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How to Keep Your Floor Covering Team Competitive

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Mohawk University Classes

Keeping employees and businesses competitive is an issue for any business.

In a floor covering business, it’s even more difficult.

With products changing yearly, and upgrades even more frequently, it can be a struggle to keep abreast of changes. Taking advantage of manufacturer’s product and sales programs is a great way to stay ahead of the curve. Most manufacturers have great training programs and have been providing them for years.

One of the keys to success is to learn which manufacturers provide training and information that is not product specific. If you prefer product specific seminars, your sales representatives should be able to point you in the right direction.

Of course, “product neutral” programs are more difficult to find.

Mohawk University, a program through Mohawk Industries, has been providing “neutral” product and sales seminar for over twenty years. It’s a great way to learn how to compare different products within each category and determine which is really right for your customer.

Most of the classes also include a mill tour to demonstrate how the product is made. Mill tours are both insightful and interesting and will provide a better understanding of the carpet production process.

I’ve included a list of upcoming classes and dates. You can obtain a discount for the classes by using the special discount code: “LC17.”

March 14th – 17th, 2017 – Dalton, GA Register Now

Comprehensive Registration Form

 

March 22nd – 24th, 2017 – Sacramento, CA Register Now (No Mill Tour Included)

Comprehensive Registration Form

 

May 9th – 12th, 2017 – Dalton, GA Register Now

Comprehensive Registration Form

 

August 29th – September 1st, 2017 – Dalton, GA Register Now

Comprehensive Registration Form

 

October 17th – October 20th, 2017 – Dalton, GA Register Now

Comprehensive Registration Form

 

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR CFI HARDWOOD AND LAMINATE TRAINING, HERE IS THE LINK TO THIS CLASS:

https://mohawktoday.com/mohawku/mohawku/classroom-courses/cfi-hardwood-laminate-certification/. Don’t forget to mention your discount code, LC17.

I know you will enjoy meeting other people in our industry and sharing your sales ideas. #mohawkuniversity #Mohawkuniversityproductknowledge #Mohawkuniversitysalesclasses #MohawkIndustries

Lisbeth Calandrino has been providing sales and product training within the flooring industry for over twenty years. During that time, she has been a certified independent carpet and hard surfaces inspector, as well as teaching classes about floor covering inspections.

Mohawk University Classes

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By | March 10th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

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Show love to your customers.

Plenty and we all know it. We all want to feel loved and it doesn’t take very much. Word of mouth is the most important love a customer can spread. What do your customers think about you? Do they love you or are they still waiting?

Psychologist Zick Rubin proposed that romantic love is made up of three elements:

  1. Attachment
  2. Caring
  3. Intimacy.

IS YOUR CUSTOMER STILL WAITING FOR SOME LOVE?

Love is an emotional connection we build with people that are important to us. It can be personal love or love for your customers.

DO YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL THE LOVE?

Today is a good day to start showing customers how much you love them.

Walt Disney said it best, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” Creating love between your company and your customers can help scale positive word of mouth that’s absolutely priceless. Do you treat the mailman with love, what about the person at the coffee show? This is a good day to share some love.

Don’t be afraid to be personal with your customers. Years ago this was not considered acceptable. We kept our religion and politics to ourselves. We were afraid if we divulged it we would lose customers. It doesn’t matter anymore. The world is an open book and everyone is transparent. If you’re not sure, Google your own name to find out what’s out there. Share your life with your customers; letting them know who you are is a way to be closer. Believe it or not, this is the age of closeness. Notice what people share about them on Facebook. Even if we don’t know a person, we find ourselves in their lives. You start to follow them and you become part of their lives. They lose a pet and you feel sorry. You follow them through their cancer treatments. It’s all good.

Keep your patience. Sure you’ve told them 10 times to get the order in by Monday if they want the discount and it’s still not there. Hey things happen. Have you ever been late for an appointment? Patience goes a long way; it can lower your blood pressure and lessen your stress.

Become unforgettable. What can you do to be remembered? Has a sales person celebrated a new baby or are they going on a special trip?  Why not get them a gift or send them a card? Have they suffered a loss; can you go out of your way for them?

Be a good listener. Most of us are a good talker, that’s our job, but how many of us are good listeners. I know I would rather talk then listen; it’s been a tough fight to be quiet!

