Janet Carter covers her four steps to attaining a dynamic showroom.

NFT senior editor Howard Olansky introduces Janet Carter and her Effective Showroom Design & Management presentation.
NFTcolumnistJanet Carter ASIDtopped the Thursday morning slate of Surfaces seminars with her marketing-focused presentation,Effective Showroom Design & Management.

Following her introduction by NFT senior editor Howard Olansky, Carter launched into a freewheeling discussion of various ways in which successful flooring retailers attract qualified buyers and keep consumer traffic flowing through their showrooms. She detailed her "four steps to attaining a dynamic showroom," and explained how retailers can supercharge their sales efforts through special promotions and effective use of advertising.

Carter summarized her four steps as: 1. Exceeding Customers’ Expectations for Quality; 2. Supporting a Winning Business Strategy; 3. Identifying What the Opportunities are in Your Market Area; and 4. Keeping Abreast of What Competitors are Doing.

“A good showroom is really a show-and-sell room. From a consumer perspective, seeing is believing,” Carter said, and if you’ve assembled an attractive and unique array of products in your showroom, “it makes selling that much simpler.”

Enticing the customer into the showroom is only half the battle, Carter asserted, getting them to buy is the ultimate challenge the retailer must overcome. She cited the results of various surveys that showed many consumers don't feel they are finding good showrooms to select and purchase the product they seek -- a situation that creates insurmountable problems for some retailers.

“Nothing ticks off consumers more than going to a showroom that wasn’t worth the trip,” she explained.

During her presentation, Carter also offered a laundry list of common-sense strategies retailers can implement to excite customers and get them to loosen their purse strings to buy.

“The retailer who solves the customer’s (decorating and design) problems is the one she is going to buy from,” she summarized.