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Guest column: Your next business opportunity awaits

February 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 18

By Lisa Niswonger

 

(Disclaimer: This is not an offer to sell a ProSource Wholesale franchise, but is for informational purposes only. No offer to sell can be made in any state that first requires registration or notice as provided by applicable law until compliance with such applicable law occurs.)

ProSource Wholesale redefined the flooring industry 28 years ago with the development of a business model focused entirely on supporting the needs of the home improvement trade professional. Today, 404,091 trade pro members trust ProSource with their clients’ projects from flooring to complete kitchen and bath remodels.

ProSource Wholesale has taken this same commitment and continues to develop ways to maximize the earnings potential of their 145 showrooms. “As a ProSource franchisee of six showrooms, I am in business for myself, but not by myself,” said David Fuerst. “ProSource understands what trade pros need and how our showrooms need to serve them. ProSource also discovered new growth categories beyond flooring such as kitchen and bath, and my showrooms have experienced huge sales increases.”

The ProSource business opportunity is designed specifically for entrepreneurs and investors looking to tap into the growing home improvement industry. ProSource franchise owner Tom Brewer and his family started out as a Carpet One Floor and Home owner, a sister brand to ProSource Wholesale. When they saw the success of the ProSource franchise model, they decided to expand their business portfolio. Today they own six ProSource showrooms as well as multiple Carpet One retail locations.

The Brewers opened their first ProSource showroom in 1997. One of the key aspects to their overall company success is the fact they were able to experience growth within the home improvement industry. “We were able to expand beyond retail and work within the commercial and wholesale business,” Brewer stated.  “Also, since we already had a good footprint of Carpet One retail stores, starting the ProSource brand and its members-only type of showroom allowed us to be the first to market in our area.”

With average showrooms sales at $5.3 million per year, ProSource continues expansion with eight new showrooms opening this year. ProSource, which doesn’t offer installation services or have accounts receivable issues, is built to save franchisees time and money. For those who choose to become a franchise owner, ProSource is there to provide a host of services, including support in opening stores, specialized staff training, results-oriented marketing and industry-leading products and merchandising.

To learn more and receive a free market analysis, visit franchise.prosourcewhole.com/free-market-analysis or call 844.729.4861.

 

Lisa Niswonger (Baker) is director of marketing programs for CCA Global Partners, which operates ProSource Wholesale. She has more than 24 years experience in marketing and advertising, including positions with franchises and buying groups. 

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Lisbiz strategies: How to make the most of TISE after the show

February 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 18

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

Surfaces is a great time to catch up with friends and customers. It makes me aware of how important people are in my life even if I only see them once a year. Thank goodness for social media.

This year I decided I would take away information from Surfaces that will be useful until next year. That means new people, new products and new ideas.

I picked up as load of magazines and sent them home. Keeping up on new products is difficult; I’m interested in trends and what architects and designers are thinking. The concept of “aging in place” is a tremendous opportunity for our industry. I hope you are attending local classes.

There is another designation called “Age Safe America.” I just took the class; it is very insightful. It’s important you know what kinds of flooring are safe for customers who are planning on staying in their homes long term. If you want to know more about it, reach out and I can give you a course discount. I will be teaching a course on “aging in place” in Albany in March.

When I found out I didn’t have to walk miles to get my badge I was elated. Could this be any easier? The layout with the speakers and the press made it easy to network and talk with people. The meeting rooms were close by and the rooms had sofas and chairs in the front row. It was like talking with people in my living room. Normally I would be spending my time looking for my meeting room and rushing around. I had less stress and more time to meet and talk—my favorite things. Hats off to Katie Thompson, senior content and project manager, The Design Group | Global Exhibitions and all those at Informa for making it easier to navigate the education sessions.

This year I took photos of certain displays and posted them on social media and asked friends what they thought. There were lots of comments from attendees and others who just follow my posts. I forget that flooring is very fashionable, and who doesn’t like fashion? Since I’m teaching a class for realtors and retailers, “The Value of Historic Homes,” I spent time looking at products that could be suitable for period homes. I live in a historic area in Albany, N.Y., called Hudson Park. My neighbors are always asking me what flooring and paint colors they should use in their homes. Reach out to realtors and ask if you can show flooring at one of their internal trainings.

