Why everyone in the flooring business should attend Coverings

Our Coverings 2015 Speaker Blog Series continues with a guest post from Lisbeth Calandrino, founding member and Associate Publisher of Fabulous Floors Magazine.

Retailers regularly attend Surfaces, but when it comes to Coverings, many back off. The main reason they give is because they don’t carry tile, or it isn’t one of their big sellers. In my mind, this doesn’t make much sense. If you’re in the flooring business, you are competing with other businesses that carry tile, so why not know what you’re up against?
Keeping your competitive advantage is something that doesn’t just happen. You don’t build it one year and then it’s yours for life. There was a time when Kmart, Sears and JC Penney were known as retailers to be reckoned with. This year, Whole Foods added an entire floor in one of our major shopping centers that originally belonged to Sears. I’m sure if business were booming, this would have never happened. Keeping your competitive advantage requires always being on top of your game, understanding what your customers need and, of course, knowing everything about your competitors.
One of the questions I ask in my seminars is, “Who are your competitors?” I get people who laugh and say, “We don’t have any.” At first, I thought they were kidding, but then I realized they weren’t. They actually believe they own all the customers in their town.
No matter how good you are, there will always be someone with new ideas to eat into your market share. Each year will bring a new bump in your road. This year, it’s the weather for many. Who would have predicted such cold and snow around the country?
The changing of the guard—the Baby Boomers being replaced by the Millennium – continues to infiltrate the retail landscape.
The Millenniums are looking for jobs in all of our industries. The smartest, brightest and most technologically smart are joining those working hard to catch up. They are different, bringing diverse skills and expectations to the workplace.
How versed are you in hiring and retaining these resources? Join me at Coverings in Orlando on April 17, 2015, 9:30 – 10:30a.m., as I discuss “The Millennials: The New Generation of Employees and How to Motivate Them.” This isn’t something I was an expert at; I had to do plenty of research on the subject. Join me as I share what I learned and how it might help you in your business.
Another topic that is hot for all businesses: “What are you Doing to Cultivate Sold Customers and Get More Business?” Join me at the Coverings Social Media Lounge on April 16, 2015, from 2:15-2:45p.m., where I’ll discuss ways to build your business. I have been working on a solution to this problem for two years and have come up with software to help you manage this.  
Check out my column in Floor Covering News, and text or call me to see if I can help. I look forward to seeing you at Coverings – register now for free!!
Lisbeth Calandrino, 518-495-5380, EST time. The first 25 people that sign up for my workshop on the “Millennials” will get a free copy of my award-winning book “Red Hot Customer Service.” Don’t forget to ask.

Join Lisbeth for her sessions, “What are you Doing to Cultivate Sold Customers and Get More Business?” on Thursday, April 16 from 2:15 PM to 2:45 PM AND “The Millennials: The New Generation of Employees and How to Motivate Them” on Friday, April 17 from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM at the Orange County Convention Center during Coverings 2015.
Click here to view the full list of Coverings 2015 conference sessions. Don’t miss this session – register now for free to attend!