Woodstock, Ga.—For the second consecutive summer, Ron and Sandy Dunn loaded their RV, dubbed “Big Red,” and continued their mission to visit every CarpetsPlus COLORTILE, Carpetland USA and Floorco member across the nation. This summer, they focused on members in the New England and Mid- Atlantic states. Their trip began June 29 and ended August 22, 2012. They visited every member store in VA, MD, PA, NJ, MA, CT, NH, NY, PA, OH, IN and WI – 11 states in all.
After returning to the Peach State, Ron reflected on his second trek, “The trip was interesting, educational, relational, invigorating and fun. Members have embraced the Proven Ways booklet that was generated from last year’s trip and are implementing new outside sales, internal customer service and creative marketing ideas that work. Visits included sharing of ideas, filmed interviews that will be used at our 2013 Orlando Convention and, in many cases, extended time in member homes and with family.”
More store visits are planned for September, then on the road again in 2013 to visit more members.
Ron plans on continuing The DRIVE ACROSS AMERICA for several more summers until every store is visited — then he hopes to start all over again.
Many of the members visited had a few things to say about their visit with the Co-CEO.
David Herlihy, owner of Floorco of SW Ohio in Miamisburg, said, “To have someone of Ron’s caliber visit my store was most impressive and appreciated. He brought much information to the table, not only making me aware of certain pieces and parts of the industry but also reinforcing some information I already had. He gave me much insight and encouragement. He also provided me contact information of various members with whom I can network and use as sounding boards.”
He continued, “The Proven Ways of Best Practices binder he provided is an excellent resource that I can use to market realtors, insurance companies and myself. Both he and Sandy are quality people with sound character.”
Gene Podell, owner of six Carpetland USA retail locations in VA, said, “I appreciate the leadership in CarpetsPlus COLORTILE and their dedication of time to visit their members’ stores. I find that admirable in Ron and Sandy to travel in an RV and go from the largest to the smallest stores and make each person feel special.
It’s nice to get their insight in seeing into our business as well as industry wise. The personal touch between CarpetsPlus and Carpetland people is what makes this group special. It may seem ‘homespun’ but I like it!”
Dan Buerkle, owner of The Rug Market in Rochester, NY, commented, “It was great to see Ron and Sandy. I really enjoyed being able to sit down and talk to Ron one-on-one and answering his questions about our business and how we operate. With Ron’s responsibilities at the convention, it’s not possible for him to interact individually with everyone like we were able to do here. It’s pretty neat that he would do this and a wonderful opportunity for both of us.”
He went on to say, “We must continue to take advantage of learning opportunities provided by CarpetsPlus at our annual conventions and Alliance Academy training, as well as training provided for Alliance Web Pro, our customizable, state of the art website. This website training seminar was a tremendous help to me.”
Bob Cowart, Ray Alter and Ron LaGuardia, CarpetsPlus COLORTILE of New York, in Congers, had this to say about their visit, “Ron and Sandy are both very observant, they listen and do a good job of telling us what we’re doing right and not critiquing what was wrong. We discussed our sales and our success of three partners in one store. Ron was interested in some small things we did that were different from other stores. It’s nice to deal with normal and unpretentious people. These are the little things that make a huge difference in the relationship between us and Alliance Flooring, CarpetsPlus Color Tile.”
Rich O’Connell, who runs the cleaning division of CarpetsPlus COLORTILE of New York, added, “I was only able to spend a few minutes with Ron and Sandy as I had a cleaning appointment. Those few minutes were uplifting and encouraging. I’m building my business at a steady pace and have made clients for life. I have doubled my clientele since I started the business in 2010 and am confident of it’s continued success.”
Andre Coelho, Wholesale Flooring, Fall River, MA, said, “This is a smart thing Ron and Sandy are doing by visiting members stores. Getting a visual of the store, and their operation helps him in planning and implementing for the future. We all get to know each other on a more personal level, and it heightens our convention experience each year.”
Claire McCoy, owner of Rugs, Rolls ‘n More, Plaistow, NH, said, “We were so impressed that the owner of a major buying group would take the time to visit our store. It shows me Ron and Sandy are relational and don’t look at us as just another store in the group.”