November 7/14, 2016: Volume 31, Number 11
Editor’s note: FCNews has partnered with Mohawk to exclusively highlight a Mohawk retailer each quarter to demonstrate how they are leveraging certain aspects of the Mohawk national marketing program in their local markets. Following is the first feature in this peer-to-peer series that will focus on how these retailers are customizing these valuable marketing tools to fit the specific needs of their businesses. The goal is to provide ideas for all flooring retailers to better their operations.
Why do you value the Mohawk aligned program?
It’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made for several reasons. Mohawk is the largest manufacturer in the industry. It is the most aggressive in the industry. Take a look at every single category; Mohawk is either No. 1 or No. 2 in each, so why would I not want to be aligned with the leader. And they have been the leader for 15 years, maybe longer.
Why is lead generation important to a retailer’s business?
We know all clients start their search on the Internet. You can spend a small fortune on advertising, and if you have bad social reviews, like on Yelp, that advertising is for naught. The truth is if a client starts on the Internet, sees you have 1- and 2- and 3-star reviews, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend; they will not come into your store. So it is vitally important that we strive for 5-star reviews. We talk about this and work on this every single day.
How do you manage your leads when they come in?
You need to have one person who manages the leads. They have to come into that person, then she disseminates those leads out to salespeople, makes sure we have lead software, enters that lead, which we track to make sure the lead was entered, and she gives me monthly statistics as far as closing ratios go. You also need to know certain salespeople are exceptionally good at closing leads that are generated on the web, and certain salespeople may be great floor salespeople but may not be good with leads.
There are four things we demand the salespeople get: When a lead comes in you have to get the client’s name, phone number—most important you have to get an appointment with them—and finally you have to be enthusiastic about their project. If you don’t do these four things, I can assure you your closing ratios will be horrible. So we track each salesperson’s closing ratios, and if they are doing a great job they continue to get leads. If their closing ratios start to drop, we give the leads to someone else.
How quickly do you follow up on a lead?
The time from us getting the lead to the salesperson calling the client has to be between 10 and 20 minutes. The sooner the better. If we can do it in 5 minutes we will. But that’s not always possible because salespeople tend to be busy. The longer you wait, the more likely the client will go to another retailer.
Does Mohawk do anything to differentiate its lead-generation program from the others out there?
We have lead-generation programs from four different vendors, and our 38% closing ratios with Mohawk is by far and away the highest. I’m not privy to how the leads are generated. That’s their secret sauce, and they are not about to share that with me. All I know is it works.
How many leads do you receive?
Since the inception of the 5-star program 24 months ago, Mohawk has given me over 4,000 leads, and with a closing ratio of 38% this has translated into a little over $5 million in business. That is found business. Every lead is like gold. The quality of lead is important.
What percentage of the leads are qualified leads?
At least 60% are qualified. This is anecdotal, but I’m pretty close.
Is the average ticket price higher for a Mohawk-generated lead than a random consumer who walks in the door?
Our Karastan leads are certainly the highest and Mohawk is the second highest. I prefer not to divulge specific amounts.
Has the success of the lead-generation program allowed you to reallocate some funds to other areas?
Because our ROI is so good with lead-generation programs—not only Mohawk’s but our own—we continue to invest more in pay per click, and we continue to allocate more money toward lead generation than we have done in the past. Mohawk will run the analytics so you can take a look in your given area and they will tell you what your upside is. They will provide that service free of charge.
How do you use analytics?
Mohawk is constantly updating me. If I spend an extra $3,000, I can expect X amount more leads. I know my closing ratio is 38%. So you can easily extrapolate and know what the ROI will be. It is very easy to measure results with lead generation. That’s not necessarily the case with TV and radio.
How has the lead-generation program changed your business?
Anytime a vendor can give me $5 million worth of business, I have to be extremely thankful. I would think that 95% of these jobs are people who would never have found their way to my store. What Mohawk expects out of me is minimal: have well-educated salespeople, clean showrooms, sell all its products, and when someone comes in the store show them a Mohawk brand.
What does it mean to be a Mohawk 5-star retailer?
I can attribute $5 million in business over the last two years that Mohawk has given to me. I had to close them, but that is found business. My ROI is incredibly good. I feel I have a great relationship with Mohawk. I feel there is respect both ways. And because of that, Mohawk will give me as many leads as I can handle, and I am going to close those leads using Mohawk goods as often as I can.