“Our close ratio is only 15%,” the dealer from Florida told me.  “Our sales team is wasting a ton of time with people who wind up not buying.”

“It sounds like you’re not answering your prospects’ unspoken question,” I replied.

“Unspoken question?  What’s that?” he asked.

When I bring up the unspoken question, most dealers have no idea what I’m talking about.  You see, every prospect who goes online looking for flooring, or calls you, or walks into your store has an unspoken question: Why should I buy from you instead of your competitor?  If you don’t have a strong, compelling answer to that question, you’ll continuously lose customers or wind up selling on price.

When I’m coaching dealers on how to get more customers, I’ll often pull up their website along with the websites of several of their top competitors, and we’ll look at them side-by-side.  Almost without exception, every website has the business name at the top, links to what they sell, and contact information.  Some have a room designer, or a contact us form, or teaser prices, or other bells and whistles, but overall each site’s message is identical: here’s our name, here’s what we sell, and here’s how to find us.

I’ll then say to the dealer, “Cathy Consumer wants new floors, so she goes online trying to find the right dealer.  She’s asking herself, ‘Why should I choose you instead of your competitors?’  Does your website answer her unspoken question?”


“Without answering that question, how is she going to make her decision?” I ask.

“On price.”


Where should you be answering the unspoken question?

Your website isn’t the only place where you need to answer the unspoken question. In fact, every touch point with your prospect should be engineered to answer the question, over and over again, in many different ways.  Let’s look at some examples of how you can make this happen.


Feature testimonials as social proof.  Offer a free report or white paper on how to choose the right flooring.  Host videos which demonstrate your expertise by educating her on flooring products, care and maintenance.


Keep it spotless and clutter-free.  Use a curated approach—you don’t need 87 samples of beige carpet.  Have a beverage bar and snacks available.  Post testimonials where walk-ins can see them.

Print ads

Feature testimonials.  Use risk reversal by highlighting your replacement guarantee and your lifetime installation warranty.


Make sure the person answering your phones sounds cheerful and welcoming.  Instead of saying, “Boring Flooring, how may I help you?” say, “Thank you for calling Jimbo’s floors, home of the lifetime installation warranty.  How may I help you?”  Instead of playing music when people are on hold, play recordings of client testimonials.


No gross restrooms.  Keep them spotless.  Decorate them.  Spend a few bucks to impress your clients.

Social media

Stop posting boring photos of your display racks.  Instead, post photos of your clients standing on their new floors, along with a testimonial.

In-Home Measure

Wear medical booties while in your customer’s home.  This will instantly communicate that you’re different, that you care, and that you’re a total professional.  Keep dog biscuits handy as a treat for the family pet.  (Get permission first.)

These strategies create total differentiation from competitors, position you as a trusted advisor, and most importantly, answer the unspoken question multiple times in multiple ways.

How many more can you think of?  Send them to Support at FlooringSuccessSystems dot com and I may feature them in a future column.


To Tons Of Customers!
Jim Augustus Armstrong is The “Coach”

Jim Augustus Armstrong is the President of Flooring Success Systems, a program that equips dealers to double their profits, cut their work hours in half and beat the boxes! Many dealers have totally transformed their businesses and their lives for the better after joining Flooring Success Systems.
See what real, live dealers are saying!