Success in retail is all about your sales presentation

sales presentationIf you were given the choice of good, fast or cheap – and you could only have two – which two would you choose? This is an old well-known saying, but it really is the wrong choice – at least when it comes to selling floors.

Here’s how I see it: a good, experienced, reputable flooring store should be able to offer all three, every time. Wearing quality materials is just a smart thing to do. It is more economical and you have fewer problems with installation and repair. Selling quality floors will help you sleep better at night.

Good service is something everyone should strive for and work towards improving. The key to good service is excellent communication. When will you show up? What can the customer expect? Good service means that you explain how long it will take and what you are going to do. Remember, almost all bad reviews are the result of poor communication.

Then there’s another great price (some might even use the word “cheap”). You should be proud of the service and equipment you offer, and the price you charge should reflect that. You can still be the most expensive in town while offering incredible value. Even though what you and I do is expensive, we’ve all had clients who said, “Is that all?” after we give an estimate.

So, what matters most to a homeowner buying floors? Is it the cost? Is it the quality or beauty of the product? Or is it the service and installation? Actually it is none of the above. What will have the biggest impact on your customer is your sales presentation.

Allow me to prove my point: An excellent experiment was recently done by shoe store Payless, which has created a new (fake) brand called “Palessi”. (Do a quick Google search and watch the video.) While promoting the fake brand, Payless opened a Palessi store and invited fashion influencers to check out their shoes. They decorated the fake showroom with high quality artwork and the salespeople were dressed accordingly.

Turns out the shoes they put on the shelf were the same cheap shoes they sell at Payless. Yes, the same $35 shoes sold at Payless were marked down to $300-$800 at the fake Palessi store, and buyers happily paid the price.

Don’t make the same mistake most make when watching this video; most judge these people as fools. They are not fools. The sales presentation was excellent. They created value for the product that people were happy to pay for. There are many brands that do the same thing every day. What makes these brands so special? It’s their marketing and their general presentation. I work with many flooring dealers, but I see the exact opposite happening. I see flooring companies that offer an excellent quality product – companies that have mostly 5 star reviews with prices that are very competitive. And yet their closing price is not what it should be. Why is that? It’s because their sales presentation doesn’t show all the benefits a customer really gets from working with them.

Making an excellent presentation is difficult, but it is well worth the effort. After you create one, you will dominate your competition even if your prices are higher. Take what you do that is ordinary and make it extraordinary!


Jerry Levinson, a former retailer, owns Profit Now 4 Flooring Dealers, which provides sales training, processes and systems to floor dealers to help them grow their business and profit while working fewer hours. He also runs the Flooring Dealers & More group on Facebook.

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