Many of the floors in period homes are old and elegant so sand and finish or screen and recoat is often the solution. If there is extreme damage, a new floor is called for. I found some perfect “historic” flooring and will bring some samples to class. By the way, if you’re in the Albany area and want to attend any of my realtor classes, just let me know and get my schedule. I teach an all-day product knowledge class that is well attended by realtors. This is a great place to network. Teaching these classes has made me more aware of flooring fashion as well as the technical aspects. I am also teaching the “Historic Homes” class in Rochester, N.Y., on March 27. If you live in New York and would like to host one of these classes, let me know.

Despite the long days on my feet, TISE never ceases to amaze me. Thanks to the industry and how hard everyone works to make TISE a success.

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For employees only: The difference between sheep and shepherds

February 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 18

By Brad Cotlar

 

Most articles written in trade magazines talk to owners, executives and management. If you are not one of those people, this column is for you.

Let me start by posing these questions: When walking into your store or office do you walk past the trash in the parking lot or stop and pick it up? Do you carry your business card in your pocket at all times and are constantly networking—no matter your role in the company? Do you read industry periodicals and keep yourself up to date on new products, trends, etc?

If you’re not doing these things, ask yourself, “What if I did? Would it better me as an employee? Would it change my mentality of what I do?”

Next, ask yourself the following question: Are you engaged or disengaged in your job?

Do you know what you are supposed to be focused on? Do you know how your performance is measured? If the answer to any of these questions is no, ask yourself: “If I did, would it better me as an employee? Would it change my mentality of what I do?”

There are generally two types of people in this world: leaders and followers. If you’re not leading yourself and/or others, then you’re a follower. An appropriate analogy is a sheep vs. a shepherd. People who do what they’re told and don’t have to think for themselves can be considered sheep. They’re able to go through life doing very little and can always rely on someone else (i.e., a shepherd) to guide them.

It’s not hard to see why most people are sheep; it’s simply the path of least resistance. Sheep wait to be told what to do; shepherds think about what needs to be done and then do it. Sheep do their own job well while shepherds are committed to the team and the company doing well, so they tend to do more than the minimum. This entails pitching in when needed and going that extra mile without being asked.

Some of the most successful employees are the ones who are the most proactive when it comes to taking ownership and accountability over their own development. They show a deep pride and connection to the company and to their work. They don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do. They are team players and take on roles and responsibilities outside of their job description as long as those activities don’t distract them from the goals they have set with their manager. But most importantly, they aren’t sheep.

Here are seven characteristics of a leader:

  1. Leaders are self motivated and work effectively with little direction.
  2. Leaders have a positive attitude and create a healthy environment.
  3. Leaders have a strong work ethic; they set and achieve goals.
  4. Leaders are dependable and consistently follow through.
  5. Leaders are team oriented and make the most out of collaboration.
  6. Leaders are effective communicators and understand the benefits of clarity.
  7. Leaders are flexible and adapt in a meaningful way.

People who are the happiest act like shepherds. More importantly, these leaders are the ones generally promoted in an organization. Be the leader—the shepherd—in your own organization.

 

Brad Cotlar is the owner of Benchmarkinc Recruiting Services, a Wichita, Kan.-based company specializing in employee placement and executive head hunting in the floor covering industry. For more information, visit bmarkinc.com or e-mail brad@bmarkinc.com.

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Al’s column: How to keep your debt in check

February 4/11, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 18

By Scott Perron

 

During my 20s in the early 1990s I went through a very sobering financial experience along with my family that permanently etched a painful scar in my brain. Since that time, I have probably taken a more cautious than normal approach to increasing debt for fear of ever repeating that scenario.

I am fortunate, however, to have learned many valuable best practices from other owners (Russell, Mitch, Doug and Brad) along the way, which has helped get us to where we are today. Our commercial property purchased in 2013 has a mortgage after renovation equaling 25% of the property value, and we have a small loan with a financier that we will pay off in the next 24 months or sooner. Outside of that, all of our equipment, inventory, samples, vehicles and hard assets are paid in full. Although it could be even better, our overhead is vastly less on average than that of our competitors, which allows our new company to be aggressive against the most seasoned dealer or big box.

Over the last 10 years, business has been steadily recovering and, for the most part, we all are benefitting. Without trying to sound alarmist in any way, this was exactly what occurred prior to the recession of 2007-2009—a time most of us would like to forget. The objective of this column is simply to advise you to take a long, hard look at your to debt-to-asset and debt-to-income ratios and prepare for the future.

