Many dealers are experiencing record-breaking sales due, ironically, to the COVID crisis. We’re continuing our discussion of how to turn a temporary surge in revenue into a permanent new level of success for your flooring business.
A percentage of people who visit your store will check out samples or get a quote from you, but then wind up not buying. Think about all the times in the past when a prospect, whom you thought you lost to Home Depot, comes back six months later and buys. You haven’t necessarily lost a sale just because the prospect doesn’t buy right away. People get busy, life situations happen, and many of them will be back. Savvy dealers know this, and they tip the odds that the prospect will return to them (instead of a competitor) by plugging them into their long-term, client-nurture plan, which I discussed in part one.
Sample check-out campaign
Go back through your list of all the people who checked out samples (or who got a quote from you) since the beginning of the COVID crisis. Send all of those who didn’t buy a special offer, including a message saying something like,
“Dear Samantha, it was a pleasure to meet you when you stopped by our store earlier this year. I’m curious if you ever made a decision to purchase new floors. If not, I would like to offer you (SPECIAL OFFER), good until (DEADLINE) as my way of thanking you for stopping by (YOUR STORE).”
If they still don’t buy, plug them into your client nurture (e.g. marketing) plan.
Every prospect who becomes a customer because you cared enough to invite them back is one more person who will buy from you again, and refer you to their 200-contact sphere of influence (covered in part 1), and thereby help you leverage this temporary sales surge into a permanent level of higher revenue.
Become your community’s hub
My good friend, and fellow FCNews columnist, Lisbeth Calandrino has a great little book called 50 Events to Drive Traffic To Your Store. (Available on Amazon.) She outlines dozens of practical strategies for getting people in your market to visit your store, including hosting a poker night or holding a yoga class. Some dealers might think, “What does any of that have to do with selling flooring?” Savvy dealers know the answer to this question is: everything. Lisbeth’s book is basically a crash course on how to position your flooring store as a community hub. Doing so will help you weather future market downturns, and leverage today’s sales surge into tomorrow’s long-term success. With this strategy you’re playing the long game—it’s not going to turn into a ton of sales in the next 48 hours. But dealers who have the wisdom, savvy and patience to play the long game with strategies like Lisbeth’s will enjoy permanently higher levels of revenue, and they’ll prosper during market downturns when their competitors are struggling or going out of business altogether.
You may live in a market where local COVID guidelines make group gatherings like I’ve described difficult. If so, this is a strategy you’ll need to back-burner for the moment. But I’m guessing that the more draconian the lockdown measures in your area, the more enthusiastic the reception to this kind of event will be once the lockdown lifts.
Grow your team
If you’ve put strategies in place to leverage your current surge in sales into a permanent new revenue level for your business, then you can more confidently add team members knowing you won’t have to lay them off when the “bubble” bursts.
I recommend that you hire for attitude and train for aptitude. If I’m hiring a salesperson, I’ll take someone who is new to flooring but is enthusiastic and teachable rather than someone with twenty years of experience but who is also an un-coachable know-it-all.
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!