard to know where to focus. I am part

    Read More

    Al’s Column: How to market successfully after the sale

    November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11 By Greg Incardona According to a Small Business Trends report in 2016, 85% of a retailer’s new business comes from referrals. Most small businesses know it is easier to sell to a referred customer. Despite these statistics, many businesses send only thank you notes and never contact their customers again—unless they have a sale. Their commitment to customers gets lost after the initial

    Read More

    Al’s Column: How to be a true sales professional

    October 24/31, 2016: Volume 31, Number 10 By Tom Jennings When training our sales staffs’ desirable behavior, we seem to place virtually all of our emphasis on the proper ways to conduct ourselves while in our showrooms. This is both understandable and necessary since this is typically where most first impressions are formed. However, it seems the majority of managers spend little time coaching winning behavior at the place where

    Read More

    Floor Covering News

    Press Release

    Aspecta by Metroflor translates Declare labels

    Norwalk, Conn.—Metroflor has published all the Declare labels for its Aspecta LVT commercial range in five languages: Spanish, French, Italian, German and Dutch. Rochelle Routman, Metroflor chief sustainability officer, who

    Read More

    NeoCon celebrates 50 years of tomorrow’s design

    Chicago—Registration is now open for the 50th edition of NeoCon, the world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial design industry. NeoCon 50 will take

    Read More

    Couristan bolsters sales team

    Fort Lee, N.J.—As Couristan prepares for an explosive 2018 and the launch of several new collections at Surfaces 2018, the company has hired two leading residential floor coverings sales executives

    Read More