Most dealers don’t have an ongoing, dependable marketing system in place to create a predictable stream of customers, to even out the seasonal ups and downs, and to bullet-proof their business against market fluctuations. The radio ad rep calls and says, “We’re having a special this month on ad space.” The dealer figures it’s too good to pass up and buys. He takes a similar approach with newspaper ads, TV, pay-per-click, etc. No rhyme or reason, just reactionary advertising.
By contrast, here’s my definition of a Marketing System:
A set of interconnected sales and marketing strategies working together to create the Marketing Multiplier effect, create differentiation, reduce price resistance and generate sales. Each strategy in a marketing system compounds the effectiveness of every other strategy. The whole is far more powerful than the sum of its parts.
Here are the three strategies I recommend you begin with:
Monthly Customer Newsletter
Follow the 90/10 rule with your newsletter. Make it 90% fun, informative, entertaining, general interest articles, and only 10% about flooring. (All flooring is all boring.) Acknowledge new and returning customers. Include quizzes, contests and other engagement devices.
Sales Closer System
This leads prospects on a logical step-by-step process from “shopper” to “buyer.” I recommend using a questionnaire with a list of the standard questions prospects should be asked, such as level of traffic, number of pets, their color preferences, etc. But you should also ask more probing questions, such as:
- What’s important about new flooring to you?
- What do you like and dislike most about your current flooring?
- What did you like and dislike about your last professional installation?
- What can we do to exceed your expectations?
Listen carefully to the answers because they will give you insights into her mindset, and essentially hand you the keys to the sale.
You should train your sales team to ask each and every customer for referrals. An effective way to do this is to say, “Who do you know who needs flooring right now?” Don’t say, “Do you know someone who needs flooring?” This gives them the option of answering no. The first question is much more open-ended.
When someone sends you a referral, send them a hand-written card, and a gift certificate for dinner. Mention referrals and the people who referred them in your newsletter.
The Marketing Multiplier Effect
These three strategies are Marketing Multipliers. Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say you spend $5,000 on a direct mail campaign that generates 10 walk-ins. The industry average for closed sales is about 32%, so this means three closed sales. If your average ticket is $3,000, this means $9,000 in gross revenue. However, if you have a strong sales system in place, you can increase this to four or five closed sales. A referral program can produce at least one or two referrals from this group.
If you market to your past customers on a monthly basis, you can get an additional sale or referral from this group over the next 12 months. You’ve now turned 3 sales (worth $9,000) into 6-7 sales (worth $18,000 – $21,000). Now imagine the Marketing Multiplier applied to all your other advertising.
In Part 3, I’ll cover how to leverage the surge in sales generated by the Marketing Multiplier Effect into a permanent higher level of revenue for your business, while at the same time cutting your work hours.
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!