“Jim, I have a Facebook page, but I’m not getting much business with it. I think I could be doing more with my page to generate sales. What do you suggest?” I was on the phone with a floor dealer helping her prioritize her marketing when she asked me this question. This question is posed to me in one form or another a lot, and the answer lies in how you prioritize your marketing.

My Flooring Warranty conducts ongoing polls of consumers who recently purchased flooring. One question on a survey was, “What prompted you to buy this time?” Here were the top 5 answers:

  • 50.6% – a referral from one of your past customers
  • 8.9% – I drove by your store
  • 3.1% – TV or radio ad
  • 2.2% – Social media
  • 2.1% – Internet search

(NOTE: A few people pointed out that some sales happen because consumers create Facebook posts asking for a referral to a good flooring dealer. “Shouldn’t referrals occurring this way count in the social media category?” I get asked. No, they should still be considered referrals because they would have happened even if the dealer had zero social media presence. If someone emailed their contacts asking for a referral to a floor dealer, you wouldn’t attribute any resulting sales to email marketing. Same thing with the social media example.)

Referral Marketing System

If you dedicated time, energy and money to social media marketing and tripled the national average, you’d go from 2.2% of your sales coming from social media to 6.6%. Not bad, but hardly a game-changer. However, if you dedicated time, energy and money into a Referral Marketing Program and tripled the national average of 50.6%, you’d transform your business.

Does this mean I’m against social media marketing? Heck, no. I use it in my business, and my team and I teach dealers how to use it in theirs. The question is how you prioritize it, and that’s where the 3 Tiers of Marketing comes in. Let’s review:

Tier 1: Warm market

  • Referral marketing system
  • Sales closer system
  • Market to past customers (monthly direct response newsletter)

Tier 2: Marketing to cold prospects

  • Social media
  • Adwords
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Newspaper
  • Display ads
  • Direct mail to targeted list
  • Val-Pak

Tier 3: Broadcast advertising

  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Television

You should implement all of the Tier 1 strategies first. Once these are fully up and running, then implement Tier 2. Once Tiers 1 and 2 are up and running, then you may choose to implement Tier 3. Use discretionary marketing dollars for Tier 3.

Comparatively, Tier 1 is inexpensive to implement and get significant results from, but Tiers 2 and 3 become progressively more expensive and difficult to make profitable.

The vast majority of dealers spend the lion’s share of their time, energy and money in Tiers 2 and 3, and virtually ignore Tier 1. If this describes you, you’re sitting on an untapped goldmine of hidden profits.

I pointed all of this out to my dealer friend on the phone. She had an “aha” moment, and immediately took steps to begin implementing Tier 1. Does this mean she’ll never engage in social media marketing? Of course not, but she’ll have prioritized her marketing, so she gets maximum results with minimum effort in the shortest amount of time.

In other words, she’ll pick the low-hanging fruit first before hauling out a ladder and going after the high-hanging fruit. I’ve seen dealers transform their businesses and lives for the better by making this shift. I recommend you do the same. You’ll transform your business, too.


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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