“I want to market my business, but I’m not sure where to start,” the dealer from Arizona told me during a coaching call.“What would you recommend I begin with?”

“What are you currently doing?” I replied.

“Besides our website, we post pretty regularly on social media, we buy leads from Home Advisor, and we spend about $15,000 a year on radio.”

“How many sales did your radio ads generate last month?” I asked.

“Wow, I’m not really sure.”
“Are you asking every prospect who walks in or calls how they heard about your business?” I replied.


I’ve had many conversations very similar to this one with hundreds of dealers from all over the U.S. and Canada, and there’s a lot you can learn from it.  Let’s break it down and see what lessons we can take away.

First, this dealer isn’t tracking his marketing, so he has no idea what’s working and what isn’t.  Now hear this! Marketing without tracking is even more wasteful than heaping your money into a big pile, pouring gasoline on it, and setting it ablaze. Why more wasteful?  Because you can roast marshmallows over bonfires made of money, but you can’t with money wasted on lousy advertising.

Tracking visitors to your website, your adwords campaign, and how many people are engaging with your social media is all important and useful.  However, you need to know what’s driving people to actually visit or call you.  Every person that phones or walks through your door should be asked, “How did you hear about us?” Record the answers.  After 90 days you’ll get a fairly clear picture of what’s driving people to your business, and where you should continue to invest your marketing dollars.

The second thing to notice is that this dealer has no real plan for his marketing.  He heard he should be doing social media, so he does social media.  A radio ad salesman offered him special pricing for a 12-month contract, so he bought radio ads.  He’d get far more bang for his buck if he prioritized using the Three Tiers of Marketing.

Tier 1: Warm market

  • Past customer marketing (monthly newsletter, etc.)
  • Referral program to encourage and incentivize referrals from customers
  • Referral relationships with Realtors, designers, remodelers, etc.
  • Sales system
  • Website
  • Online reviews

Tier 2: Marketing to cold prospects

  • Social media
  • Adwords (pay-per-click)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Online lead capture
  • Print ads
  • Direct mail to targeted list

Tier 3: Broadcast advertising

  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Television

Implement all of the Tier 1 strategies first. Once these are fully up and running, then implement Tier 2.  (Or, if you have the marketing budget for it, implement Tier 1 and 2 simultaneously.)  Implement Tier 3 only when you’ve thoroughly implemented everything you possibly can in Tier 1 and 2.   Use discretionary marketing dollars for Tier 3.  Comparatively, Tier 1 is inexpensive to implement and it generates the biggest results, but Tiers 2 and 3 become progressively more expensive and difficult to make profitable.   

Almost all floor dealers invest heavily in Tiers 2 and 3, and virtually ignore Tier 1.  That’s what the dealer from Arizona was doing.  He was sitting atop an untapped goldmine of hidden profits.

I include website in Tier 1 because even your warm market is looking you up online.  However, I put certain website strategies such as Adwords, SEO, and lead capture into Tier 2.

Reviews are in Tier 1 because EVERYONE is looking at your online rating, including your past customers and their referrals.  Also, studies show that 88% of consumers now trust reviews as much as a referral from a friend.  So, if you have no reviews, or a low rating, you risk losing these once-loyal customers to competitors with a better online reputation.



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!