Retail education: Measuring at the home

Home Columns Retail education: Measuring at the home

by Kelly Kramer

Part III of III

If you missed Part I and II of this series, go back and read them, then save them for your training program. You can find my previous columns, as well as other FCNews columnists cataloged at the website under “Columns.”

Follow them home

By now, you know that I fully believe in educating a customer and finalizing the deal fast. While some of you think your floor time is far too valuable to be out measuring, I know the buyer I have right now is the most important. Let’s face it; with this economy, she might be the only good buyer you have today.

I can work with a new customer on the show floor, follow her home for an estimate and order, and be back to work on average in under two hours for a $3,000 sale. In fact, my record time was a rental home. The landlord had an empty rental of three rooms using stock carpet, just around the corner. Start to finish—with my paperwork completed— was 1 hour, 10 minutes. Sure it was only $1,200, but I’d say it was a good use of dead floor time.

The measure approach

Learning to measure is not something I can teach in a short column, so again that’s part of what my training books teach. Here are just a few tips:

When you get to the home, take a look at the outside structure. Is the house basically square or rectangular? Do the walls go in and out, from room to room? Is the second story the same shape as the first? Are there any unusual features? These things are easier to see from the outside. Often it’s confusing once you get inside, so knowing the outside shape of the house will help you understand the structure before you make a diagram.

Once inside, I ask the homeowner to show me every area to be measured and in which type of material—carpet, hardwood, etc. Then, I tell her to look at the samples while I diagram and measure. It usually takes half an hour in an average home, so normally she has picked out her final choice by the time my measure is done.

Before I give her a final price I show her the diagram, to make sure I’ve got all the right areas in the right products. If you’ve ever missed a room or put the wrong product in you understand. Often on homes with multiple flooring colors and products, I’ll have her initial the diagram.

Then I show her the cost breakdown on the inside of my manila folder. I never put these final numbers on an order form because it can be intimidating and look like a hard close. Plus, those numbers may change after some further discussion.

In Part I and II, I talked about making sure your in-store ballpark guesstimate was high. Right now, at the home when the price is lower, you will really understand why. The words, “When can we get it installed?” are most commonly heard at this point.

When I brag that I never have to close a sale, this is why. I prefer to do the beginning and middle right and let the end take care of itself.

With the holidays approaching, I’m going to give you all the fine details of measuring and estimating in a deal on my “Training Manuals and Layout Tool” package. Call me directly at 970.622.0077 (do not go through the website) and get a set of two for $59.95 each. Be sure to mention the holiday package.

Kelly Kramer, based in Loveland, Colo., is an author, inventor and owner of Kelly’s Carpet Wagon. To book him for public speaking engagements, call 970.622.0077 or e-mail

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