February 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 19
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
A dealer recently told me his close ratio is only 15%. “Our sales team is wasting time with people who wind up not buying,” he stated.
I told him it sounded like he was not answering the prospects’ unspoken question.
When I bring up the unspoken question, most dealers have no idea what I’m talking about. You see, every prospect who goes online looking for flooring, or calls you, or walks into your store, has an unspoken question: Why should I buy from you instead of your competitor? If you don’t have a compelling answer you’ll continuously lose customers or wind up selling solely based on price.
When I’m coaching dealers on how to get more customers, I’ll often pull up their website along with the websites of several of their top competitors and we’ll look at them side-by-side. Almost without exception, every website has the business name at the top, links to what they sell and contact information. Some have a room designer, a “contact us” form or teaser prices, but overall each site’s message is identical: here’s our name, here’s what we sell and here’s how to find us, etc.
I’ll then say to the dealer: “Cathy Consumer wants new floors. She goes online to find the right dealer. She’s asking herself, ‘Why should I choose you instead of your competitors?’ Does your website answer this question?”
Your website isn’t the only place where you need to answer the unspoken question. In fact, every touchpoint with your prospect should be engineered to answer the question, over and over again in different ways.
Let’s look at some examples of how you can make this happen.
Website. Feature testimonials as social proof. Offer a free report or white paper on how to choose the right flooring. Host videos that demonstrate your expertise by educating her on flooring products, care and maintenance.
Showroom. Keep it spotless and free of clutter. Use a curated approach—you don’t need 87 samples of beige carpet. Have a beverage bar and snacks available. Post testimonials where walk-ins can see them.
Print ads. Feature testimonials. Use risk reversal by highlighting your replacement guarantee and your lifetime installation warranty.
Phones. Make sure the person answering your phones sounds welcoming. Instead of saying, “Boring Flooring, how may I help you?” say, “Thank you for calling Jimbo’s floors, home of the lifetime installation warranty. How may I help you?” Instead of playing music when people are on hold, play recordings of client testimonials.
Restrooms. Keep them spotless. Decorate them. Spend a few bucks to impress your clients.
Social media. Stop posting mundane photos of your display racks. Instead, post pictures of your clients standing on their new floors, along with a testimonial.
In-home measure. Wear medical booties while in your customer’s home. This will communicate that you’re different, you care and you’re a total professional. Keep dog biscuits handy as a treat for the family pet.
These strategies create total differentiation from competitors, position you as a trusted advisor and, most importantly, answer the unspoken question multiple times in many ways.
How many more can you think of? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I may feature them in a future column.