Treat your customer like a valued business partner. How about asking for some feedback? Is there something you could do better or change? You might get some valuable feedback. Remember your customer deals with other businesses and vendors and may have good ideas for you.

THANK YOU FOR BEING LOYAL READERS AND DEAR FRIENDS.

NEED SALES TIPS? 5- 7 MINUTE VIDEOS WITH PRE AND POST TESTS. Open an account and take a look. Sign up and get the bonus module, “Price Matters. There are 6 videos in the series for $189.00. https://mohawktoday.com/mohawku/mohawku/online-courses/customer-experience-sold

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By | February 12th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

Join Me In Calhoun, Georgia for Mohawk’s Comprehensive Flooring Sales Training

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Mohawk University

  • Are you wondering how the internet and social media have changed the sales process?
  • Have you noticed that it takes longer for the customer to buy?
  • Are you wondering what has changed about customer service and why customers are more difficult?

The 4 day Comprehensive Flooring Sales Training  is Mohawk University’s most popular course held in Calhoun, GA. This course identifies and covers the key topics that every retail salesperson should understand. Topics such as product knowledge,  sales,  measuring and color training. Take advantage of the opportunity to train your salespeople on all of the keys to successful selling in the retail flooring industry.

“I’m excited to be part of this program. I will be presenting an update on the sales-process and how the internet is affecting the sales process. Space is limited to 35 people. This is just a last minute shout out so if you’re interested you should register now.”

Class Includes: four nights’ stay, transportation to/from the Atlanta Airport and to/from class, lunch daily and dinner for three nights.

February 25-28, 2014 Calhoun, GA

Register Now

For more information call:

Destiny Spears
Residential Marketing/Mohawk University
Business Development Associate
Ph: 1-800-241-4494 x 42420
Fax: 1-706-624-2420
Email: destiny_spears@mohawkind.com

Lisbeth Calandrino has been providing sales and customer service training to the floor covering industry for over 25 years. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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By | February 17th, 2014|Training|0 Comments

LOVING YOUR CUSTOMERS GOES A LONG WAY

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Girl Talk

Customer Appreciation

What do interior designers do to keep in touch with their customers?

I decided to talk with one of my favorite people and friend Karla Shone, A.S.I.D. designer and showroom manager for EF Marburger Fine Flooring in Fishers, Indiana.  I met Karla at a Mohawk University seminar I was conducting several years ago.  I told her about our new magazine, Fabulous Floors and that  we were looking for designers to feature.  She asked if she might send me her recent home design to be considered for our first issue. The design was lovely and Karla became our first design story in Fabulous Floors Magazine.

I have always admired her business savvy and her genuine concern for her customers and staff. I decided to interview her as she gets ready for one of her customer appreciation evenings, Girl Talk.

Karla how did you get started in the design business?

I studied design and have taken classes for over 20 years to get my A.S.I.D. designation. Design was my love even since I was a kid. My mom would come home and find that I had rearranged the furniture–again.

Why do you feel it’s important to have the A.S.I.D. designation?

A.S.I.D. is a very professional organization. Of course they are current on design trends but  also provide educational information on running a design business and are concerned about sustainability. They set high standards for the design industry.

Design fascinates  me and I always loved architecture, furnishings, art and landscape design. I love improving a space and making it beautiful, comfortable and more enjoyable for my client. I was in the floral design business for many years but it got so big I found myself managing rather than doing what I really loved which was designing and working with people.   During this time I met my finance Ron Marburger and eventually joined EF Marburger Fine Flooring. EF  Marburger is a  4th generation business and been in existence since 1913 with a reputation for outstanding products and customer service at an affordable price.  Because of their longevity in the community, clients expect us to be the best.

Give me an idea of the scope of your business

The scope of a project usually starts with flooring, but includes cabinetry, counter tops, furniture, accessories, art, lighting—all designed to meet the client’s needs. I attend flooring and furniture markets to see the latest trends and take continuing education classes.  My  design ideas come from many sources including  furniture and accessory manufactures such as Uttermost and Arteriors.

I read trade magazines every morning to keep a step ahead on the latest offerings as well as keep a close eye on the fashion industry. Clothing colors and trends give you a heads up on what will be next in furniture and accessories.

How do you feel about social media?

