April 2/9, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 21
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(First of two parts)
“We’ve been advertising with Angie’s List and Home Advisor, and running Google AdWords,” a dealer from Colorado said during a meeting about additional ways to market his business.
I asked him what his monthly ad spend was and he said about $6,000. I followed up by asking how many walk-ins out of 10 wind up purchasing, and he said three.
“Before you spend additional money trying to attract more traffic, you need to do a better job converting the traffic you already have,” I said. “If you simply increased your close rate from three out of 10 to four, that’s a 30% increase in revenue with zero additional marketing.”
I’ve had similar conversations with other flooring retailers. Many dealers who want to increase their revenue jump immediately to increasing their advertising spend and too often this is premature.
In reality, many dealers can increase their revenue significantly by simply closing more of the people who are already walking through their front door. I work with dealers who have increased their closed sales to seven out of 10 walk-ins, and who get a 90% close rate on jobs they quote. These kinds of close ratios require the implementation of strategies specifically designed to increase closed sales.
Here are some key strategies for making this happen.
Repeat and referred customers
“Can you tell the difference between a referred customer and a stranger who visited your store because they saw an ad?” I asked a dealer at one of my training seminars.
“Definitely,” she replied. “A referral already trusts us. We really don’t have to ‘sell’ them like we would a stranger.” Other dealers in the audience agreed.
When someone has purchased from you before or they were referred, they come in your store with pre-built trust. In general, they are less price-sensitive, the buying cycle is shorter and the closed sale ratio tends to be higher than with strangers.
Dealers I work with who get 70% to 80% close ratios do so in part by increasing their number of repeat and referred customers. By increasing the amount of repeat and referred customers visiting your store, you’ll automatically increase your closed sales—even if you don’t do any additional sales training.
The most powerful way to increase the number of repeat and referred customers walking through your door is by marketing to your database with a monthly newsletter and a weekly e-newsletter. I’ve seen dealers come back from the brink of bankruptcy, triple their revenue in a couple of years and even open additional stores. They did other things as well, but marketing to their database was the key driver.
You should also train your RSAs on how to generate referrals from your already-scheduled installations. When you’ve done a great job for a customer and they are thrilled with your service, it’s very easy to get referrals. However, most dealers don’t train their team on how to do this, and as a result they’re leaving a fortune on the table.
In part two, I’ll reveal additional key strategies for converting more door swings into sales.
Jim Armstrong specializes in providing turnkey marketing strategies for flooring retailers. For a free copy of his latest book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes Online,” visit BeatTheBoxesOnline.com.