New Year’s resolutions for retail professionals

Home Column New Year's resolutions for retail professionals

new year's resolutionsWelcome to 2023, the start of a new year. 2022 brought us accomplishments we never envisioned. We can achieve so much more if we focus on positivity. My personal resolution for 2023 is an absolute commitment to helping retailers improve both personally and professionally. Shared herein are my New Year’s resolutions for retailers, independent of TDG. Choose three.

  1. Know the “me” culture. Due to isolation, the culture of self-awareness, self-focus and self-pamper has evolved. “Me” would like to do or buy better things for “me.” “Me” customers research flooring, go to the best stores and want to buy from an expert who understands their needs, wants and values. Focus on “me” culture.
  2. Participate or not. There is a lot of chatter of downturn, recession, etc. However, 90% of it is in your hands whether to participate or not. Remember, 10% life happens to us and 90% we happen to life. Stop making excuses; start taking action.
  3. Prepare to thrive when business slows. Here are three things you can do to avoid a downtown: A) Learn to present and sell a 10% better product; B) Improve your selling skills; and C) Cultivate your customer base—reach out to old customers, send thank you notes and use social media to promote.
  4. Learn to sell the best. Customers want to buy the best, so you should sell accordingly. If you pride yourself on having the lowest price and practice it, you will become an expert on selling the cheapest. Customers will figure out how to pay for what they like. If you do not have a $20-per-square-foot carpet in your showroom you will never sell it. If you have it but you never show it, you will never sell it. If you have it and show it but cannot explain the value, you will never sell it. Start with the best products.
  5. Focus on fashion. Sell fashion to make homes look beautiful. Your customer already has a floor; she needs to make her home look beautiful with a new floor. A recent study showed that more than 70% of consumers want “A-B-C” when choosing floors: always beautiful, always easy to clean and always durable. Explore what products in your showroom deliver these promises.
  6. Be the best presenter. Upselling, downselling, upgrading and downgrading are the four dirty words for today’s customers. Right Selling is a methodology of understanding customers’ needs, wants and values.
  7. Become extraordinary. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little “extra” we put into ordinary. Make one extra call, follow up one extra time, make one extra attempt to close that sale.
  8. Use all the tools. Sharpen your silent salespeople (web, store entry, products, displays, work areas, bathrooms). When was the last time you checked your own website and/or your competitors’ websites? When was the last time you looked at your floor to remove clutter, discontinued and/or damaged products/samples?
  9. Be the best at selling. Product knowledge is very important but so is skills training. Sales training is learning and improving human skills, people connection and emotional intelligence. Learn how we make decisions and use those learnings.
  10. Good teams vs. great teams. In every downturn, good teams work hard to maintain business; great teams grow business. In challenging times customers try to buy the best from the best. Raise the bar on your emotional connection and serving the customers.

Pami Bhullar is currently vice president of business development at The Dixie Group. A true retail guru, Pami has been providing flooring dealers with helpful insights for more than 40 years.

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