How to attract affluent clients

EmpireA flooring dealer recently asked me, “Should I change my company’s name so I can pursue more wealthy clients?”

It’s an interesting exercise to figure out why you’re not yet attracting these customers. In this article, I am going to share with you why you are not currently attracting affluent buyers, then I will show you how to attract and sell to a more affluent audience.

Question No. 1: How do you sell? Do you sell out of pocket? Are you more concerned about costs than about your client? Do you start with more expensive items or move towards cheaper ones, believing it to be a better value? Do you rate how your customers are dressed, where they live, what they drive, etc.? Are you asking a contest before they even mention the prize? We actually have a shock collar on our sellers that go off when they bring the price to the customer (just kidding, of course). Do you ask your customers what their budget is?

Question No. 2: Are you seeing “great, low prices” increase in your ads? Now, as much as the sales may attract those customers, I’d say the reason someone comes to your store is: 1) you were close/easy; 2) You provide free home estimates; or 3) You were referred by a friend.

I’ve been listening to customers for years, and I haven’t heard one refer to the advertised special yet. I continue to run advertised specials because they help ads stand out. Usually the color and font is on sale or special bold and bright and helps to grab the consumer’s attention.

Why does sales work for Empire and major retail chains? Seems like it works really well for them, doesn’t it? The truth is that they get revenue from such a large amount of advertising. They become a reliable source; they are a well known name to do business with.

So, how do you attract the affluent consumer? First you have to be creative. Let’s say you are very good at installing vinyl flooring on stairs. Then refer to your process in your marketing. For example, we offer stairs in Victorian style. (We’ll do a pickling wood look on top of that with a white bumper.)

When you name your process, it’s easy to talk about, market, and sell. In short, you make the desired product sexy and interesting.

Funny, when I wrote this column I was sitting in a restaurant in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. On the menu is a Long Island tea called “Shipwreck on a Long Island” with a description: “A Captain Jack Sparrow favorite who’s grounded more than once after eating one too many.” By associating a story with an expensive drink, the restaurant makes it more appealing than just offering a plain old Long Island Iced Tea.

The best way to make your business stand out is to make the ordinary “extraordinary.” The work you do is complicated and impressive, and you shouldn’t assume that everyone can do it. You just have to sell it to your customer in a way that they can appreciate it.


Jerry Levinson is the owner of Carpets of Arizona and founder of Profit Now, a flooring dealer consulting firm. He has also written two books on sales and marketing. In addition, Levinson manages the Flooring Dealers & More group on Facebook, which has more than 3,000 members.

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