In the event you have not purchased the property you work from, it would make good sense to lock in the best lease renewal options and make sure to leave yourself a reasonable escape clause during that period should you need to upsize, downsize or perhaps buy your next location. My advice is always to purchase rather than lease, as it is usually the first or only saleable asset of a flooring company. Due to the current acceleration in pricing, it is becoming a challenge to find commercial real estate at a value. Typically, even in good times like these, the hard assets such as FF&E, inventory and vehicles sell for a fraction of their true value during liquidation.

In addition, take a long look at any inventory you have that is over 180 days or a year old and decide why it’s still there. I know many of you hate to sell bad choices at a lower price or even a loss, but unless you are extremely wealthy or only desire a savings account filled with antique inventory for your older years, I can promise you the best move is to turn it into cash. Most who hang on to these assets never count the cost of carrying it along with the rest of your overhead, so in reality it becomes less valuable to you on a daily basis. Take the proceeds from the selling of bad decisions and use it to purchase items that turn quickly or help promote your business.

Next, get your best performance numbers in front of your banker and negotiate any debt reduction, credit line increases, merchant services and refinancing of long-term debt to a fixed rate where possible. Get prepared to have the proper capitalization even if you don’t need it now; you might need it eventually.

Finally, be careful not to put yourself in the position of being personally liable for some or all of your liabilities tied to the business as you may be setting yourself up for disaster in the event of another correction. Do your best to separate business and personal assets or liabilities by consulting your CPA or tax attorney.

 

Scott Perron is the president of 24-7 Floors and Floor4Pros based in Sarasota, Fla. He is also an industry trainer and motivational speaker. He can be reached at scott@24-7floors.com or 860.250.1733.

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Installments: Cork tile—New standard, same old methods

January 21/28, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 17

By Christopher Capobianco

Some of my friends call me “the cork dork of New York” because of my passion for this flooring material that’s been around about 100 years. I’ve been involved with cork flooring for a long time. I’ve seen cork forests and factories in Europe, watched bottle stoppers get drilled out of tree bark and saw the waste become tile. I’ve worked on some cork tile projects for floors and walls. I am in regular conversation about cork with designers, installers and dealers. I always stress the importance of proper specification, installation and maintenance.

Cork flooring comes as traditional tile, which is glued down, and as engineered “click” planks. Let’s talk about tile.

I chaired the ASTM task group in 2013 for ASTM F3008, Standard Specification for Cork Floor Tile—the first ASTM standard for cork. This document helps differentiate product types and calls out manufacturing and performance standards, just like other ASTM standards. For example, Class I “homogeneous” is a very durable “through color” tile that can be sanded and refinished. Class II “heterogeneous” is made with veneer and may not be recommended for heavy traffic or may need different maintenance. Other parts of F3008 call out test methods (squareness, thickness, size, density, resistance to curling and flexibility) that can be used to analyze product quality. The performance requirements section specifies tests for durability such as resistance to rolling chairs, indentation, shrinkage, abrasion and chemicals.

The ASTM F3008 clears up many product questions, but what about installation? That’s still pretty old school. Start with a smooth, dry substrate, test concrete for moisture and acclimate the material. Like most flooring products, cork needs to be onsite a few days ahead of time at “in use” temperature and humidity. When it comes to adhesive, the traditional method—using water-based contact adhesive applied to the back of the tile and to the substrate using a paint roller and allowing it to completely dry—is the way to go. Tile is set in place and a rubber mallet is used to make contact between the two adhesive films. The tile can be coated the day before and, since this is an instant bond, the installer can work on top of the tile right away and the floor can be walked on immediately. Many cork tile failures I’ve seen were caused when trowel-applied adhesives were used instead of the contact method.

Although classified as resilient flooring, cork is more like wood with regard to handling and maintenance. Most tiles are prefinished with polyurethane and it’s not uncommon to add another coat or two of urethane to a new floor for extra protection. From that point, maintain the cork floor like a wood floor. Make sure furniture has proper glides and take care to protect the floor from damage. Use walk-off mats to keep dirt off the floor and window coverings to minimize fading in bright sunlight. Sweep regularly and damp mop as you would a wood floor.

As cork flooring continues to grow in popularity, flooring dealers and contractors who understand this product can become cork specialists. They’ll be the ones who get the orders while others are intimidated by this beautiful, sustainable material.

