Many dealers are running on a hamster wheel faster and faster, trying to build their businesses.
One month you have plenty of customers coming in and enough money to cover costs—some months you have more work than you can handle. But then a month or two later your work slows down. You’re stressed about where all the flooring jobs have gone. So, you run even harder, putting in 50+ hours per week until you’re overworked and stressed out. That’s what it looks like to run on the hamster wheel.
My goal is for you to step off the hamster wheel and onto solid ground, and create a consistent, reliable cash flow. Here are three mistakes I see floor dealers making all the time that make it nearly impossible to do that.
Dealers don’t put ‘Before,’ ‘During’ and ‘After’ together in a system. Most dealers are weak in at least two of these. For example, many dealers spend tens of thousands of dollars on their Before strategies—on advertising to get prospects to visit their store. Some dealers do a reasonably good job with this, and they generate a decent number of walk-ins, but most walk-ins don’t buy. In fact, studies show that the average dealer only closes about three out of ten walk-ins. They’re spending a fortune in advertising, but 70% of that money is going to waste. That is because they are weak in the ‘During’ part of the system. They don’t have a strong system for converting a customer visit into a job, so they lose most of them.
To make matters worse, customers who do buy almost never receive consistent, ongoing communication from the dealer After the sale. So what happens? These customers get stolen by the boxes and other competitors. The dealer loses that repeat business and their referrals because they have no After system in place.
If you’re weak in any of the three areas—Before, During, or After—you have gigantic holes in your fence, and your competition is poaching your customers.
Failure to develop a great online reputation using reviews. Getting reviews is a Before strategy because it’s something you do to attract new customers Before they purchase from you. Nowadays reviews are absolutely critical for acquiring new customers. Over 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a local business, 88% of trust reviews as much as a referral.
Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that many dealers who have a great offline reputation have a lousy online reputation. For example, Kevin is a dealer from Colorado, and he’s upset because he’s getting up every day trying to build his business and he’s getting his head handed to him on a stick by the boxes. He can’t figure out why he’s losing so many sales. He doesn’t realize it’s because he’s got hardly any reviews and half of them are bad. When Mrs. Prospect decides she wants flooring, she goes online and within three clicks finds his store, sees his 2.6-star rating, and just like that he’s off the list.
The vast majority of dealers totally ignore their past customers. Flooring is a relationship business, and if you want to maximize your success, you’ve got to build deep, long-lasting relationships with your past customers. Regular communication with your customers is what you do After the sale to generate repeat and referral business and fence them in away from poachers. The After step is critical because box stores are lurking in every city and everywhere online, and spending millions of dollars in advertising to poach your customers from you.
Correcting these three mistakes will help you step off the hamster wheel, and generate consistent, growing cash-flow month after month.
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!