Lessons learned: In flooring, it really does pay to be green

October 21, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: In flooring, it really does pay to be green

October 14/21, 2019: Volume 35/Issue 8 By Tom Jennings   “I have never been hurt by anything that I didn’t say.” – Calvin Coolidge While this saying may have proven to be beneficial in the world of politics, I think it is proving to be detrimental to today’s flooring dealer. The success and survival of a retail store depends on a thorough and ongoing awareness of the community it serves. Fine tuning the business and...

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Lessons learned: Never throw good money after bad hires

September 20, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Never throw good money after bad hires

September 16/23, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 7 By Tom Jennings   Much has been written and discussed regarding the costs associated with making a bad hire. We have all experienced them. There are costs incurred before the hire is ever made. Job placement services, if utilized, carry a fee. So, too, does advertising the position available. Overtime expenses may be incurred as existing staff have to cover the duties of those not present. The cumulative...

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Lessons learned: Don’t let installation become a shortcoming

September 6, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Don’t let installation become a shortcoming

September 2/9, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 6 By Tom Jennings   It has often been said that the more things change, the more they remain the same. That hackneyed phrase certainly pertains to professional flooring installation in 2019. When I ran a retail operation in Kansas City more than 20 years ago, I was among several dealers asked to monitor all installation-related interactions with customers. We not only tracked installations but all correspondence that we...

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Lessons learned: When training RSAs, stay out of the shadows

August 26, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: When training RSAs, stay out of the shadows

August 19/26, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 5 By Tom Jennings   A common mistake many companies make is transferring the responsibility of training a newly hired employee to an existing salesperson. This practice is referred to as “shadowing.” You may recognize the scenario: “Just follow Susie this week and watch how she does things. She writes good business, and you’ll be well served learning her ways.” Does this sound vaguely familiar? Likely so, as it...

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Lessons learned: How to leverage your proprietary offerings

August 8, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: How to leverage your proprietary offerings

August 5/12, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 4 By Tom Jennings   One of the largest hurdles many independent flooring retailers face is how to stand apart from the crowd. Promotional budgets are often insufficient to make a significant impact in our local media. The products we sell are perceived to be largely the same. No matter the size of the showroom, consumers are likely to see the same handful of brand names represented in each...

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Lessons learned: The pitfalls of relying on email proposals

July 12, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: The pitfalls of relying on email proposals

July 8/15, 2019: Volume 35, Issue 2 By Tom Jennings   We’ve all had our share of the “I’ll-be-back” type of customer. One thing we know for sure is that time was wasted during the presentation phase in the showroom. Question is, did the salesperson waste the customer’s time by being uninformed or unprepared? Or, did the customer waste the salesperson’s time by being something less than forthcoming with her wishes and budget constraints? Regardless...

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Lessons learned: The trick to hiring the right salesperson

June 13, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: The trick to hiring the right salesperson

June 10/17, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 26 By Tom Jennings   When visiting with flooring dealers across the country, I often hear the comment, “We may need to add a salesperson to our staff.” When I inquire further as to what the main objective would be to this employee search, the answer is virtually always something to the effect of needing “extra floor coverage.” The emphasis seems to be focused on the short-term goal of...

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Lessons learned: Meanings of ‘wow’

May 20, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Meanings of ‘wow’

May 13/20, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 25 By Tom Jennings   My experience has taught me that the best way to build customer loyalty is to consistently do the expected things well. Many retail experts are constantly referring to the necessity of having a “wow” factor to differentiate your business from the field. Remember, though, that “wow” can have both a positive and negative meaning. When we say “wow” as we walk into a new...

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Lessons learned: No place for class divisions in your store

May 6, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: No place for class divisions in your store

April 29/May 6, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 24 By Tom Jennings   Readers of a certain age will remember the popular ’70s television show “WKRP in Cincinnati.” One of the recurring gags in this sitcom was the imaginary door and walls around news director Les Nessman’s office. Upon approaching his desk, he would pause and turn the knob to his pretend door before entering his fantasy of a private office. He felt he was too...

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Lessons learned: Sometimes you have to fire your customer

April 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Sometimes you have to fire your customer

April 15/22, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 23 By Tom Jennings   We’ve all countlessly heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” I believe this to be the case—the majority of the time. When a customer is unhappy with the goods she has purchased, or the service she has received, shouldn’t you make every effort to ensure her concerns are remedied to her complete satisfaction? My answer would usually be yes. But isn’t the customer...

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