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It’s Time To Talk Football: America’s Favorite ‘Pass’ Time

Furniture World Magazine

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In the retail world, we face third and long situations almost every day. Are the QBs on your sales floor and service department ready?

We can debate which activity or sport is America’s Favorite Pastime, but true football fans will tell you that America’s Favorite ‘Pass’ Time is third down and long! No matter how far back from the next first down or goal line, that long pass gracefully landing in the arms of a waiting receiver can make up for ground losses and penalties. Offensive coaches know the power that the pass play brings.

Defensive coaches know that too! You can bet the farm they are prepared to stop that long pass, whether by sacking the quarterback or intercepting the ball on the fly. It’s up to the QB to assess the situation and adjust the game plan, sometimes moments before the play starts.

That new plan or play called at the line of scrimmage is called an “audible.” Well-trained offensive players are drilled and coached on how to adapt to an unplanned defensive environment.

Third and Long at Retail

In the retail world, we face third and long situations almost every day. Are the QBs on your sales floor and service department able to effectively call an audible? More importantly, do they have the power to do so?

Every shopper, a paid-in-advance asset (by advertising), is important and precious. Your sales team’s goal is to convert that shopper into a buyer. Before that shopper leaves your shop, you need to provide your team with the tools and the authority to call an audible.

Strategies

No-Walk Products: I believe in always having a few no-walk products on your floor. We always want to provide the best home furnishings solution for the shopper, but in most cases, almost any item in your store will be an improvement over what they currently have. Be sure to include a few remarkable items on your floor at a price that will WOW them. In short, something they can’t walk away from.

No-Walk Availability: Sometimes, price is not the issue, it’s availability. Be sure that your Operations Team can squeeze one more delivery on the truck every day. Same-day delivery instantly takes your shopper out of the market and sends them home to wait for your truck. Sure, that means keeping more inventory on hand, so limit your stock to your best sellers and No-Walk models.

Overcome Other Objections: If the objection is neither price nor availability, it may be payment plans, security (what if I don’t like it?), or even a concern about merchandise size. Your store can win when your In-Store Quarterbacks can call an audible on that too.

These days financing plans can be expensive, but they cost you nothing until you make the sale. Often, it’s worth paying the price. You may not love those second or third-chance credit providers—but it’s worth having them as an option for shoppers with less-than-stellar credit ratings. That way, you can keep the sale in your store and not ring the register down the street.

“Before that shopper leaves your shop, you need to provide your team with the tools and the authority to call an audible.”

Mattress Sales Audibles are Different

Comfort Warranties: You almost certainly carry mattress sets covered by Manufacturer’s Comfort Warranties. What about those mattresses that aren’t covered? You’ll need to have a plan for those beds as well. It’s up to you to take back everything or declare “All Sales Final.” Prepare to change your game plan at a moment’s notice or you may hemorrhage sales. If you believe your sales team will abuse the policy, you’ll probably need to change your players!

King/Queen Confusion: What about that shopper who can’t decide between a king or queen-size bed? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could bring out both and let them decide? I’ll bet the shop down the street can’t or won’t do that. The fact is, you could offer to bring out ANY King or Queen Model just so they can see it in their room, and then finish the order with the right size. That computes to risking $50 in operations costs to create a $1,500 or more sale.

Conclusion

British biologist Charles Darwin had some thoughts on survival. Whether it’s football, the animal kingdom, or our World of Retail, it’s not the strong or the smart that survive, it’s the ones with the greatest ability to adapt that flourish in difficult times. Train your teams and empower them to be like Patrick Mahomes in last season’s Super Bowl: assess the situation and adjust at the point of opportunity to win!


Mason Knight consults with home furnishings companies that want to further develop and grow their sales and profitability. Questions can be sent to him care of editor@furninfo.com.