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Lisbiz strategies: Did you forget me? I used to be your customer

August 19/26 2013; Volume 27/number 9

By Lisbeth Calandrino

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 10.46.06 AMI’ve been a member of the YMCA for eight years. For most of those years, I’ve been there at least five days a week. I know lots of the staff and trainers by name since I interned at the YMCA to complete my requirements for my personal trainer certificate. Continue reading Lisbiz strategies: Did you forget me? I used to be your customer

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Lisbiz strategies: Do I really have to like my customers, too?

Volume 27/Number 6; July 8/15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 1.48.34 PMBy Lisbeth Calandrino

I recently went to a grand opening for a new product and started talking to a retailer.

“Walk-in traffic just isn’t the same,” he said. “What can I do to bring in customers?” This is, of course, one my favorite topics and gives me the opportunity to talk about all those wonderful events successful retailers are hosting. Continue reading Lisbiz strategies: Do I really have to like my customers, too?

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Lisbiz Strategies: If Martha Stewart can do it, why can’t you?

By Lisbeth Calandrino

July 22/29, 2013; Volume 27/Number 7

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 1.48.34 PMI’m a die-hard fan of the radio show, “Car Talk.” I listen to “the brothers” weekly. I have all of their podcasts and actually listen while I’m working out at the gym.

I tune in to the show every week, but I didn’t realize it had gone off the air in June 2012 (now reruns are aired). If you haven’t listened, the guys are funny car aficionados as well as mechanics. The show had 3.3 million weekly listeners on 660 stations, according to NPR spokeswomen Anna Christopher. Continue reading Lisbiz Strategies: If Martha Stewart can do it, why can’t you?

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lisbiz strategies: Negotiation skills and sales training

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 1.48.34 PMby Lisbeth Calandrino

I recently completed some customer service training, and one of the modules was about negotiation. Many participants wanted to know why they need negotiation training. I clarified it will help explain how people make decisions.

In the book Getting to Yes, Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton suggest that to get what you want you must separate yourself from the problem.

We all know in order to negotiate, you must understand the problem or what’s at stake; determine what you’re after; know when to walk away, and determine what the other party may lose. Continue reading lisbiz strategies: Negotiation skills and sales training

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Lisbiz strategies: A website isn’t enough

Volume 26/Number 25; April 29/May 6, 2013

By Lisbeth Calandrino

There was a time when your website was supposed to be the “end all, be all” to attracting customers.

Smart business people realized having a website wasn’t enough; they needed more content and contact with their customers.

Business owners are now writing blogs or having someone do it for them. The key is to keep a fresh presence for customers and keep your store on page one of the Google search. Very few people go past the first page to seek information—that’s why many companies pay to be on page one. Continue reading Lisbiz strategies: A website isn’t enough

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Lisbiz strategies: How to tell exactly who’s a customer

Volume 26/Number 22; March 18/25, 2013

“How do I get more customers through my door?” is the frantic cry of most retailers. In the old days, we convinced ourselves anyone who came through the door was a sale.

Owners told salespeople, “No one comes into a floor covering store to look; they’re all buyers and you need to sell them!” Continue reading Lisbiz strategies: How to tell exactly who’s a customer

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lisbizstrategies: Will the real Oscar customers stand up?

by:  Lisbeth Calandrino

Volume 26/Number 21; March 4/11, 2013

Every business struggles with finding customers. When times are tough, the instinct is to go find new buyers. Unfortunately, the cost of acquiring new customers could be five times more than retaining current ones. In addition, the average business loses 10% of its customers yearly.

Getting new customers is important, but it’s obvious the gold is in the ones who know and love you. Despite this data, businesses have a tendency to forget their loyal customers. Could it be they don’t know who they are? Continue reading lisbizstrategies: Will the real Oscar customers stand up?

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Surfaces 2016 education features FCNews columnists

Jan 18/25; Volume 30/Number 15

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.22.01 PMSome of the most well known experts in flooring also happen to be regular Floor Covering News columnists. To gain additional insight from these industry gurus, review these Surfaces educational sessions and be sure to work them into your busy show schedule. It will be time well spent.

David Romano, author of Survey Says

“Do You Run Your Sales Team or Do They Run You?”

Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Are you finding it difficult to get through to your sales team? If so, attend this session to learn how to manage and motivate your sales staff to a new level of success. This session will walk you through how to set collaborative goals and create systems and procedures your team will gladly follow. You will also gain insight as you learn more about the systems being used by successful retailers. Once you complete the session, you will be armed with the tools you need to motivate your sales team.

“Through the Eyes of the Consumer — Independent Retailer vs. Big Box Store”

Wednesday, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

In the last decade nearly 25% of independent flooring retailers have closed their doors and the big box stores are thriving. Months of research and a secret shopper project by the World Floor Covering Association and Benchmarkinc will give insight into the reasons for this trend. One hundred and eight independent and big box stores were evaluated in six major markets in the United States—all for one critical piece of information: How do flooring consumers really feel about shopping at an independent retailer vs. a big box store?

