The only constant in business is change

Home Columns Al's Column The only constant in business is change

changeEvery day I talk to flooring dealers who want to grow their business. They face a host of challenges ranging from competition to hiring employees, increased prices, sales and marketing issues and a constantly changing retail environment. In my experience, I’ve learned that in order to change your circumstances, you might have to change the way you do things—or you may have to make some pretty dramatic changes to get where you want to go.

You might even have to change the name of your company! There are a lot of companies that have really bad names—they don’t mean anything. Worse, some names don’t say anything about flooring. On top of that, some company names show up poorly in a Google search. Some names give people the wrong impression about your company. Take “Wholesale Flooring,” for example. Are you really selling wholesale? Are you trying to get respectable margins for your products and services? You may be attracting customers based on price.

Changing the name of your company can be very difficult, but it might be necessary to grow the type of flooring business you wish to have. When it’s done right it will be a net plus for you, too. It’s great marketing to inform your previous customers of the name change.

You might also need to change the company or person that handles your website. Be warned: It takes anywhere from four weeks to two months to get a new website built. The whole transition is very difficult, and it can be expensive. It’s a nightmare. You need to determine if a new web company can get you better results. They should never be judged by what you pay them. Rather, they should be judged for the results you are getting.

Something else to consider: The products you carry may need to change. The more products you carry, the slower you move—generally speaking. The ones who do it all are watering down their marketing efforts. You may need to take out some displays or products that aren’t selling. It’s not easy. You invested time and money but you have to make the tough decision to tighten up what you offer so your marketing dollars go further and your sales efforts are maximized.

You might even need to change how you quote prices. When you get comfortable doing it one way it’s hard to change. But what if you can charge more money, while giving your customer a better perception of value, by changing the way you charge? There are companies that just sell carpet and vinyl; they are growing faster than the stores that carry everything. There are boutique stores specializing in hardwood or tile. Those stores can charge a premium and be the experts doing high-end work that others can’t touch.

My clients are seeing great results from changing the way they sell. They open themselves up to a different way of thinking. They try something they never believed would work before. Are you building a narrative that fits your beliefs?

I don’t believe in using high-pressure sales tactics or misleading customers into buying. When you take a step back and focus on the needs of your customer rather than your product or service it will change everything.

Now go sell some flooring!

Jerry Levinson, a former retailer, owns Profit Now 4 Flooring Dealers. He 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.

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July 3/10, 2023

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