Jan 4/11; Volume 30/Number 14
The International Surface Event offers the most comprehensive education program in the industry. With the flooring sessions sponsored by FCNews, the courses cover everything from product and installation to digital marketing and business improvement. Here are just some of the highlights.
TU01 Do You Run Your Sales Team, or Do They Run You?
Are you finding it difficult to get through to your sales team? Are you tired of hearing that you don’t understand how hard they work and it is not their fault that they are not reaching their sales goals? Learn how to manage and motivate your sales team to a new level of success as you learn more about the systems being used by successful flooring retailers/dealers.
TU03 Turn Your Showroom into a Captivating Customer Experience
Look at your showroom through the eyes of a consumer. Is it the best it can be? Together we’ll take a look at a retail showroom through the eyes of a consumer while focusing on four aspects: Product Offerings, Marketing, Staff and Showroom Design.
TU07 Dominate Your Market by Implementing a Zero-Resistance Selling Environment
Surveys of floor dealers indicate that consumers are more price-sensitive, stand-offish and skeptical than ever. Box stores and national discounters have created tremendous pressure on dealers to slash their prices. The good news is dealers can command margins of 45% to 50% or more, even with the presence of competitors charging margins half that amount.
TU10 Do You Know Your Customers? Insights into Serving Your Diverse Customer Base
Regardless of whether you are a retailer, installer, architect or fabricator, you work with a diverse mix of customers every day. The demographics of your customers have and will continue to change and these changes take many forms: racial, ethnic, gender, generational, linguistic, life stage and level of affluence, just to name a few. Learning about differences in values among different groups is the key to maximizing relationships, marketing efforts and business opportunities.
TU13 Navigating the Top Legal Issues Facing Retailers—What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You!
Explore the top legal issues impacting the flooring industry with Jeffrey King, general counsel for the World Floor Covering Association. He will provide updates on legal issues impacting flooring retailers, including employment, import, privacy and contract issues, plus matters related to warranty and defective products and construction, credit cards and storing data, the Lacey Act and significant regulations impacting retailers.
TU15 Insider Secrets to Finding High-Impact Sales Training
Whether you’re a manager or retail sales associate, you want to be the best, so you need to cut through the hype and select the right training for your business. However, many training programs don’t produce the right skills, competitive advantage or durable results for your bottom line. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use five critical questions before you invest significant time or budget in training programs to select the right courses.
TU16 Retailer Forum: Share Challenges & Explore Solutions
This panel session, moderated by FCNews managing editor Jenna Lippin, will offer insight from some of America’s most successful flooring retailers on important issues challenging specialty retailers today. The topics will vary depending on questions from the audience, but will include areas such as: competing with the big boxes, selling and communicating with today’s diverse consumers, using technology and social media, merchandising, training and dealing with the persistent shortage of flooring installers.
TU25 Turn the Tide: Create New Streams of Customers for Your Business
What is your strategy for gaining new business? If you’re like many business owners, when times are good you don’t think much about it. When times are bad, then you worry. Creating constant streams of business requires a plan with contingencies. It doesn’t take a professional marketing firm to create the plan, it takes an understanding of your customer, your business and some advanced planning.
WE01 Price Matters to Everyone, Why Pretend it Doesn’t?
Salespeople have been told to stay away from asking about price, but this is a mistake. Everyone cares about price on some level, including not wanting to overspend and get their money’s worth. If the salesperson doesn’t bring up price at some point, it will become a problem at the expected time of the close. This is when the salesperson feels like he/she needs to drop the price to make the sale. This can all be avoided and the business can get their full price if the salesperson is trained properly.
WE02 Attracting, Developing & Retaining Top Talent
It really is a people business—attracting, developing and retaining top talent has never been more difficult. Perceptions about construction, new Internet opportunities and more jobs than people all add up to your biggest headache—and opportunity. It is about selecting and developing the right talent and creating a place where they want to work and do superior work when they are there.
WE03 Laws of Attraction: Merchandising Your Showroom to Become a Designer Magnet
Build a better retail experience and they will come. Attracting designers and becoming a valued resource is an important way to expand your business and reach qualified customers. Designers can bring high-budget business right to your showroom. Redesigning or simply using creative merchandising techniques can turn your retail flooring showroom into a designer magnet.
