Floor Covering Retailers Can Thrive In the ‘New Economy’

Posted: September 12, 2011 in Making Customers
Tags: , , , , ,

Consumer studies have shown for years that consumers shop 4 to 5 floor covering stores and as many as 1 in 5 go home and don’t buy at all. That tells us that the average conversion rate, from shopper to customer, in floor covering sales is around 20% to 25%.

Many struggling and successful floor covering retailers don’t know their conversion or capture rates, average sale, average unit price sold and customer service complaint rate. In addition, if they want to understand the quality of their salespeople and manage them successfully, they need to know these statistics for each salesperson. To do this they need to implement a ‘sales accounting’ program to track these numbers. I’ve been teaching owners and sales managers how to do this and use the information to increase sales and grow their business for many years and in today’s ‘new economy’ it is the difference between just trying to survive and having the opportunity to grow and thrive. If you are going to teach, train and coach salespeople the skills, attitudes and actions to increase sales and profits you’ll need all of these statistics. It’s also impossible to effectively manage salespeople without their sales statistics!

I also know from experience when floor covering retailers find out their real sales statistics, they are surprised how much opportunity they have to improve and grow their business. The fact is, you can’t improve what you can’t, haven’t or won’t measure.  Just by measuring the right things you will begin to make changes that can increase sales, profits and grow your business. Then by using this information to customize effective sales training that focuses on the weaknesses and strengths of each salesperson, dramatic increases are possible.

Another interesting fact…these numbers typically expose that the salesperson writing the highest gross sales isn’t usually the best salesperson. They usually burn up more traffic, have a low average sale and unit price sold, have more customer service issues, sell at low profit margins and have few, if any, repeat or referral customers. However, you won’t know this without good sales accounting that provides you with accurate sales statistics.

Floor covering retailers have either not measured these or measured the wrong things for many years and suffered because of the lack of knowledge to support effective training. Without these numbers they also typically do traditional critical path sales training, apply pressure on their salespeople to make sales and chase away more people than they sell. This is evident by the consumer studies showing 20% to 25% capture rates. Many flooring retailers have decided that sales training doesn’t really make a big difference and stop training. It isn’t the sales training that doesn’t work.  It’s sales training without sales accounting and sales management that doesn’t work.

The only thing worse than an untrained salesperson is an untrained sales manager or owner with poor sales management skills.

With the right measurements, training and sales management, 67% capture rates are attainable. For the professional salesperson who makes customers instead of sales and adds repeat and referral sales to their statistics, they can reach 75% capture rates that help a business grow and thrive even in the ‘new economy’!

Believe it or not, these numbers and a thriving floor covering business doesn’t happen by trying to sell everyone who enters your store. They happen when salespeople are trained, measured, managed and change their intentions when engaging people in a sales conversation. When floor covering salespeople can help consumers get what the vast majority (80%) of really want…and it’s not floor covering…it’s a beautifully finished room or home, that reflects their personal style and vision of how they want their home to look. Then a floor covering retailer will thrive today!

By Mike Moore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s