In my last column, I outlined the ultimate floor marketing system which consists of three simple steps: before, during and after.
Before is what you do to attract new customers before they have purchased from you. During is what you do to get out of the “proposal” business and instead close a lot more sales and get high margins. And after is what you do after the sale to create a stream of repeat and referral business in a competition-free zone.
I’ve been providing dealers with coaching, training and marketing services for over ten years, and I’ve found that most dealers are weak in at least one of these steps. Dealers who have a strong before, during and after system have fenced in their herd of customers and protected them from being poached by the box stores. If any step is weak, you’ve got a big hole in your fence and poachers are sneaking in and making off with customers.
Let’s do a deeper dive into the before step.
Radio, TV, print advertising, and most internet marketing falls into the before arena because these are primarily used for attracting new customers. (We’ll cover marketing to previous customers in the after step.) Today, we’ll look at two online before strategies for attracting new customers.
Here’s why getting a steady stream of positive online reviews is so critical. In today’s market, you want to beat the boxes and attract great customers.
- 92% of consumers now read online reviews.
- 94% of consumers would use a business with a four-star rating.
- 88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This means that having great online reviews is like having another stream of referrals coming into your business. Reviews are also the first thing Cathy Consumer sees when she Googles “Flooring” and the name of your city.
Also, 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. That is why it’s important that you’re continuously getting new reviews.
You should have a system in place for consistently asking for and getting reviews from happy customers. If you get two reviews a month, at the end of the year you’ll have two dozen positive reviews. This will help you attract new customers.
When Cathy Consumer goes online looking for flooring, she has an unspoken question on her mind: Why should I choose you instead of your competitor?
The dealer who does the best job answering that question will get the most customers and avoid having to compete on cheap price. However, most flooring websites don’t do a great job answering that question. This is because they follow the Name, Rank, and Serial Number formula. That’s the business name at the top, links to what they sell, and contact information.
Yes, some sites have additional bells and whistles like a room designer widget or a “schedule an appointment” form. Most are saying the exact same thing. Here’s our name. Here’s what we sell. Here’s how to find us.
A powerful, proven way to answer the unspoken question on your website is to offer information prospects are searching for. You can do this in the form of a free report, white paper or e-book. Here are some examples of titles:
- How to choose the right floor dealer
- Which flooring is right for you?
- 6 mistakes consumer’s make when buying flooring
By offering this kind of information, you’re positioning yourself as a trusted authority, giving your prospects a solid answer to why they should choose you instead of competitors.
In the next installment we’ll go deep with the ‘During’ and ‘After’ steps, so you can close more sales and generate more repeat and referral business.
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!
A gift for you! For a FREE copy of Jim’s latest book, “How Floor Dealers Can Beat the Boxes ONLINE,” visit BeatTheBoxesOnline.com.