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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Lessons learned: Building a better staff can pay big dividends

April 8, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Building a better staff can pay big dividends

April 1/8, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 22 By Tom Jennings   Due to both growth and turnover, many retailers are finding the need to add new hires to blend into their staffs. My experience tells me that too many managers treat new staff members as a necessary evil. When a rookie first walks in the door, too often all they see is the amount of time it will take to get them “up to speed.” Management...

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Lessons learned: Your first impression

February 22, 2019 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Your first impression

February 18/25, 2019: Volume 34, Issue 19 By Tom Jennings   This past year I had the opportunity to visit a number of flooring dealers around the country. In nearly every case, I was seeing their showrooms for the first time, much like their own customers do. In doing so, I was reminded that one can learn volumes about how an operation is run three steps inside the front door before ever saying a word...

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Lessons learned: Change your focus from someday to today

February 7, 2019 | Comments Off on 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...

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Lessons learned: In selling, credibility means everything

January 14, 2019 | Comments Off on 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...

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