Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15
By Jim Augustus Armstrong
(Second of three parts)
In part one of this series I explained how Russ Bundy, a dealer from Utah, quickly skyrocketed his net profit by implementing a sales closer system. Here are the specific details of this kind of sales process.
First I’d like to remind you of the importance of adopting new sales and marketing strategies. Even those of you who are hesitant must admit that big box stores and online discounters are stealing more and more of the flooring market from local retailers, and this problem is only getting worse. In fact, I recently spoke with Scott Humphrey, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), who told me the concern over this issue is such that the WFCA focuses much of its efforts on helping dealers to “beat the boxes.”
Dealers who don’t have a plan to overcome this problem are going to see their margins squeezed and the need to work harder to make less. If you insist on sticking to old methods that may have worked in the past, you are ultimately putting your business at risk. However, if you have an impactful sales closer system in place, you will take a step toward solving the problem of box store threats.
The pattern interrupt
When a potential customer walks into your store, instead of saying, “How may I help you?” you should create a pattern interrupt by saying, “Hi, welcome to Jimbo’s Floors. Are you a new or returning client?” If she is new, you should continue by saying, “Great! We have a special program for new clients. Can I take a quick minute and tell you about it?” If she’s a returning client, then say, “Great! We have a special program for returning clients.” By doing this you are creating total differentiation and getting her out of the “I’m just looking” mode. You also just bought yourself 30 seconds to sit down and talk.
Wow the client
After she sits down with you, hand her a beverage menu and say, “What can I get you to drink?” Not only does this serve as a wow factor, but by giving her a gift she will want to reciprocate. This will make her more willing to let you do an in-home measure.
While the customer is in your store, make sure she sees testimonials from clients in addition to before-and-after photos of your projects.
Diagnose her problem
When you visit your doctor, he doesn’t burst into the room and say, “Hey, we’re having a 70% off sale on all antibiotics!” Instead he sits down, asks you questions and then writes out a prescription based on your needs. You should do the same with your client. Ask lots of questions and write down the answers.
Be sure to include target questions that allow you to easily close the sale. Some examples include: “What’s important about new flooring to you? What did you like about the last installation you had done? What didn’t you like? What do you like about your current flooring? What don’t you like? What can we do to exceed your expectations?”
Listen carefully to the answers because she is going to hand you the keys to the sale. For example, if she hated the last installation because the store didn’t call her back, you can sell her on your prompt return call guarantee.