February 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Number 18
By Steven Feldman
Readers of this column are well aware of the respect and admiration I have for Pami Bhullar, Invista’s director of retail development. Every time I have the privilege of hearing him speak I come away with valuable information to share with FCNews readers. It has become something of a ritual for Bhullar to come up with 10 resolutions for floor covering dealers each year. It has also become customary for me to share them in this space.
Bhullar believes if retailers can incorporate three goals into their businesses, they can anticipate a year of prosperity and managed growth. However, these resolutions are industry inclusive and not only for the sale pros. He feels that as fiber and product manufacturers, there is a need to create higher value for retail partners with products and services. The more value we create, the more rewards we get.
So, with 2017 now upon us, here are Bhullar’s resolutions for 2017:
- RightSelling: Customers get so much information from various resources and resent upgrading or downgrading, upselling or downselling. They expect us to be professionals and do the RightSelling, which involves four steps: 1: building trust and relationships; 2: understanding needs/wants/values; 3: asking and making commitments, and 4: following through.
- No arguments for your limitations: When you see or learn about a new tool/technique, start thinking about how it can be done rather than “I cannot do it.”
- Serve, not service: Customers want you to serve them, not service them. What’s the difference? Service means if something goes wrong, we will fix it. Serving is doing it right the first time. Therefore, strive to do it right initially and communicate that to your customers.
- PamiTalks: Once a month, watch one of the PamiTalks videos. Each comes with a companion document that describes the tool, why that tool is important and how to implement and improve from the use of the learned technique.
- New good-better-best is the best-better-good: Twenty-plus years ago (when the Internet was not part of our lives) manufacturers created many products in good-better-best weights and benefits. Customers would come to buy the advertised “good” and you would have to upgrade them. Today’s customers shop on the Internet and want to buy the best they can afford. Therefore, why start with the good when they want the best?
- Focus on three things that make you successful in selling: enthusiasm, confidence and knowledge. Gain knowledge by attending a training/webinar or subscribe to industry publications.
- Positive words: Change your world with your words. One word could make a huge difference in your presentation. As an example, “house” is brick and mortar; “home” is where people live. Home invokes emotions, feelings, love and family. Therefore, “It is going to look great in your home,” not your house.
- Mentor someone: When you help educate someone, you learn as well. We need the next generation to participate in the industry. Mentoring new salespeople can be your contribution to the workforce of tomorrow.
- Ask for reviews: More than 50% of customers in the market for flooring are influenced by testimonials. If you do a great job, ask for a positive review. You might be surprised how many customers are willing to do that for you.
- Area rug opportunities: Studies show approximately three to four weeks after hard surface is installed, customers tend to look for an area rug. Build in a cut and bound area rug at least for very fifth hard surface sale (to start).