Chris Ramsay, head of The Home Trust International and Affluent Insights, gives advice to luxury flooring suppliers.

A major emphasis for any successful business should be focusing on your target audience. If you aren’t finely attuned to the needs, wants and desires of your prospects, then there’s no way to create messages or selling strategies that resonate with them.

Chris Ramey, head of The Home Trust International and Affluent Insights, has been in senior management roles in the flooring market for decades. Chris focuses on understanding what customers want and need and he has become a thought leader on understanding affluent customers and providing advice to luxury flooring brands.

Chris says that for a flooring retailer to succeed, they must shift their focus from their products to their targeted consumer. Many flooring suppliers who have been in business for a great number of years won’t be around in five or ten years’ time. This is an incentive for retailers to focus on future-proofing their businesses because the market continues to change, older customers are replaced by younger customers and the internet continues to change how purchase decisions are made.

“All of these challenges are very difficult to digest. In many ways we find ourselves so focused on current customers that  we miss the 80% of the prospects we never see. And that’s what we need to be focusing on. What is happening to that 80%? Why aren’t we attracting them? Why are they going somewhere else?” asks Chris.

Today’s customers are very different from the customers that flooring companies have come to know and understand. Research has shown that customers don’t like salespeople, which is one of the reasons why they prefer online shopping.

“The first thing a salesperson of today needs to learn is that you don’t sell to affluent prospects. They chose to buy from you because you’ve created desire. And that is a substantially different way of doing business from the way it was 10 years ago,” says Chris.

When customers enter your brick and mortar store to view your flooring products, over 80% of them have already researched the product online. You’ve already made the first cut of the selection and buying process, so flooring retailers need to ensure that every touchpoint reinforces the reason they walked through the door in the first place.

Chris concludes by saying that marketers and salespeople must create a desire for customers to do business with them.

“There is a unique opportunity for floorcovering dealers because the buying process is often long. It begins when a prospect realizes they need floorcovering and starts considering a purchase. You want to be part of their competitive set by marketing desire. It doesn’t end until they’ve become a customer. It’s not an impulse purchase. The long consideration period presents unique opportunity for floorcovering showrooms to start creating desire in the customer to do business with them.”

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Christopher P Ramey for the information contained in this article.