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Marketing mastery: How to take back control of your life

January 21/28, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 17

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

(Second of two parts)

 

In part I of this series (FCNews, Jan. 7/14), I outlined why dealers deserve to have an awesome life in flooring. I also provided examples of dealers just like you who have done it.

Unfortunately, many dealers don’t achieve the life they want, and I’ve found the reason why is they don’t have the two-part success formula in place. Part one is making plenty of money so you can grow your business, hire good people and afford a great lifestyle. Part two is having freedom so you’re able to take time off and work the hours you choose.

Let’s cover some of the basic steps I take dealers through to put the success formula in place so they can have the life in flooring they really want.

Step 1: What does your ideal lifestyle look like? When most floor dealers begin their business or take over an existing one, they are totally consumed with growth. A few years down the road, many find they are working 60-plus hours per week, and they don’t have time to do what’s important to them outside of business.

I believe the purpose of your business is to fund and facilitate your ideal lifestyle. So, let’s start by creating your ideal lifestyle on paper. Write down what your ideal week looks like. How many hours would you like to work? What time do you arrive at work? What time do you go home? What do you do with your free time? For example, coach your kid’s sports team, golf every Wednesday, volunteer at your church, hang out with your spouse, train for a marathon, etc. Also include the things you’d really like to do but can’t because you’re too busy or can’t afford it.

In other words, create a clear picture of what you want your ideal lifestyle to look like without any limitations.

Step 2: What needs to change in your business in order to make your ideal lifestyle a reality? For example, let’s say you’re currently working 50 hours per week, and 15 of those hours are spent on the sales floor, including Saturdays.  Furthermore, let’s say that as part of your ideal lifestyle you want to cut your work hours down to 35, quit working weekends and golf every Friday. What needs to change in your business to make this happen? You would write down that you need to hire someone to take over those 15 hours of selling from you, what your revenue needs to be in order to pay for the new hire and a process for delegating.

Step 3: Put your plan in place. Block out several hours each week to begin implementing these changes into your business. You would begin implementing marketing strategies to increase your revenue and creating a plan to delegate your selling responsibilities. Finally, you would recruit your new hire.

Step 4: Enjoy your new life. Obviously, this is an oversimplified example. I would normally do this over several months, the plan would be much more detailed and it would be done in carefully planned stages. However, this gives you the 30,000-square-foot view of what it looks like to take your business from where you are right now to having the awesome life in flooring you truly want and deserve.

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Lisbiz strategies: Learning opportunities abound at TISE 2019

January 21/28, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 17

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

For the last couple of years, I’ve been a part of The International Surface Event (TISE) education committee. For two days, we review proposals and discuss trends. It’s a ton of decisions to make in a very short time. I love being part of this process and listening to all the ideas. Attending the show is like seeing it all come together.

TISE 2019 comprises three world-class tradeshows: Surfaces, StonExpo/Marmomac and TileExpo. TISE is the largest North American floor covering, stone and tile event in the industry. I’ve been attending Surfaces for more than 20 years, but I still get excited thinking about it. Every year, the Informa Exhibitions marketing department puts on their creative caps to come up with a new theme. I love this year’s education theme: Converge.

According to Informa, “The new Converge education program at TISE will offer the industry a whole new way to gain training, knowledge and information. With flexible scheduling allowing for the busy trade show atmosphere, persona interest groups (Creatives, Suits and Hammer & Nails) for immersive, targeted discussions and the freedom to pass freely between session topics to gain exactly the knowledge attendees are seeking.”

So what do you want learn? Many of you have told me a real issue is what technology should you be using to connect with your customer? Another issue is how do you train your salespeople on the same technology? Every business needs a competitive advantage, and that’s what you can get at TISE 2019. This is the age of the consumer. Take this opportunity to learn as much as you can to connect with them.

I suggest you work in as much education as possible and take tons of photos of new products to post on social media with your customer. I can almost guarantee you will have an order by the time you get home. If you’re still not sure how to use your social media or upload photos, check out one of the seminars taking place at the show that can get you up to speed.

This is the time to get dressed up, put on your best face and enjoy this wonderful show. It probably sounds silly, but I always have tears in my eyes when I first look at the show floor. It requires so much effort on the part of so many people to execute.

