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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Lessons learned: Empathy is king when handling complaints

December 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Empathy is king when handling complaints

December 24/31, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 15 By Tom Jennings   My wife and I were recently having breakfast in a very nice local restaurant. While not the Ritz, it was certainly not an all-you-can-eat chow hall. It had very comfortable décor, properly attired staff, handy location and an interesting menu. Most business owners only wish their operations looked this appealing. The store planners and design staff had obviously done their homework. So far, so...

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Lessons learned: Monitor performance, generate better results

November 30, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Monitor performance, generate better results

November 26/December 3, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 12 By Tom Jennings   Store owners and managers, this one’s for you. In my experience in consulting retailers on a national basis, I get the opportunity to observe a large and varied amount of sales personnel in action. One glaring observation I have noticed is most of these salespeople need one thing that appears to be sadly lacking in most operations: some constructive and active management. I...

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Lessons learned: Gain an advantage by putting customers first

November 19, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Gain an advantage by putting customers first

November 12/19, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 11  By Tom Jennings   It is a reality that most local, independent businesses are constantly being pressured by large mass merchants. It does not matter if you are selling toothpaste or televisions, some large firm is bound to have a bigger, faster, cheaper version that they are promoting with yet another barely believable offer. The floor covering business certainly falls into this category. Too often it seems as...

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Lessons learned: Avoid mixed signals when training newbies

November 2, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Avoid mixed signals when training newbies

October 29/November 5, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 10 By Tom Jennings   Frequent readers of this column will recognize I am constantly harping the point that there are lessons to be learned regarding the care of both customers and staff everywhere you look. Please allow me to share one with you. While having a lazy Saturday morning breakfast at a franchise restaurant recently, I observed an assistant manager training three new hires at a nearby...

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Lessons learned: It’s hard to retrieve missed opportunities

October 22, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: It’s hard to retrieve missed opportunities

October 15/22, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 9 By Tom Jennings   Recently while having lunch at a nice restaurant, I observed an example that everyone in management should have witnessed. At an adjoining table, a service technician for a local automobile dealership was seated with the firm’s general manager. The manager proudly told the server that his companion had won a contest for having received the highest ratings during the previous quarter for customer satisfaction....

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Lessons learned: Installation—The more things change…

September 24, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Installation—The more things change…

September 17/24, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 7 By Tom Jennings In the early 1990s, my firm was among several dealers asked to monitor all installation-related interactions with customers. We not only tracked installations, but all correspondence that we had with customers, which may have led to disappointment with the service experience they received. There were single and multiple store operations included. This group represented dealers with both employee and contract installers. These surveys were gathered...

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Lessons learned: Why ‘infomercial RSAs’ consistently excel

September 10, 2018 | Comments Off on Lessons learned: Why ‘infomercial RSAs’ consistently excel

September 3/10, 2018: Volume 34, Issue 6 By Tom Jennings I was recently coaching a group of retail salespeople who were new to the flooring industry. While having a coffee break, the conversation shifted to infomercial salespeople. The general tone was one of amusement at the manner in which they conveyed their particular message for the product they were currently promoting. When I inquired whether they thought this method of selling was effective, the general...

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