The Trouble with Technology

The flooring industry, like pretty much anything in the world today, is in a state of constant change.  New products are coming to market like never before - more and more, faster and faster.  As soon as someone comes out with something, all the distributors jump on the bandwagon before you can blink!

Now I'm not one that's against change - I love new products, new technologies, better ways of doing things.  The challenge that's occurring right now in our industry is that these new products aren't being tested enough to see if they actually work in a home!  Yes, I'm sure that they all work amazing in whatever lab in China or wherever - but how about in Mr & Mrs Smith's home in Regina?  What happens when you get a nice long day of sun, or a couch gets pushed by little Timmy across the floor.

Of course I understand the challenge that the flooring stores, distributors and manufactures have - as soon as a product matures, everyone keeps dropping their price in a race to the bottom to sell more than the next guy or girl.  So, something new comes up and everyone sees it as a way to make more money!  But how long has this been in actual use before there are a thousand lines across Canada all talking about how this newest, latest, greatest new type of floor is better than everything before it...These days, about 3 months.

Then the lineup of distributor and manufacture reps comes through - pushing this new product, the best thing since sliced bread.  The presentations, and pushing from these people (who of course are just doing their jobs, I don't blame them).  They come in with a handful of samples, claiming that their version is the best (even though they just heard about it the week before themselves) and we need to sell it, because everyone else is.  Everyone else is setting the world on fire with the massive number of sales of this product, their line in particular.  If we don't, we are going to be left in the dust...

No, we don't subscribe to that mentality.  When we're selecting lines to carry, we try to put ourselves into our customers shoes.  Asking questions, and testing ourselves before anything goes onto our showroom floor.  I'd like to think that this is something that we would always do as a matter of fact, but wether it's that or a lifetime of selling hardwood flooring (something that is even more particular and you really have to know before you can successfully sell as much as we have over the decades). 

The first question that I always ask is "Would I sell it to my own mother".  This should be the first question that anyone selling would ask themselves before they show their wares to anyone.  I love my mother.  But can you imagine putting anything into her home that isn't proven?  Isn't going to last?  Isn't going to be an amazing value? If you can't answer yes to this - can you imagine how your family dinners will go for the next 10 years?

Once that question has been passed, then onto the next...which you will find on my next post!  Hah!


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