How a dealer grew sales during lockdown

Home Column How a dealer grew sales during lockdown

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

The last several installments have been dedicated to equipping you with proven strategies to recession-proof your dealership and come back strong after the lockdown. This installment features a case study of a dealer who grew his revenue during the lockdown by implementing the strategies I’ve taught here.

Matt Capell owns Capell Flooring & Interiors in Meridian, Idaho. Like many in our industry, he is a second- generation dealer. The year he took over was 2008—perfect timing, right? Within two years his revenue had been slashed to $400,000. Business was so bad that Matt and his wife discussed closing up shop. Ultimately, they decided to keep the doors open, and Matt was determined to not only bring his business back from the brink but to put systems and strategies in place that would protect his business from future market downturns.

Matt’s strategies fit into three categories: before, during and after—it’s a way of organizing your marketing. Before strategies are used to reach cold prospects, people who have never done business with you. During strategies are used to sell prospects during the purchasing process, and include your sales strategies, showroom strategies and in-home tactics. After strategies are used after the installation is complete to increase repeat and referral business.

Before. One of the most important “before” strategies Matt implemented was generating online reviews. His business is not located in a high-traffic area, so he needed a way to get strangers to visit his store. He began by generating reviews on Google. Before long, he had dozens of 5-star reviews, and it was an almost daily occurrence to have new customers tell him that the reason they were buying from him was his reviews.

Matt is now part of my Digital Floor Dealer program, and my team helps him generate new reviews and monitors reviews across all platforms. He now has more than 600 reviews over multiple platforms. This creates differentiation and makes his business the obvious choice. He utterly dominates his market in reviews.

During. Matt has a variety of “during” strategies in place to take price out of the equation and ensure they buy from him. First, he uses customer testimonials throughout the sales process. He has them posted throughout his showroom and he gives walk-ins a booklet of testimonials. He also has a proven, step-by-step, written sales process that he and his team follow religiously. He has a variety of strategies in place—such as free beverages and snacks—to make walk-ins feel appreciated and welcome.

After. Following the installation, Matt’s customers get a free gift bag and a thank-you let- ter. His past customers hear from him every single week by email. He is able to stay in front of them often without annoying them because he uses the 90/10 formula, which I’ve outlined in the previous three installments.

So, was all this work worth it? Matt is on track to do $300,000 to $400,000 more in revenue this year than last. Yeah, I’d say it’s worth it.

Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information, visit

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August 10, 2020