Home Depot spent $1.08 Billion in advertising in 2018.  There is no way you, as an independent small business, can beat them by playing their advertising game their way.  In the previous installment of this series I covered specific strategies to leverage your advantages as a small business when you market yourself.  Now let’s cover some strategies you can use in the showroom and during the in-home measure.

Marketing is everything, and everything is marketing  

This means that every interaction with your prospects and customers is an opportunity to impress them, win their business, inspire them to send you referrals and positive online reviews.  Examine at all the points during and after the sale in which customers interact with your business and ask yourself, “How can these interactions be set up so that prospects and customers are inspired to buy from us, refer us, and give us glowing online reviews?”

Train your team how to answer the phones. 

I frequently phone floor dealers I’m coaching, and one of the first things I look at is how the phones are answered.  It’s sadly common that the person answering sounds grumpy, disinterested, or unprofessional.  The phones are often the first interaction prospects have with your company, and they are used multiple times throughout the sale and installation.  Leverage this opportunity to impress your customers.  And for crying out loud, do not let anyone answer the phone who has not been trained to sound friendly, welcoming, and professional.

Greet walk-ins right away. 

I’ve visited a lot of flooring dealerships, and it’s common for me to be completely ignored.  Don’t let this happen.  If you’re short-staffed, put a bell on your door so people working in the back know someone has walked in.

Clean, de-clutter and curate. 

Make sure your showroom is neat, clean, painted, and free of dust.  Wash the windows.  Knock down the cobwebs under the eaves and around your signage.  Invest in good lighting.  Cut back on the number of displays, open up your showroom.  You don’t need 57 samples of beige carpet.

Banish the smell of chemicals in your showroom. 

Flooring stores often smell like dust and glue, which is not an aroma which inspires people to open their wallets.  Bake bread or cookies, or pop popcorn to make your showroom smell friendlier, more like home.

Arrive professionally.

When you visit a customer for a measure, call a few minutes before you get there.  Park on the street, not the driveway.  Dress professionally.  Wear shoe covers in the home.

Perform a diagnostic. 

Get permission to measure and inspect all the areas, even if you’re not replacing all the flooring.  Give your customer tips on getting the longest life out of all their flooring.  Make recommendations on the right type of vacuum, walk-off mats, and cleaning products for their floors.

Let others sell for you.

Online reviews are powerful, and necessary to maximize your success, but don’t stop there.  Use testimonials from thrilled clients during your sales process.  Hand out printed testimonials to all walk-ins.

Let them choose between you, you, and you. 

Instead of giving them one price, when appropriate give them several different prices for good, better, best options. 

Thank you gift. 

Surprise your customers with a thank you gift after the sale.  That’s a great time to ask them for a referral or an online review.


None of these strategies are expensive or complicated, but large corporations are unlikely to do any of them, let alone all of them.  And that’s how you leverage your advantage as a small business.

Do you have a strategy for leveraging your power as a small business?  Email it to me at Support@FlooringSuccessSystems.com and I might include it 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.
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