I am honored to be part of the Converge program, and I will be speaking at the following seminars: “7 Techniques to Talk Crazy Customers (or anyone else) Off the Ledge,” Tues., Jan. 22, 8 a.m.-9 a.m., and “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” alongside attorney Jeffrey King. This seminar takes place on Wed., Jan. 23, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. King will talk about legal implications, and I will discuss how to create a civil workplace.

As a speaker, I never have enough time to get to all the seminars, but it’s important for me to learn from other industry experts. I love the Hammer & Nails category. Just like you, I’m interested in what’s new in the installation area. I will get to one of the Creatives. You know fashion is my passion, so I’ll have to find what colors are hot and what’s in and what’s out. I am also teaching continuing education classes to realtors this year, and color and style is one of my courses.

Don’t forget to pack those comfy shoes, an additional cell phone charger, a couple of energy bars and get some extra sleep. Book those important appointments and don’t forget to make dinner plans with those friends you only see once a year. See you there.

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Lessons learned: Change your focus from someday to today

January 21/28, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 17

By Tom Jennings

Do you ever notice how many people seem to have big plans, yet have very small accomplishments? You know the type. They are the ones who can always tell you everything that’s wrong but are doing very little constructive to make positive changes.

At work, they usually spend more time determining how to get around performing a task than completing the task itself. These folks all seem to live in a different time zone. I refer to it as “Someday.”

We’ve all known residents of Someday. Perhaps we’ve even visited that place ourselves at some point. You will have no problem recognizing Someday inhabitants. They identify themselves constantly by stating something along these lines: Someday I’ll have a nicer car. Someday I’ll start to eat better. Someday I’ll spend more time with the family.

Residents of Someday all seem to have great plans. However, the critical element missing is execution, sometimes known by that dreaded term: hard work. While planning may be fun, and even occasionally necessary, over time I have discovered a funny thing about plans—they only seem to work when I do.

Don’t get me wrong; intentions do not count. Virtually all decent people are filled with good intentions. There is nothing rare about that. However, nobody ever accomplished anything meaningful by “intending” to do so. Results are only accomplished when we put some fuel into our tanks, turn on the engine and begin the journey from someday into “now.”

Only then will we see our results change from the limited success that “talkers” realize to the unlimited success that many “doers” achieve. The reality is we all have to put forth the effort to make a showing at our jobs every day. Since we are going to put in the time anyway, it seems to make sense that we reward ourselves by actually achieving measurable results rather than just talking a good game. Not only is the paycheck more pleasing, but you will find that time actually goes by at a much faster pace when you are able to begin measuring your accomplishments rather than just thinking about all of the things that you want to do someday.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of helpful advice on the issue. In an article that appeared in Forbes magazine, Vanessa Loder, co-founder of Mindfulness Based Achievement, outlined scientifically proven tips for beating procrastination. Among the most effective strategies:

  1. Pick your poison. The key is focus. We often give ourselves too many things to do and become overwhelmed. Start by choosing just one thing you’ve been putting off and make a commitment to complete that task in the next week.
  2. Employ the “five-minute miracle.” This involves asking yourself what action you can take in less than five minutes today that moves this forward even the tiniest bit. Once you’ve identified a small action, set a timer for five minutes and work on the task.
  3. Do a power hour. This consists of putting away all distractions and working in concentrated chunks of time, followed by short periods of rest, in order to harness the optimal performance of your brain and body.
  4. Let it go. Research shows the more you can forgive yourself for past procrastination, the more likely you are to overcome your current procrastination and take action.
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Al’s column: Chargebacks—A thorn in retailers’ sides

January 21/28, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 17

By Scott Perron

 

I want to focus on an issue that will continue to become a much bigger liability to retailers of all kinds: customer chargebacks.

I have been in this industry for more than 30 years and have only had three chargebacks out of tens of thousands of sales. In two of the cases, the customer cited “materials not as agreed” and in one crazy instance a customer purchased and picked up materials, stopped payment with her credit card company and told us a former employee of ours owed him money so we could get it from him. (The sheriff swiftly changed his mind and he made good.)

During the third and most recent sale, however, we had a client who claimed after our job—that entailed floor leveling, moisture mitigation, installation of 2,600 square feet of luxury vinyl plank plus new painted and primed wall base—they began experiencing a smell in the home that was making their family sick. One quick call to their credit card company and without warning they withdrew $10,000 from our operating account. After seven weeks, they have not produced one shred of evidence to support such a claim and yet the issuer of the card is backing the cardholder.

