Columns

  • Al’s column: Learning to better serve your customers

    January 22/29, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 16 By Brian Gracon   There’s likely a huge gap between how you see your business and how your customers see it. Eighty percent of businesses think they provide great customer experiences, but only 8% of customers agree. Maybe we just don’t know what our customers really want, which can be a big problem. When your customers are not happy—even if they are being

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    Marketing mastery: Giving Mrs. Consumer reasons to choose you

    January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15 By Jim Augustus Armstrong   “You’ve got to remember that every prospect searching online for a flooring store has an unspoken question on her mind: ‘Why should I choose you instead of your competitors?’” I told Brad, a dealer from Connecticut for whom I was doing an online marketing assessment. “Wow, I’d never thought of it that way,” he replied. “Most dealers haven’t,”

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    Guest column: Is millennial marketing overrated today?

    January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15 By Matt Beaudreau   The big question on the minds of many businesses today, whether you’re selling laminate flooring or Lamborghinis, is how do we reach this group that everyone is talking about—the millennials? For the purposes of this conversation, we define millennials as follows: those born between 1977 and 1995. The long and short answer is retailers first need to look beyond

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    Lessons learned: Honoring the shopper’s ‘home-field’ advantage

    January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15 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 very little time coaching winning behavior at the

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    Al’s column: Design—Creating desirable living spaces

    January 8/15, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 15 By Bea Pila   The renowned American architect and interior designer Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “Form follows function—that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be joined in spiritual union.” As an interior designer, I am often asked, “What is your style?” I cringe at the question. The word design conjures the notion of a look or aesthetic, but for me it

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    Installments: Vetting a certified floor covering inspector

    By Paul Pleshek   “We are sending an inspector,” are not always the most comforting words an installer or retailer hears. Some are concerned the inspector has a bias for the manufacturer, others don’t have high regard for certain inspectors in their area. Whatever the concern, how can a materially invested party know the inspector will handle the claim in a fair, thorough and neutral way? A commonly expressed concern

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    Al’s Column: How to develop a ‘right-sized’ marketing plan

    December 18/25, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 14 By Jennifer Smiga   (First of two parts) The slick print campaigns and glowing Instagram stories of big brands can make successful marketing feel out of reach, especially when you are running a one-person marketing department for a company, drafting budgets while posting to Facebook in the same day. It could even be soul crushing. If you’re in this position, don’t let it

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    Lisbiz strategies: Make your store rock over the holidays

    November 27-December 11, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 13 By Lisbeth Calandrino   November and December are often the slowest months for flooring dealers. If you’re a salesperson, they can also be the most depressing. While everyone else is partying and rushing around, you’re waiting for customers to come in and buy flooring. Here’s a list of things you can do to draw customers and bring cheer to your store. Have

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    Marketing mastery: How to manage your online reputation

    November 27-December 11, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 13 By Jim Augustus Armstrong   I was doing an online marketing assessment for Susan, a dealer from California, when she said, “Jim, I can’t believe this dealer has a higher star rating than us. He operates out of a storage container, and he once pulled a gun on a customer.” I said to Susan, “Let’s walk a mile in Cathy Consumer’s shoes

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    Al’s column: The importance of employee retention

    November 27-December 11, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 13 By Lisbeth Calandrino   A friend of mine was recently fired for having a side business that was in competition with his employer’s. He had developed a reviews-based platform for businesses, but he never took any of his employer’s customers. It was developed simply to have an extra source of income. Does this sound familiar? Early on, he spoke to his boss

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    Floor Covering News

    Press Release

    Novalis helps Crescent Hardwood Supply celebrate 100 years of service

    Toronto, Canada—Crescent Hardwood Supply recently celebrated 100 years of service to the coastal southeast with a traditional crawfish boil. Novalis Innovative Flooring was on hand to sponsor the musical entertainment, as

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    NAFCD enters strategic partnership with Market Insights

    Chicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has joined a strategic partnership with Market Insights of Reading, Pa. The partnership is designed to deliver NAFCD member firms with

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    Dal-Tile wins exclusive tile provider status

    Dallas—Dal-Tile Corporation was recently named as the exclusive tile provider for Woodside Homes. With both companies keenly focused on offering products rich in style and design, this relationship provides homebuyers

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