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fcB2B to unveil new standards at 2017 meeting

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 10.34.32 AMDalton—fcB2B will hold its annual meeting at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Aug. 15-17, according to Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA. The event will coincide with the CFI Convention and other industry events.

“This year’s conference will include an unveiling and implemention of an all new set of floor covering B2B standards,” said Phil Zolan, executive director, fcB2B. These standards will address a laundry list of issues and “pain points” that currently exist, Zolan explained. “In many cases, outdated business-to-business transaction systems have been hindering trading partners across industries that have adopted more advanced B2B platforms. The new standards will move our whole industry from one based on 1997 technology to current, 2017 standards that are now fully compatible with standards used in all major industries around the world.”

In addition to the new standards, the meeting will include presentations on industry metrics, updates on the new web services being developed and implemented by association members and discussions on advancing the adoption of B2B by manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend the meeting. Cost of attendance is $650 per person, which covers all meeting events, including the welcome reception, breakfast, lunch and breaks throughout the meeting. Discounted room rates at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort are available Aug. 12-19, but only through the registration link on the fcB2B website.

To register or for more information visit, fcB2B.org.

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Marketing mastery: Creating profitable referral relationships

May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

 

(Second of three parts)

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 10.45.16 AMIn part I of this segment, I outlined the reasons why developing referral relationships with other businesses is such a powerful and important strategy for growing your business. I also presented two strategies for developing these relationships. Here are some additional ways to create these referral relationships.

The 3-step system
Step 1: Send letters to 10 business owners with whom you might want to work.
Realtors, designers, remodeling contractors and carpet cleaners are a great place to start. Make sure these companies have good reputations. Tell them about your business and that you would like to meet with them to discuss the possibility of developing a referral relationship. The letter should include a grabber to get their attention and set you apart. I’ve used dollar bills, lotto scratchers and dozens of other enticements. Always tie the letter in with the grabber.

Step 2: Call the business owner. Don’t try to sell him anything during this call. Your only goal is to schedule a meeting to discuss the possibility of working together to help each other grow.

Step 3: The meeting is where you establish the relationship. Make sure there is a synergy between the two of you and ensure you can work together. You don’t want to partner with a jerk. Discuss each others’ goals and what a mutually beneficial relationship would look like. Ask if you can stop by his place of business and leave business cards or other information.

Nurturing the relationship
Let’s say you begin a relationship with an interior designer who owns a brick-and-mortar store and has four designers on staff, plus a receptionist. You want to make friends with every one of her employees, including the receptionist, because these people will send you the majority of referrals. Stop by her business and introduce yourself to her staff. Bring cookies or other treats to leave behind. Leave a business card holder full of your cards on their front counter so they can give them to clients.

Don’t assume these people will remember you. Within a week you’ll be forgotten unless you continue to nurture the relationship. Subscribe each employee to your monthly newsletter. If there are seven people who work there, send seven newsletters personally addressed to each employee.

Drop by their business every month or two with goodies. If they are sending you a lot of referrals, send in lunch for the entire staff. Drop by around the holidays with seasonal treats.

Your goal is to become a hero to the business owner and the entire staff—to be their friend. You’re doing this for one sole purpose: When one of their customers needs flooring, they’ll instantly think of you and you’ll get the referral.

This may sound like a lot of work, but consider these numbers: Let’s say your average ticket is $3,500 and you have referral relationships with 20 businesses, each sending you a paltry four referrals per year. This equals $280,000 in revenue with few marketing costs. Imagine if you developed 40-60 referral relationships. You could easily add $1 million or more to your annual revenue.

In part III I’ll reveal creative ways you can do affiliate marketing with businesses who send you referrals.

 

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RollMaster forms B2B partnership with Engineered Floors

Hammond, La.— Engineered Floors, in partnership with RollMaster Software, took a major step toward becoming an FCB2B Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 9.30.59 AM) trading partner this week. Working closely with RollMaster Software, Engineered Floors has successfully generated a fully functioning B2B Import Catalog and price list. Both companies are currently working to finalize the programming of all remaining electronic documents.

“Our clients have expressed great interest in receiving their product catalog as well as other FCB2B information electronically,” said Dev O’Reilly, president of RollMaster Software. “The RollMaster cloud delivery model enables everyone to participate immediately.”

This key partnership will result in Engineered Floors becoming B2B Compliant, benefitting all flooring dealers with B2B Import functionality as part of their business management software.

“The addition of Engineered Floors to the FCB2B partnership is an important step that is driven by the needs of our mutual clients.,” added Clay Rigsby, web development manager, Engineered Floors.” This furthers Engineered Floors as a technology leader in the floor covering industry.”

B2B technology enables software users to automatically send and receive key documents exchanged daily between manufacturers, distributors, and flooring retailers and contractors, such as pricing updates, purchase orders, and invoices, in a fraction of the time it takes to complete manually.

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The “Me” Centric Customer Experience

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by Carl Agers, CEO,  Rauxa

Whether B2C or B2B, customers have one thing in common: the potential to have deeply personal experiences as they engage with brands.

Whether a major decision maker for an enterprise technology decision or an everyday consumer’s impulse purchase, the experience customers have along the way shapes the entire relationship. Most importantly, these experiences don’t fit neatly into one box, such as the website or the retail store. In fact, there is a cacophony of touchpoints completely controlled not by brands, but by the customers themselves. Continue reading The “Me” Centric Customer Experience

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via Social Media B2B

75 of the Best B2B Facebook Marketing Tips

By Jeffrey L. Cohen

Many B2B marketers approach Facebook with the knowledge of how to maintain a personal profile, but still shake their heads at how to get results from a business Page for their B2B company. There are two basic things you need to know about managing a Facebook Page for a B2B company. The first is that you must post compelling content that people who like the Page will engage with. This is especially true since Facebook introduced the EdgeRank algorithm, which only shows popular content in the newsfeed. The second thing to know is that you need to include calls to action, both on the Page and ones that drive traffic back to your company website. Continue reading via Social Media B2B

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QFloors continues to blaze the B2B tech trail

Salt Lake City, Utah — Just as QFloors was one of the first companies to make B2B available to flooring customers, the software provider continues to be a trailblazer in providing new B2B technology to the industry. During Surfaces, QFloors will be demonstrating Instant Stock Check, one of many new features of QFloors 6.0. Continue reading QFloors continues to blaze the B2B tech trail

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Software covers all the bases, new programs make life easier for dealers, distributors

When it comes to floor covering software, the buzzword is user friendly. Anything a dealer or distributor can use to make his business run more smoothly and efficiently in an easy-to-understand format can greatly impact profitability. The following covers just some of the latest offerings available.

CDMS

The most exciting new features for 2010 include B2B, CCA Revelation Gateway Interface and Builder Referral Commission. CDMS B2B now includes price and product updates for all flooring products from carpet, area rugs, tile, hardwood, laminates and supplies, noted Cathy Welsh, operations manager. “CDMS version 10 includes an area in our product catalog to store any and all information that suppliers can send through this transaction, including composition, collection, associated SKUs, UPC code, SKU code, manufacturer SKU code and buying group. Continue reading Software covers all the bases, new programs make life easier for dealers, distributors