During my webinars and seminars, I often ask attendees to think back to the last ten residential remodel sales they made that were over $20,000. I then ask this question: How many of them came from repeat/referral customers vs. advertising? For virtually everyone in the group, the answer is that 80% to 100% of their last ten large sales came either from a previous customer or a referral, not from advertising.
This isn’t too surprising if you put yourself in the shoes of a consumer getting ready to plunk down $20k, $30k, or $50k on flooring for their home. Anyone getting ready to spend that kind of money is not going to select a floor dealer by browsing the internet, or perusing display ads in the local paper, or because they saw a billboard or heard a radio ad. These upper-end consumers are going to either use a floor dealer they already know, like and trust, because they bought from them before, or they are going to get a referral. Period.
You and I would do the same thing if we found ourselves getting ready to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars on cabinets, a deck, or any other big design project.
Jimmy W. from North Carolina regularly books sales in the $15,000 to $40,000 range, and they all come from repeat and referred customers. His margins are at 45% or above.
Dan Ginnaty from Montana landed a $100,000 commercial job with 55% margins from a referral. (Dealers’ best main street commercial jobs almost always come from a referral or repeat customer.)
Jerome Nowowiejski from Texas gets a steady stream of sales over $15,000, some into the $20,000 – $30,000 range at margins of 45% to 50%, and they are all repeat and referred customers.
With that in mind, let’s look at some strategies and principles for attracting these kinds of high-end, high-margin customers.
Look, if you want referrals, especially to high-end customers, you have to provide the kind of service that thrills your customers such that they are eager (not just willing) to refer other high-end customers to you. This starts with the basics: do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. If you promise to be at a customer’s house at 3:00 on Wednesday, be there at 3:00 on Wednesday! If you are unavoidably detained, call them and let them know. Then give them a $10 Starbuck’s card when you arrive as an apology for being late. Apply this same thinking to all interactions with you customers.
‘Wow’ your customers.
“Satisfied” customers don’t refer. Thrilled customers refer. Walt Disney said whatever you do, do it so well and so uniquely that others can’t help but talk about you. When someone walks into your store, hand her a beverage menu and ask her what she’d like to drink. Have a testimonial brag wall prominently featured so that the customer sees it the minute she walks in. When visiting a customer’s home to give her a quote, wear medical shoe covers. Inspect her vacuum to make sure it’s functioning properly and removing damaging soil from her carpet. Give her a free bottle of residue-free spotter with free lifetime refills. Give her written recommendations for getting the longest life out of her flooring, even the areas she’s not replacing. After the installation, surprise her with a gift basket.
In part 2 I’ll cover more strategies for magnetically attracting big, profitable sales. Watch for that next week.
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!