“We’ve been advertising with Angie’s List and Home Advisor, and running Google Adwords.” That’s what a dealer from Colorado told me during a consultation. We were meeting because he wanted to discuss additional ways to market his business.
“What’s your monthly ad spend for all of those?” I asked.
“If ten people walk into your store, how many wind up purchasing?” I asked.
“Okay, so you’re spending $6,000 per month to drive walk-in traffic to your store, and you’re only closing three out of those ten walk-ins,” I said. “Before you spend additional money trying to attract more traffic, you need to do a better job converting the traffic you already have. If you simply increase your close rate from three-out-of-ten to four, that’s a 30% increase in revenue with zero additional marketing costs.”
I’ve had similar conversations with a lot of flooring retailers. I’ve found that many dealers who want to increase their revenue jump immediately to increase their advertising spend. Too often this is premature. In reality, many dealers can increase their revenue significantly by simply closing more of the people who are already walking through their front door.
I work with dealers who have increased their closed sales to seven out of ten walk-ins, and who get a 90% close rate on jobs they quote. But these kinds of close ratios don’t happen by accident. They require the implementation of strategies specifically designed to increase closed sales. Let’s look at some of the key strategies for making this happen.
Repeat and Referred Customers
“Can you tell the difference between a referred customer and a stranger who visited your store because they saw an ad?” I asked a dealer who was attending one of my training seminars.
“Oh, definitely,” she replied.
“What’s the difference?”
“Well, a referral already trusts us,” she said. “They’re less skeptical. We really don’t have to ‘sell’ them like we would a stranger.”
Most of the dealers in the audience were nodding their heads in agreement, and no wonder. When someone has purchased from you before, or they were referred, they come into your store with pre-built trust. In general, those customers are less price-sensitive, their buying cycle is shorter, and — This is key! — the close sale ratio tends to be much higher than with strangers.
Dealers I work with who get 70% – 80% close ratios do so in part by increasing the number of repeat and referred customers walking through their doors. If you want higher close ratios, then you need to do the same thing. By increasing the amount of repeat and referred customers visiting your store, you’ll automatically increase your closed sales — even if you don’t do any additional sales training. (However, you should do additional sales training, and we’ll cover that in Part 2 of this series.)
The most powerful way to increase the number of repeat and referred customers walking through your door is by marketing to your database with a monthly newsletter and a weekly e-newsletter. I’ve seen dealers come back from the brink of bankruptcy, triple their revenue in a couple of years, and even open additional stores by doing this. They did other things as well, but marketing to their database was the key driver for their business growth.
You should also train your sales team on how to generate referrals from your already-scheduled installations. When you’ve done a great job for a customer, and they are thrilled with your service, it’s very easy to get referrals. However, most dealers don’t train their team on how to do this. As a result, they’re leaving a fortune on the table.
In Part 2 I’ll reveal additional key strategies for converting more door swings into sales.
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!
Free book! For a complimentary copy of Jim’s book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes and Escape the Cheap-Price Rat-Race of Doom Forever,” visit BeatTheBoxesToday.com.