Upon my research with Chase Paymentech—that has now taken many hours and regardless of the fact that we have supplied the customer with every possible MSDS sheet, floor certifications and testing—we were still not able to get Visa to credit our account pending any investigation. The Chase advisor told me chargebacks are on the rise with many consumers learning how to maneuver the system with fraudulent claims and the merchant’s chances of winning a chargeback are becoming increasingly more difficult.

Many retailers think our contracts have a dramatic amount of weight to them, but in reality the major credit card providers are the ones who make the final decision—and typically it is to protect their customer, even if it’s at the peril of a merchant with good intentions.

Some key points to keep in mind:

  1. A customer needs only to make a simple phone call to his or her credit card company to dispute any charge. Meanwhile, the average merchant does not have the processes in place—or the wherewithal—to refute the refund.
  2. Include in your contract and process paperwork language that states clearly that the consumer has received and has accepted the quality of the materials and/or labor performed. It must be signed and dated at time of delivery or installation. This is by far the most important document you can provide when dealing with a chargeback.
  3. Make sure your contracts are in keeping with your state’s individual consumer laws and that the language clearly explains the expectations and possible scenarios, including cleanliness, unforeseen issues, payment arrangements prior to delivery and installation as well as the need for signatures when materials have been delivered or installed.
  4. Most merchants do not realize that when you charge a credit card and pay the fees associated with using this payment vehicle, those fees are non-refundable. In addition, if you have a chargeback and reuse the same payment form after settlement you once again pay for your credit card merchant fees and, in many cases, a chargeback fee from your processor.

Protect yourselves and consult your local attorney to make sure you have these guidelines in place so you can mitigate the possibilities of this occurring in your business. Failure to do so may result in a very expensive lesson.

 

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Lessons learned: In selling, credibility means everything

January 7/14, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 16

By Tom Jennings

 

One of the greatest attributes any salesperson can possess is the ability to be believable—regardless of what they are selling. But this is even more critical in our field.

Generally speaking, the public does not stay abreast of changes in the flooring industry. The frequency of the purchase cycle is too long to hold most people’s attention.

Simply stated: If the customer doesn’t have complete confidence that she can make a correct decision on her own, she needs assurance that you, the professional RSA, possess the competency to guide her into making such a decision.

Many of you are likely thinking, “That’s what they pay me to do.” The only problem is she will never be able to believe what you say and show unless you believe it as well.

If you don’t believe this to be true, I challenge you to spend one week observing both the body language and verbal comments of every service provider you come in contact with when you are the customer. Take note of your reactions to each presentation made to you.

For example, when you are in a restaurant, make a special effort to ask questions regarding the food and the chef’s capabilities alike. Ask the waitress if the cook is particularly good at making omelets, then observe the response. My guess is for every bright-eyed “he’s the best” reaction you get, you’ll receive a dozen that are something to the effect of “he’s not too bad” or “no one seems to complain.” How inspiring. It makes you want to order two, doesn’t it?

Ask if the cake is fresh. Do you get a “made fresh in our bakery this morning” response, or an “I checked it this morning, it still looks OK” answer. What was the body language saying when you received each response? It is almost impossible to give an enthusiastic response when you are not enthusiastic about the answer that you are giving.

Do you think a waiter’s or waitress’ tip income will be affected by the enthusiasm and believability which they exhibit? Of course it will. Aren’t tips just the waiter’s equivalent to a retail sales commission? Based on that logic, would it not be reasonable to assume the level of believability you exhibit is affecting your income as well?

To succeed at the highest level possible, you must believe in your company. Tell the customer why you choose to be on this team. You must believe in your products—whatever you are selling. Explain to the customer the ways she will benefit by selecting them. Likewise, you must believe in your service. Show the customer how great craftsmanship can turn a box of tile into a beautiful kitchen floor—just as it is that a great cook can turn a bag of flour into beautiful biscuits. Good products alone are never enough.

More importantly, you must believe in yourself. Tell the customer you have the confidence and ability to make the purchasing experience a pleasant one.

When you believe deeply that you, your fellow staff members and your products are a winning combination, your message will be so enthusiastically presented to your customers that they, too, will buy into your passion. When this occurs, sales are sure to follow.

It’s like the old adage, “It’s not usually what we say but rather how we say it.” It’s true. Believe me.