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I am a big believer in reducing costs and quotations to the lowest common denominator possible. I read a great example recently. Please allow me to share.

Post recession, Hard Rock Café had a corporate goal of adding $150 million to its bottom line. Most would agree that this is a number beyond our comprehension. The average worker would surely have the thought “I’m just a waiter here…what does that have to do with me?” The answer is obviously…everything! You control the sale. How else can the company grow?

One thing that I’ve learned over time is that it’s important to take a minute and celebrate a win before you move on to the next item on your to-do list.

I was reminded of this point recently when reading an article on NASCAR’s Hendricks Racing Team. For those who may not know, this is a four team operation with over 400 employees. They have a regularly scheduled meeting each Tuesday with all involved present.

We have all heard that we need to make a connection with those who we have just met and to whom we would eventually like to sell something. My experience is that only a small minority of sales people have learned this important technique. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these few also cash the biggest paychecks at the end of the month!

This week’s reminder is for all the managers in our member firms. Whether your title includes the terms: general, sales, service, installation or office; please hear me out.
If you are not growing as a person and a leader, how can you expect those who report to you to do otherwise? It’s very likely those under your charge are following your lead.

You may ask staff members to use online training, participate in webinars or attend seminars. Do you participate as well? Or are you too busy for that? What message is this sending to your troops?

“When you get tied up with any big company, it has the tendency to change your perspective. Getting involved with Ford was kind of’ like asking a big gorilla to dance. You start off leading, but before very long you’re being swung all over the floor, and pretty soon you lose sight of the fact that all you wanted to do in the first place was dance.”
Carroll Shelby, automotive icon

I’d like to suggest a challenge for each of our members this week. It is to identify one thing about your company that makes it distinctly different from others in your marketplace.

This exercise can be done individually or as a group. Or it may possibly be the topic of a contest within your staff members. Most of all, it should be fun!

As I write this, I am currently representing the WFCA at the CFI Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. My question of flooring dealers and installers everywhere is: why don’t I see you here? You don’t know what you are missing!

One of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to see many different places and meet many interesting people. One of the realities of my job is that I must endure the rigors of travel in order to do so. Along this path, I witness a variety of attitudes that are allowed to pass for customer service. Allow me to share one with you that we can all learn from.

Loyal readers of this space know that I am constantly preaching that the best customer service lessons are learned when we ourselves are the customer rather than the seller. There has been news on the automotive front recently that I feel offers all flooring dealers a valuable lesson in how to deal with customer claims and warranty issues.

When presenting unique design ideas to your customer, always remember the saying “the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts”. Too often I hear a shortsighted salesperson say something to the effect of, “I don’t make enough commission on a few feet of ceramic listellos to merit the time spent”. Or, “I just spent an hour selling a stair runner. The commission received for selling this small portion of a sale doesn’t justify the time and effort spent doing so”.