A flooring dealer recently asked me, “Should I change the name of my company so I can go after more affluent clients?”
It’s an interesting exercise to go through to try and figure out why you are not attracting these clients already. In this article, I’m going to share with you why you aren’t currently attracting the affluent buyer, then I will show you just how to attract and sell to a more affluent demographic.
Question No. 1: How do you sell? Are you selling out of your own pocket? Are you more concerned about the costs than your client? Do you start out with more expensive items or gravitate to cheaper ones, believing that it’s a better value? Do you judge how your clients are dressed, where they live, what they drive, etc.? Do you ask a price question before they even bring up price? We actually have a shock collar on our salespeople that will go off if they bring up the price before the customer (just kidding, of course). Do you ask customers what their budget is?
Question No. 2: Are you pushing ‘great, low prices’ in your ads? Now, as much as sales may attract those customers, I would argue that the reason someone comes to your store is: 1) You were close/convenient; 2) You offer free in-home estimates; or 3) You were referred by a friend.
For years I have listened to customers, and I have yet to hear one refer to the advertised special. I continue to run advertised specials because they do help ads stand out. Usually the color and font in sale or special is bold and bright and it helps get the consumer’s attention.
Why do sales work for Empire and big box stores? Seems like it works really well for them, doesn’t it? The truth is they get business from such a large volume of advertising. They become a trusted source; they are a familiar name to do business with.
So, how do you attract the affluent consumer? First, you need to get creative. Let’s say you are really good at installing vinyl flooring on stairs. Then reference your process in your marketing. For instance, we offer Victorian style stairs. (That’s where we do a stain wood look on top with a white riser.)
When you name your process it makes it easy to talk about, market and sell. In short, you are making the desired product sexy and interesting.
Funny, when I wrote this column, I was sitting at a restaurant in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. On the menu is a Long Island Tea called “Shipwreck on a Long Island” with a description: ‘A favorite of Captain Jack Sparrow who ran aground more than once after partaking in one too many.’ By attaching a story to an expensive drink, the restaurant makes it more appealing than just offering a plain, ol’ Long Island Iced Tea.
The best way to make your business stand out is to make the ordinary “extraordinary.” The work you do is complicated and impressive, and you should not take it for granted that anyone can do it. You just have to sell it to your customer in a way that they can appreciate it.
Jerry Levinson is the owner of Carpets of Arizona and founder of Profit Now, a consultant business for flooring dealers. He has also authored two books on sales and marketing. In addition, Levinson manages the Flooring Dealers & More group on Facebook, which boasts more than 3,000 members.