 

Jim Augustus Armstrong, author of Marketing Mastery

“Dominate Your Market by Implementing a Zero-Resistance Selling Environment”

Tuesday, 10:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Surveys of flooring dealers indicate consumers are more price-sensitive, standoffish and skeptical than ever. Box stores have created tremendous pressure on dealers to slash their prices, and the problem is only getting worse. The good news is dealers can command margins of 45% to 50% or more, even with competitors charging margins half of that. Learn step-by-step strategies for commanding premium prices in any market.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino, author of Lisbiz Strategies

“Turn the Tide: Create New Streams of Customers for Your Business”

Tuesday, 3:50 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.

What is your strategy for gaining new business? If you’re like many business owners, when times are good you don’t think much about it; when times are bad you worry. Creating constant business requires a plan with contingencies. It doesn’t take a professional marketing firm to create the plan; it takes an understanding of your customer, your business and some advanced planning. Attend this hands-on session to explore new opportunities to market to your existing customers as well as ideas for bringing in new prospects.

“Price Matters to Everyone, Why Pretend it Doesn’t?”

Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Salespeople have been told to stay away from asking about price, but this is a mistake. Everyone cares about price on some level. If the salesperson doesn’t bring it up it will become a problem at the expected time of the close. This is when the salesperson believes he/she needs to drop the price to make the sale. This can be avoided and the business can get its full price if the salesperson is trained properly. This session will help everyone work price to their advantage.

“Social Media Underutilized: LinkedIn”

Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

It seems like everyone has a profile on LinkedIn, but if you ask if they use the service they say, “No.” It would seem with more than 100 million users that someone must be using it and getting results, right? Bring your questions and pick up some tips on how to make it work for you.

 

“How to Make Your Email Marketing Stick”

Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

One size doesn’t fit all customers. Learn how to change your message for different types of customers, what content works best and smart ways to collect email addresses.

 

Scott Perron, author of Retailer2Retailer

“Exponential Business Growth: How Retailers Can Maximize Sales & Minimize Overhead”

Thursday, 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

This session will focus on new tactics that can be implemented to increase sales, including technology, relationship management and even untapped resources for building a new client base all while reducing the overhead costs typically associated with the industry. Real data will show the progression of sales and demonstrate the value-added savings that can equate to increased net profit dollars.

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FCNews to sponsor Surfaces education program for sixth year

Industry experts continue to share knowledge to contribute to retailer success

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.55.18 PMHicksville, N.Y.—FCNews for the sixth consecutive year will be the exclusive sponsor of the flooring portion of The International Surface Event (TISE) education program, which will be held Jan. 19–22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Featuring 45 flooring-specific courses geared toward retailers and distributors, many being offered at the show for the first time, the program offers something for everyone. The complete course schedule with some overviews will be available in the Jan. 4/11 issue of FCNews.

FCNews publisher Steven Feldman, who is a member of the TISE Advisory Council, said he is looking forward to another lineup of useful, insightful education sessions. “Each year we sift through hundreds of proposals seeking the most useful schedule. I encourage all Surfaces attendees to look over the program. I’m sure there are multiple presentations that can help any retailer’s business.”

Along with sponsoring the flooring portion of the program, FCNews will again take an active part as a number of its columnists will be imparting their knowledge to attendees, including Lisbeth Calandrino, author of “Lisbiz Strategies”; Jim Armstrong, author of “Marketing Mastery”; Scott Perron, author of “Retailer2 Retailer”; and its newest columnist, David Romano, author of “Survey Says.” In addition, this year FCNews managing editor Jenna Lippin will moderate a retailer forum, “Share Challenges & Explore Solutions,” on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m.

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FCNews to sponsor education program for fifth year

January 5/12, 2015; Volume 28/Number 14

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.29.50 AMFCNews for the fifth consecutive year be the exclusive sponsor of the flooring portion of The 2015 International Surface Event (TISE) education program, which will be held Jan. 20–23 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Featuring 45 flooring-specific courses geared towards retailers and distributors, many being offered at the show for the first time, the program offers something for everyone. (For the complete 73-course schedule with some overviews, see pages 14-17.)

FCNews publisher Steven Feldman, who is a member of the TISE Advisory Council, believes this is the strongest lineup of sessions yet. “Each year we sift through hundreds of proposals seeking the most useful schedule. I encourage all Surfaces attendees to look over the program. I’m sure there are multiple presentations that can help any retailer’s business.”

Along with sponsoring the flooring portion of the program, FCNews will once again be taking an active part as a number of its columnists will be imparting their knowledge to attendees, including Liz Calandrino, author of “Lisbiz Strategies,” Jim Augustus Armstrong, author of “Marketing Mastery,” Scott Perron, author of “Retailer2 Retailer,” and our newest columnist, David Romano, author of “Survey Says.”