After the longest-seeming year in history, 2021 finally arrived. That means new products, new budgets, and most importantly, new goals. And this year, one goal seems to be on everyone’s mind: growth.
In fact, when we polled our flooring partners across the country, more than 70 percent of them told us that their #1 goal for 2021 is to grow their flooring business.
There’s no better time to build leads and drive sales than right now, because nobody wants to be playing catch-up at year’s end.
With that in mind, here are five things every flooring professional can do to generate more leads (and more sales) in 2021.
#1 Revamp Your Website
Your website is your online showroom. It’s the first place people will come to learn about you and your business. Everyone knows that to be successful, your physical showroom needs to make a great first impression. The same is true for your digital showroom.
According to a 2019 Salesforce study, 87 percent of consumers begin their buying journeys online. Today, that number is probably closer to 100 percent. So, whether you’re a retailer, a manufacturer, or an installer, your online presence is mission critical.
Here are some ways you can create a lead- generating website:
Make sure your website tells your story. You know that your business is unique. Make sure customers know that too.
Optimize your website for mobile use. More than 50 percent of U.S.-based internet traffic is conducted on mobile devices. You need to make it easy for these people to navigate your site, or else you’re leaving leads on the table.
Test, analyze, and adapt. Small changes can make all the difference when it comes to improving conversion rates. Make sure that you’re able to measure the effect of any changes you make. That way, you’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
#2 Leverage Digital Marketing
Having a great website is a necessity. But if nobody sees it, what’s the point?
You need to drive traffic to your website. The most efficient way to do that is by leveraging digital marketing. Luckily, you can do this on many different platforms – at any budget.
However, unless that budget is six figures, your money is best spent on three types of digital ads. In order, they are:
Google Search Ads. These ads are shown to consumers who search Google for keywords that you’ve chosen. They can be specific keywords like your store’s name, or more general phrases like “wood flooring.” You also can filter who sees your ads by location, demographics, etc.
Facebook Retargeting Ads. These ads are displayed to consumers who have visited your website, but have not contacted you. Because they’re so targeted, these ads are very successful. Facebook also allows for video and image ads, which can help you tell your unique story.
YouTube Ads. Think of these like TV commercials, but much cheaper and more successful. As more people “cut the cord,” YouTube Ads are becoming an excellent, more targeted replacement for TV advertising.
#3 Automate With Software
To handle increased leads volume and sales successfully, you need to automate as much of your operation as possible. Using software will allow you to scale effectively, and with fewer mistakes.
Best practice: automate your operations with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This will help you:
Keep track of (and circle back on) potential leads. A customer may not want to work with you today, but if you put them in your CRM database, you can reach back out in the future. Every lead that isn’t entered in your CRM is a wasted opportunity.
Nurture existing leads. When someone reaches out to you, you have 48 hours to get back to them before they go to your competitor. With a CRM, this can be done automatically via email marketing, text messaging, and more.
#4 Focus on Reviews and Referrals
According to a recent Qualtrics study, 93 percent of consumers read online reviews before purchasing a product or using a service. Translation: you need to have great reviews, and they need to be visible.
How do you get great reviews? Continue offering excellent service, and make it easy for customers to leave you reviews. Offer discounts in exchange for positive Google and Yelp reviews. Follow up with customers even after the sale.
Every positive review can and will lead to more sales down the road.
#5 Engage With Social Media Groups
Engaging with social media groups is an easy way to build your brand and generate leads. And it costs nothing besides your time. Just remember: your interactions in these groups should be focused on providing value and helping others solve problems – not outwardly selling. Over time, this creates brand awareness and drives leads.
Depending on who you’re looking to reach, there are tons of groups you can jump into. For example, you can join the Facebook groups “Beat the Box Stores” or “Flooring Dealers and More” to interact with retailers.
Or, to interact with consumers, you can join “Flooring Questions and More”, or local neighborhood/community groups. It’s all up to you!
Todd Saunders is the CEO of Broadlume, a provider of digital technology to the flooring industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.