If given the choice of good, fast or cheap—and you could only have two—which two would you choose? This is an old, familiar saying, but it’s really a false choice—at least when it comes to selling flooring, anyway.
Here’s how I see it: A good, experienced, reputable flooring store should be able to offer all three—every time. Carrying quality materials is just smart business. It’s more profitable and you will have fewer problems with installation and repair. Selling quality flooring will help you sleep better at night.
Great service is something everyone should strive to provide and work on to improve. The key to great service is having excellent communication. When are you going to show up? What should the customer expect? Good service means providing a good explanation of how long it will take and what you are going to do. Remember: Almost all bad reviews are a result of bad communication.
Then there’s great price (some might even use the word “cheap”). You should be proud of the service and materials you offer, and the price you charge should reflect that. You can still be the most expensive in town while offering incredible value. Even though what you and I do is expensive, we’ve all had customers who said, “Is that all?” after we provided an estimate.
So, what matters most to a homeowner purchasing flooring? Is it the cost? Is it the quality or beauty of the product? Or is it the service and installation? Actually, it’s none of the above. What will have the biggest influence on your customer is your sales presentation.
Allow me to prove my point: There was an excellent experiment recently done by Payless shoe store, which created a new (fake) brand called “Palessi.” (Do a quick Google search and watch the video.) In promoting the bogus brand, Payless opened a Palessi store and invited fashion influencers to check out their shoes. They made the mock showroom beautiful with high-end artwork, and the salespeople were dressed accordingly.
Turns out the shoes they put on the shelf were the same inexpensive shoes they sell at Payless. Yes, the same $35 shoes sold at Payless were marked up to $300–$800 at the fake Palessi store, and shoppers gladly paid the price.
Don’t make the same mistake most make when watching this video; most judge these people as fools. They’re not fools. The sales presentation was outstanding. They created value for the product that people were glad to pay. There are many brands that do the same every day. What makes these brands so special? It’s their marketing and their overall presentation. I work with many flooring dealers, but I see exactly the opposite happening. I see flooring businesses that offer an excellent quality product— companies who have mostly 5-star reviews with prices that are very competitive. And yet, their closing rate isn’t what it should be. Why is that? It’s because their sales presentation does not show all the benefits a customer truly gets by working with them.
Creating an excellent presentation is difficult, but it’s well worth the effort. After you create one you will dominate your competition even if your prices are higher. Take what you do that’s ordinary and make it extraordinary!
Jerry Levinson, a former retailer, owns Profit Now 4 Flooring Dealers, which provides sales training, processes and systems for flooring dealers to help them grow their business and profits while working fewer hours. He also runs the Flooring Dealers & More group on Facebook.