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From Home Furnishing Business

NAHFA Sets High Point Market Seminar Series

The North American Home Furnishings Association(www.nahfa.org) has set its slate of seminars for October's High Point Furniture Market.

All sessions will be presented in the NAHFA Retailer Resource Center on the first floor of the Plaza Suites Building.

Saturday, Oct. 19 seminars include:
* The Effective Salesperson’s Checklist 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Phil Gutsell, GutSell & Associates, a 40-year veteran of the home furnishings industry, has compiled the ultimate checklist for salespeople. Even professionals need periodic retraining to make sure they are still practicing the techniques that got them where they are today. Attend this seminar and return to your store loaded with the skills that create super salespeople.
* Image Audit: What Decade Does Your Store Display Reflect?, 10-11:30 a.m.: Explore new ideas for affordable change that will improve your image in the market. Affordable Design Solutions CEO Connie Post will simplify and distill down what is more important to your customers today, and how to achieve it in an affordable way.
* 5 Proven Advertising Tactics to Drive More Customers into Your Store,11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: The world of advertising is noisier and more crowded than you ever dreamed possible. Even though you are paying money to reach them, prospective customers are not required to give you their attention. In this fast paced seminar Doug Knorr, president of Knorr Marketing, will share “five proven advertising tactics” that will drive new customers, and more customers, into your store.
* Performance Review--Straight to the Point: What Your “Numbers” Should Be to a Top Quartile Retail Operation, 1-2 p.m.: There are some metrics that you need to be successful. These metrics cover all areas: Marketing, Finance, Sales Management, Advertising, and Merchandising. Bob George, FurnitureCore/Impact Consulting, will give you the numbers and how it impacts your success. Register for the seminar on furniturecore.com, and we will give you instructions on how to calculate your numbers, so you can compare during the seminar.
* 21st Century Marketing, 2:30-3:30 p.m.: With the proliferation of cell phones, tablets, laptops, and all things digital, your potential new customers are spending less and less time in front of “traditional” media. The digital age is upon us and the most successful businesses will be the ones that embrace the change and adapt their marketing strategies to fit changing media dynamics. Join Netsertive's Tim McLain for an overview of the changing face of marketing and how your store can take advantage of these trends.
* 10 Ways to Increase Sales & Your Bottom Line, 4-5 p.m.: John Egger of Profitability Consulting Group will show you real processes and tried and true systems that will add both sales and your ability to have a much better bottom line. Just adding more sales without systems and processes that make you more profitable is a common mistake in our industry. Egger and his team have helped more than 800 furniture stores increase their profits.

Sunday, Oct. 20 seminars include:
* The Outlook for the Furniture Industry, 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Furniture industry guru Jerry Epperson will enlighten attendees with his furniture research expertise on the current state of future of the furniture industry, and how it affects your business.
* The Challenge of Change, 10-11 a.m.: Demographics, variations in consumer needs, evolving technology and lifestyle innovation continually challenge our brick-and-mortar shops. Online mega-stores such as Amazon and in-store/on-line combo kings such as Apple are fierce opponents and successful crusaders. But for our furniture retail consumers, for example, preferences can change quickly from coordinated 3-piece suites and 5-piece bedroom sets to al à la carte selections. Stores need to adapt—store appearance, number of entrances, planning, layout, design center and overall interior. Should it be a “lifestyle” experience or a “gallery” exhibition? What departments are now considered to be a “destination”? Which are now “impulse” buys? Presenter Martin Roberts of Martin Roberts Design has worked on more than one million square feet of retail store space this year alone and has faced many of these challenges. How do you keep your store enticing and contemporary? Let’s discuss keeping up with change.
* Power Retail Advertising: Proven Winners & New Ideas, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:
Charlie Horich, Brad Lebow, Chip Hector, David Weinstein of Horich Hector Lebow  will present examples of television, private mailers and Internet advertising utilized by furniture retailers across the country. You’ll see proven “winners” with a track record of driving traffic and increasing sales as well as out-of-the-box ways retailers are utilizing marketing dollars to retain current customers and gain new ones.
* Marketing Strategies for Attracting Gen Y, 1-2 p.m.: Join Joshua Camden of MicroD Inc., in partnership with Next Generation Now, for an open question and answer forum featuring some of the industry’s most well-informed retail leaders. Learn how their marketing strategies are attracting the next generation of shoppers and increasing sales. Panelists will answer questions, review strategies, and share business insights that have been successful in reaching this influential demographic.
* Maximizing the Potential of Your Salespeople, 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Joe Milevsky, JRM Sales & Management, will address key questions affecting salespersons' performance. What makes one salesperson succeed while others fail? What is the magic profile for the top salesperson in our industry? Where do I find my best candidates? How do I recruit them to come to work for me? How do I increase the probability that I can position salespeople to succeed? How do I ensure that I have the right number and floor coverage? What are my alternatives for compensating salespeople?

