By Jim Augustus Armstrong—”What advertising should I start with?” an attendee at one of my seminars asked me. This is a question I get asked regularly, and it’s a good one. There are hundreds of ways to market your flooring business, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you have ad companies calling and emailing you every day claiming that you should use whatever they happen to be selling.
So, my short answer to the attendee was this: “Start by mining the hidden gold in your business.” This means that you’ve got opportunities right in front of you to get more sales that you’re almost certainly missing, so let’s grab those first before you invest thousands of dollars into advertising campaigns.
The primary objective is to convert more “door swings.” Studies have shown that if 10 people walk into a dealership, on average only three shoppers will buy. So, if the average dealer increases their close ratio from three to four out of 10, they’ve just increased their gross revenue by 33% without spending any additional money on advertising.
Here are some proven ways to increase your closed sale ratio:
Implement a step-by-step, diagnostic selling system. I’ve covered diagnostic selling extensively in the past, but here’s a quick review: Invite the walk-in to sit down for a consultation. Use a questionnaire and ask her questions and log the answers. Include the usual questions about her project, but also include target questions. These are questions that paint a target on the prospect and enable you to zero in on her biggest needs and concerns so you can close the sale.
Examples include: What’s important about new flooring to you? What do you like/dislike about your current flooring?
Create a zero-resistance selling environment in your store. Some strategies for this include:
- Customer testimonials posted in your store
- Showroom monitors playing testimonials and photos of your completed projects
- Handing walk-ins a beverage menu and asking them what they’d like to drink
- Maintaining a neat, curated showroom
- Popping popcorn or baking cookies in your store to make it smell homey
Position yourself as a trusted advisor. This is best accomplished during the measure appointment. On the day of the measurement, text the prospect 10 minutes before you arrive. Get permission to measure and inspect all the areas of the home. Before you enter the home, wear shoe covers. Have the tools to close in the home including soft- ware for creating quotes and a way to collect a deposit.
Train your sales team on the system. This can be done via weekly meetings where you conduct drills and exercises covering the different parts of the process, such as the script for greeting walk-ins, going through the questionnaire, closing the sale, etc.
“But Jim, I’m too busy to implement a system like that.” If that describes you, then I have a question: What’s taking up your time that’s more important than increasing your revenue 15% to 30% with zero marketing costs?
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 flooringsuccesssystems.com