FCNews, Jim Armstrong offer free webinar

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‘How to Quickly Double Your Flooring Store Traffic’ on Aug. 8

July 22/29, 2013; Volume 27/Number 7

By Melissa McGuire

Floor Covering News and “Marketing Matters” columnist Jim Armstrong (Jim Armstrong Marketing Systems) will present a free webinar for flooring retailers on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. EST entitled “How to Quickly Double Your Flooring Store Traffic,” designed to fine tune flooring dealers’ marketing techniques. Armstrong, who has coached hundreds of flooring dealers across the U.S. and Canada, has touted the use of unconventional selling strategies since 1993.

“The first step in the program is to identify how a retailer sells,” he said. Determining a marketing message, getting that message across to customers, and the nature of the message’s delivery are all crucial to the profitability and survival of a flooring store. “If you get your marketing strategies wrong, your advertising is doomed to fail with poor, mediocre results.”

Armstrong launched the Inner Circle Club “Profit Explosion” marketing program in 2007, the foundation of which is a three-tiered approach. Tier 1 is called “Targeting Your Warm List” and focuses on determining a specific type of customer. This includes people you know, those who like you, and those who trust you, he said. The warm list is comprised of past customers, current customers, referrals, referral partners and a sphere of influence. Marketing to the warm list includes tactics ranging from e-newsletters to targeted campaigns.

Tier 2, called “Cold Marketing to Ideal Prospects,” includes websites, direct mailing, Val Pak insertions, and display ads, to name a few.

Tier 3, “Mass Advertising,” encompasses radio, television and billboards.

Armstrong stresses the tiers should be implemented in a strict, orderly procession.

The largest marketing mistake made by virtually all dealers is focusing on Tiers 2 and 3 while ignoring Tier 1 altogether. “This means you are spending the lion’s share of your time, energy and money chasing total strangers, and you’re completely ignoring the only people on the planet who have proven they will do business with you—your past customers!”

Advantages of Tier 1 marketing include better responses, higher tickets, commanding premium prices and generating store traffic. Armstrong adds that a dealer will have more referrals, work with a “pre-sold” customer, interact with customers with whom he is already familiar, and have an established trust.

In addition to offering guides for selling, the webinar provides information on how to implement other forms of advertising. For example, while any successful marketing campaign must include a newsletter, Armstrong claims “most newsletters stink.” Using descriptive terminology that includes “boring” and “snooze-letter,” he provides a formula that boasts fun, informative, valuable, entertaining and welcome communication. Using a variable approach of emotional triggers, Armstrong states he can turn a newsletter around and make it a go-to for those in the industry.

Selling techniques, guided tools, referral strategies, handling difficult customers and utilizing testimonies will all be included in the webinar to help the flooring retailer. And the Inner Circle Club also provides a Testimonial Marketing Module that claims to generate an ongoing stream of testimonials, provides guidance on offering audio and video recommendations, and gives the dealer 20 different ways to use those endorsements.

“All of the techniques and strategies I provide in my webinar will give you the power to command premium prices,” Armstrong concluded.

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