While one could argue there’s been a subtle decline in the social graces in recent years, it would take the oratory of Aristotle to convince me you can point the finger at a singular cause. It’s an even further stretch to believe the fault lies with technology, that the world will cease face-to-face communication, favoring instead the clean, cold efficiency of digital dialogue. People desire personal interaction; they crave it, and all the virtual reality in the world won’t change that fact.


Many a salesperson would tell you that the battle for the hearts and minds – and wallets – of their customers begins as soon as they walk in the door. I would suggest this not the case, that the war is already half over by the time they cross your threshold.

Think for a moment of all the effort it takes a potential customer to get to your business. They’ve determined they need new flooring; they’ve researched (possibly) their options; they’ve located and read reviews (almost definitely) of your business; dressed the kids; gassed up the car; fought the traffic and accomplished any other number of tasks prior to pulling up in front of your store.

Do you really think they’d go through all that effort to walk in the door determined to notmake a purchase? It might take a few visits, more than a few samples and your becoming exceedingly familiar with their family tree, but in the end, theycame to you, and they’re looking to make a deal.

So then why do so many walk out empty handed, leaving a dejected sales staff commission-less? Something about the experience left them cold, unfulfilled; their expectations went unmet. And while it may be the individual salesperson running point who didn’t close the deal, it’s you, as the owner, with whom the responsibility for this lost sale lies.

We always pack the pages of Floor Trendswith content designed to help you with your business. A few issues ago, Sam Allman began exploring the idea of leadership, and how a growing void of competent leaders is impacting the business landscape. This month with “Would You Follow You?” on page 24, Sam puts another aspect of responsibility in sharp focus: are you a boss with employees, or are you a leader with followers? It’s an important question, and worth asking; how you answer says a lot about you, your company and your prospects for the future.


As editor in chief of Floor Trends, Jeff is always on the lookout for the latest innovations and trends influencing the floor covering industry. He can be reached at StoufferJ@bnpmedia.com.