I’m a novice at the social media but I think it’s very exciting. It’s not just my younger customers  engaged on line through Facebook and Twitter but anyone who is looking for information and wanting to connect.  I’ve just set up my Facebook  page for my business and am ready to start blogging. I’m excited that I  did my first tweet last week!

The key is keeping up with  your customers and social media is another  important marketing trend. It’s how everyone is  getting information and it’s just something I have to learn and embrace if I’m truly going to give great customer service. I’m glad we have these new ways to connect with our customers and  build relationships.

The design industry is very competitive, how do you keep up with your clients?

I think it’s very important to truly care about  your clients. My goal is to let all of my clients know that I will be with them long after the job is done. I’ve read that 80% of a business’s new clients come from referrals so  it’s important to let each of them know  they’re special. Through designing a client’s home you really get to know them, their likes and dislikes. Design is very personal, no size fits all.

Sometimes it’s hard keeping up with clients, they are very knowledgeable  and have definite ideas about their projects. Working with a home owner is a true partnership. It’s not my design ideas that matter, it’s my ability to listen to my customers and come up with the best design ideas that fit their needs. I try to analyze the client’s  direction in an honest manner to determine if my ideas fit with their goals.   Sometimes my clients give me suggestions that will make the overall design better so I commend them for their ideas.  Designs don’t always work smoothly so I have to be available for the occasional ‘”fire drill.”

How do you show your customers you love them?

Customers need to know you really care about them. I work just as hard on a small project as I do a large one.  Every client has different needs and I take time to personalize the experience of my clients. I would say that 90% of our business is word of mouth. When you’ve been in business as long as Marburgers you have to make sure every customer is happy. Networking in the community with our customer is another way to show them customers  we care.

How do you train your project managers?

We are structured so that each project manager runs his own business within the umbrella of the corporation. Each run their project from start to finish handling everything from the first showroom visit to measuring, designing, pricing, preparing contracts, ordering materials, scheduling and overseeing the installation and completion of the project. At our weekly sales meetings we set goals, discuss strategies and ideas to  improve our skills and maintain the ideals of the company. We also have weekly “lunch and learn” sessions where a manufacturer or distributor comes in and educates our staff about products.

We do the same for our installers to keep them up-to-date with new and innovative installation  products and techniques.

What are the keys to good networking?

The key to good networking is staying in touch with your customers and showing them they’re valued. It’s not about them knowing us, it’s about them knowing how important they are to us—and showing them our appreciation.

We’re holding our first what I call “Girls Talk” at our store. It’s a combination of work and play and is for our designer community as well as our customers.  We are presenting a program for designers on “Carpet for Acute Care.”  The Carpet and Rug Institute offers this class for   continuing education units (CEUs), and the class  has been certified by the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC).  Along with this we are going to have some fun, jewelry, makeup and good food; things that  women like. Of course it’s not just for women. Even though I’ve called it “Girls Talk” everyone is invited.

We’re always trying to do events in our city. We’ve participated in U-3, a faith based networking group as well as partnering with the Chamber of Commerce.  Kelly Novak, Ron’s Marburger’s daughter has been instrumental in setting up our networking events.

We  work hard and to be as active as possible in our community by supporting many foundations.  The  “Helping Her Heal Foundation” is a  yearly Charity Polo Tournament to help raise money for women with gynecological cancers and  “ Paws & Think,” a local animal rescue/adoption organization.  We support St. Mary’s Child Center by attending several events each year to raise funds for underprivileged children who would not have an opportunity for preschool care and education. We are also  active members of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Builders Association, Angie’s List and the National Tile Council of America.

Do you have any tips for people doing events and networking?

For networking to succeed, it’s about the quality of the relationships you develop. It is important to stay connected with those you already know and continue to meet new people. As you meet a new person you should immediately think of people you already know that would be good for them to know and then connect them. This is how you build lasting relationships and form friendships that will benefit you in the long run.

We try to stay connected with our existing customer and call every few months, do some direct mail and catch up with our old friends.

Events can provide your company recognition in the community; get people talking about you (free advertising and show your customers appreciation. Of course you can take lots of pictures t o use on your website, post on Facebook and use for press releases.

I hope you join  Karla and myself  at EF Marburger’s for Girl’s Talk on February 22, 2011.

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By | February 17th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments