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Go along to get along

by Warren Tyler

My feeling has always been to listen to criticism, try to accept it and change for the better.

Anytime I find something I think that will make the industry more efficient, I write or speak about it. For instance, while I believe that our manufacturers make beautiful and practical flooring, I do see issues. Continue reading Go along to get along

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Closing the first time in

by Warren Tyler

There are many ways to close a sale depending upon what it is you’re trying to get a commitment on. Because the big boxes are negligent in their training, they use a psychological ploy. They know, like some of us more knowledgeable people, once a shopper passes any amount of money in most cases, she will stop shopping.

This is the reason they charge to measure. It is a huge commitment to invite an unknown person into your home. This is why Empire is so successful because it gets this commitment. The average retail salesperson should be at least able to get a commitment to measure if the clerks at the boxes can do it—and charge for it. I’m not arguing this method isn’t effective especially if you haven’t learned to sell the first time in. Continue reading Closing the first time in

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Contrarian selling

by Warren Tyler

As a retailer, I was always a contrarian. That is, whatever other retailers were doing, I wanted no part of it.

I learned early on conventional wisdom is always wrong. For instance, conventional wisdom tries to dictate the smaller the room, the smaller the pattern that should be used in decorating—absurd.

Conventional wisdom dictates the use of beige in new homes and rentals. I would guarantee builders and property managers if they let my people select and use color in their properties these would be the first units to sell or rent. Continue reading Contrarian selling

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FCNews columnists at Surfaces

If you have not yet reviewed the 80-plus seminars, mini-sessions and workshops that comprise the Surfaces educational program, now is the time. Cosponsored by FCNews, the programs are divided among eight tracks focusing on today’s most relevant industry topics, including business, marketing and sales. Continue reading FCNews columnists at Surfaces

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Whew, what a year: 2011 most difficult ever

by Warren Tyler

The economy is the major factor in all of our lives and we thrash this around daily. We’re stuck with it for quite a while so to survive we must adapt. Last year, many specialty stores actually showed increases. But this year, the count of those operations seems to be way down.

I fight the same battle in my own business. Right now, when dealers need me most, the question many owners have is, “Do we bring Warren out for a day or do we pay the utility bill?” What I hear from flooring retailers is the lack of education available to deal with the economy, even through the groups. Retailers either get nothing or it’s the same ’ole same ’ole. The groups have to step up. Continue reading Whew, what a year: 2011 most difficult ever

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Hug your installer

by Warren Tyler

As much as I disdain the insincere hugs and vacuous kisses we experience in this vapid society of today, I feel a little real love would go a long way to improving business.

The fact is installers are the last people our customers see on any project. Therefore, in many instances, what customers think of our installers is the impression they are left with of our entire operation.

Many retailers combine a holiday dinner and party with company awards each year. Installers and crews are also included by progressive dealers. Owners often hire me to give an end-of-year rah-rah speech and sometimes to hand out the awards.

As an installer was given his award, I would ask why he was chosen and whether he was most technically proficient. The answer was usually a few were just as good, but he received better reviews. Why? “Because my customers liked him.” Continue reading Hug your installer

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Dance with the one who brung you

by Warren Tyler
This old saying simply means you stay with what works. The meaning extends to working and helping the people who helped you. In the flooring business, it was the home interiors and specialty stores moving the lion’s share of flooring from the start and as such, these retailers deserve the lions’s share of support from our manufacturers.
So let me ask: Do our manufacturers actually dance with the ones who brung them? Continue reading Dance with the one who brung you
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Salesmanship: Contrarian retailing

by Warren Tyler

“If everyone is doing it, it’s wrong,” is a refrain that rings in my ears. The older I get, the more I recognize its wisdom. Every flooring store closes at 6 p.m.; we closed at 9 p.m. Every flooring store closes at noon on Saturday; we closed at 6 p.m. Every flooring store closes on Sundays, New Year’s Day and July 4th, some of the best sales days of the year. This is why small stores remain small. Continue reading Salesmanship: Contrarian retailing

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Salesmanship: Don’t underestimate retail expertise

by Warren Tyler

As a sales and service educator for the past 27 years, an unfortunate circumstance is that only the best stores hire me to educate their people when, in a perfect world, the businesses that really need an education would be my biggest clients. These are the ones that believe they know all of what they need to know.

It is always a pleasure when I first arrive at a dealer’s store for a day or two of retail education. The first thing that strikes me is the beautiful layout of the showroom and, almost immediately, how friendly and up front the staff is. Continue reading Salesmanship: Don’t underestimate retail expertise