WE06 Through the Eyes of the Consumer-Independent Retailer vs. Big Box Store
In the last decade nearly 25% of independent flooring retailers have closed their doors and the big box stores have been thriving. Months of research and a massive secret shopper project undertaken by the WFCA and Benchmarkinc will give insight into the reasons for this trend. One hundred and eight independent and big box stores were evaluated in six major markets in the United States. Eighty-nine areas were evaluated, including in-store, in-home, and follow-up techniques. All for one critical piece of information: How do flooring consumers really feel about shopping at an independent retailer versus a big box store?
WE09 Negotiation & Conflict Resolution Strategies for Today’s Challenging Business Environment
Do you leave money on the table every day because you cannot assess where you stand or stand up for what you deserve? You deal with difficult issues every day from compressed schedules and tight budgets to poor communication. In this challenging industry, you can rectify many of these issues with effective negotiation and conflict resolution strategies.
WE11 Psssst…Growth Strategies the Big Boxes Don’t Want You To Know About
How did some luxury car dealers, upscale coffee shops, tattoo parlors, restaurants, amusement parks and many more businesses continue to grow year after year, even during the recession? They identified marketing strategies, sales processes and business management practices that helped them shape and capitalize on new consumer buying habits. This session dissects those strategies and presents a new and integrated set of marketing, selling and business management strategies and tactics.
WE14 The Top Social Media Trends that Will Dominate 2016
What’s hot and what’s not in social media? Still on the fence about social networking for your business? Confused about how Pinterest, Houzz or Instagram can help you generate business? Not sure why you should ask customers for Yelp and Google+ Local reviews? Get the lowdown on what’s happening socially online and what you need to do to keep your business on the forefront of customers’ minds in 2016.
WE15 Employee or Independent Contractor? The Dilemma in the Construction Industry
The issue of worker classification has long troubled businesses that rely on the services of independent contractors and subcontractors. Efforts by federal and state governments to crack down on worker misclassification have led to numerous independent contractors and subcontractors being reclassified as employees by different government agencies for different purposes. This session will discuss the tests that the US Department of Labor, the IRS, and various state agencies use to classify workers.
TH01 How to Improve Your Website and Online Marketing with Web Analytics
Your business website is the digital equivalent of your showroom or office. It’s often your first point of contact with prospective customers and clients. But, how do you know if it meets the needs of those visitors? Learn more about web analytics—the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data, which will help you understand and optimize web usage. By effectively utilizing traffic and conversion statistics from web analytics, you will gain invaluable insight into how visitors use your website, how they arrived on your homepage and how you can keep them coming back.
TH03 Design and Color Trends for 2016, 2017 & Beyond!
Victoria Redshaw, futurist and managing director at trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus Limited, will give full details of the key macro design trends for interiors for 2016 and 2017. She will focus on color, pattern, materials, textures, surface effects, finishes and styling for interiors as well as how the trends translate into flooring and wall products.
TH04 The Latest in Effective Flooring Claims Management
The best way to handle claims is to prevent them, so we will start by exploring the most common causes of flooring failures and how to avoid them. But since you can’t always avert claims, you must be prepared to manage them.
TH06 Social Media is Changing Fast—How to Cope and Keep Up
Social media platforms are changing rapidly and many are finding it difficult to keep up. Just about the time they figured out the value of Facebook and Twitter, along came Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and dozens of other sites. As a result, the social media strategies developed just a few years ago are now obsolete. Social media strategies must now be flexible enough to switch rapidly to new sites that are attracting your customers’ attention.
TH07 Are You a Brand? Thriving in a World of Brands
We live in a world of brands. We drive BMWs, eat Dunkin’, Donuts wear Louboutins and drink Belvedere and even Fuji and Evian. If they can brand products like cars, donuts, clothing, liquor and even water, shouldn’t we be able to brand our companies as well? You are much more than a product or service provider. You are a brand, and you are going to learn how to approach that going forward.
TH11 Exponential Business Growth: How Retailers Can Maximize Sales & Minimize Overhead
There are new tactics that can be implemented to increase sales, including technology, relationship management and even untapped resources for building a new client base all while reducing the overhead costs typically associated with the industry. FCNews columnist Scott Perron, proprietor of 24-7 Floors, will share real data compiled over a 12-month period.
TH15 Building Your Brand Locally—Differentiating your Business from the Competition
Your local brand can be just as powerful in your hometown as worldwide giants like Walmart and Home Depot, but to do so, you have to take a page or two out of the big guys’ playbook. Learn many of the mega-competitors’ secrets and how to apply them to your business.