Monday, Oct. 21 seminars include:
* Sales Meetings: Are Yours Exciting or Avoidable?, 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Why do sales meetings always seem to be boring and uneventful? This is your opportunity to excite your team about their jobs and to help them close more sales. A boring dissertation about goals, metrics and this week’s ad is a sure snooze fest. Shelley Parlin of ProfitSystems will show how to have meetings that are more productive and are fun to attend. You will get a concise, entertaining and inventive guide to improving meeting structure, participation, and results. Put these ideas into practice and your meetings will never be the same!
* That Easy Buying Feeling, 10:00-11:00 a.m.:
Desi Miller, vice president of sales and marketing at Moso Graphics, will explore quick easy ways to use retail displays and point-of-purchase materials to improve your closing ratio. Find out the tips and tricks mass merchants are using to control customers’ gaze and purchasing focus. Walk away with a step-by-step hand out on how to start changing the consumer retail experience in your store.
* Your Employees Have Quit--They Just Haven’t Left, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: In this seminar, Rich Schlentz of EXTRAordinary Inc. will show how to recognize what it takes to succeed in both calm and turbulent times, understand how to successfully apply the fundamental principles necessary to build committed and loyal work teams and develop action steps—both on an organizational and individual leader level—for how to create a more engaging work culture.
* Marketing With Very Little Money to Capture Today’s Clients, 1-2 p.m.: Margi Kyle, The Designing Doctor, will help you understand “hue” you are through color and how to approach your marketing effort. She will identify areas where you spend too much time and areas where you don’t do what you need to do to capture today’s clients. This session will teach you how to brand yourself and your company, develop mission statements, use social media to your advantage, get published, get on TV and do a radio show.
* Reduce Delivery Costs & Provide Better Quality of Service Using the Latest Technology, 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Dispatch Track's Satish Natarajan will show you how technology can help you simplify the delivery process while reducing your costs. You will also be able to see how building customers’ trust, and maintaining that confidence through an exceptional delivery process, can create a repeat customer for years to come.
* Manage Your Salespeople by the “Numbers”, 4-5 p.m.: The best sales managers train their salespeople to manage themselves. To manage themselves they must know how well they are performing each day. In this seminar, Mark Lacy of The Furniture Training Company will show how to get your salespeople to track their own ups, sales volume, average sale and closing rates. When your salespeople know how well they’re doing they’ll be able to improve their selling behaviors. Participants will receive FTC's Sales Tracker tool to share with their salespeople.

Tuesday, Oct. 22 seminars include: 
* Old School vs. New School Marketing, 8:30-9:30 a.m.:
A lot of people talk about old school vs. new school marketing. Which way works better? Social media is for the younger crowd, newspaper is for the older customer, and what the heck are Pinterest, Vine and Instagram? Brothers Kyle Doran and Kevin Doran of R&A Marketing dare you to take on the long-standing battle of older brother vs. younger brother. However, this time the spat is over how to utilize old school media vs. new school media. You might just be surprised how this one ends up. Sponsored by RetailerNow Magazine.
* Styles Evolve ... So Should Your Lighting, 10-11 a.m.: Barbara Petrilla from Philips Lighting will detail how LED lighting products can enhance your store while helping your budget. Keeping up to date means more than the furniture styles you carry--it also applies to the lighting you select for your store. Petrilla has more than 20 years of experience in the lighting industry and has extensive knowledge on lamps, ballasts and fixtures. She has obtained the designation of Lighting Certified from the National Council on Qualifications for Lighting Professionals and maintains a certification in LED technology.
* Benefits of Outsourcing Home Delivery, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Richard Klein, Cory 1st Choice Home Delivery, will show the ease with which utilizing third-party home delivery can streamline your business, use your money more efficiently and create a rewarding experience for your customers. Using a third-party delivery service can elevate a huge burden from your shoulders and you can focus on running your store better.
* Hear Customers, Focus Resources, Grow Profits, 1-2 p.m.: Learn how to leverage the most important asset your business has, your customer base. Let them tell you what is working, what is not working, how to improve your advertising efficiency, how to improve your merchandising and how to improve your operations and service. Al Wight, president of industry research at consulting company Strategic Decisions, guides you through a way to learn exactly what is going on in your market, who your competitors really are and how to get more customers like those you have.
* 5 Ways to Increase Mattress Sales, 2:30-3:30 p.m.: Emboldened shoppers are not paying as much attention to what manufacturers and retailers are saying about their products or themselves. Instead, they rely on customer reviews and word of mouth from their peers to determine what, and where, to buy. Mattress retailers can’t afford for these savvy shoppers to have bad experiences. Gerry Morris of Inner Spring will show five ways to turn wary shoppers into satisfied customers that will spread the good word about your store.







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